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The Transformation of Tradition

Gila Abrams






Prototypes:  The Transformation of Tradition looks at the adaptations and changes of Jewish history, tradition, and rituals.  These ideas are explored  through multiple chapters and prototypes.

This  project uses archival theory, oral histories, personal experiences and  social media as the main research tools. These findings are then  translated into ethnographic drawings, films, as well as interactive  models. This project looks to create prototypes that respond to the  transformation of tradition over time; in conjunction with the haunted  histories of Jews in Egypt and the Genizah archive.

Situated at the Ben Ezra Synagogue and the Geniza Archive found there, this project traces the history of Jews in Egypt  from the 10th century through to the 1960’s.  Using architectural  elements of the Ben Ezra Synagogue to create a new archive, as well as  everyday objects found in the Geniza and their modern interpretations, and objects belonging to different  Egyptian Jews throughout history.  By delving into this new archive and  exploring the everydayness of these objects one is able to trace the layers and explore the fragments of Egyptian Jewish history and Jewish tradition and ritual.


Old Cairo, Egypt


Archive, Traces, Haunting, Fragments, Memory, Geniza, Jewish Tradition, Past/Present/Future, Changes/Continuity, Everydayness

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