" Remember me "
In 1889, the first Jewish immigrants arrived
in Argentina on board the "Wesser", which had sailed from Kiev.
They were accommodated in the Hostel of Immigrates in the port
of Buenos Aires. Once they had been counted, they boarded the
train that was to take them to their new land. And so a new life
began for those people from Russia and Central Europe, who had
fled the pains of poverty and persecution. In a very short time,
62 of the 130 children and almost all the elderly had died due
to the unhealthy characteristics of the location, lack of water,
unsound housing and lack of treatment for the plague. Some people
left, while others found somewhere healthier to settle, not too
far away. Since Jewish tradition dictates that the dead must
remain near their family, they brought them too. They established
Moisés Ville. The Jewish colony transformed the fertile land
into a vast farming area. The town became powerful; the people
made their living from agriculture and the Sanctor factory. Growth
and development were interrupted when the sons of settlers moved
away to Argentinian cities and universities. Parents followed
their children to Buenos Aires, Cordoba and Santa Fe. Now, 80%
of the population of Moisés Ville is of Italian origin.
They continue to celebrate Jewish festivals and feast days.
One hundred years later, prompted by the stirrings of family memories,
Rosalia Maguid, a doctor and photographer, took the old cotton tablecloths
embroidered by her grandmothers out of a chest. She glued on to them old
family photographs, and tablemats on which she wrote words in Hebrew, creating
celebratory banners. These tablecloths are the substance of memories, the
thread that enables her to weave the weft of a new history. It is, after
all, Maguid who is relating the chronicle.
In recent years, Maguid has conducted research into the origins of Jewish
immigration to other provincial Argentinian towns, gradually imbuing the process
with a vivid eloquence. As this research progresses, another picture unfolds
inexorably. The naturalistic image of the camera shot is disguised and camouflaged.
The pictorial style erases the detail of doors and windows, with the effect
of transforming architecture into sculpture. This transformation uncovers the
emptiness of what society creates. In Maguid's work, public architecture is
reduced to its proper rhetoric.
Camilo RACANA (september 2003)