Wednesday, February 1, 2012

These Shadows

Mike Terry, 2011 AJC PSA participant

Photo: Isaac Synagogue in Krakow, built in 1644; Photo and text by Mike Terry.
The shadows on the walls of the Isaac Synagogue in the former Jewish quarter of Krakow, known as Kazimierz, were a reflection of the entire structure and history. Looking at the Hebrew written on the inner walls of the main room, I wonder how long it took for the crew to restore the words and phrases, sunken characters pulled to the surface. The tender touch and attention of the craft is probably equal to the still complex balance of relations rebuilt, between the powerful and the powerless whose history we visit.

I imagine the conversations in clusters out front and in the foyer, the flow in and out of the doors, week, month, year after year and think that in order to grasp a tragedy, some sort of knowledge of what was actually lost and damaged is required. This structure provides the space for such thoughts. From the outside, the structure seems eternally immoveable, reinforced by the history that took place around it. 

Since attending the PSA program in November 2011, Mike Terry has continued with his degree in Visual Anthropology at the Freie Universitaet Berlin where he is currently concentrating in architectural anthropology. Currently, he is collaborating with Jared Gimbal, also a program alumni, on his semester project involving physical and virtual (online) religious spaces. Mike was recognized this February with an Award of Excellence as a multimedia producer in the Pictures of the Year International competition by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.