The Falashmura

In makeshift camps in Addis-Abbaba, Ethiopia, over 10,000 Falashmura people live today in constant longing for the land of Israel. They are technically defined as non-Jewish but maintain ancient Jewish customs live a devout religious life and having family relationship with Ethiopian Jews that already immigrate to Israel.

Up until 100 years ago, the definition of Falashmura didn't exist. But in the hard days "Kapo Ken", the Ethiopian Caesars Yohanes and Theodor obliged the Jews to convert to Christianity. Some of them caped practicing Judaism in closed doors, while other Jews were practicing Christianity (and they will be none as the Falashmura).After 1991 when Israel brought the rest of the Jewish community from Ethiopia in a second operation called "Mivtza Shlomo"(Salomon operation), the Falashmura people found their selves out of power in their villages and they ask to be reunite with their relatives in Israel and for that they had to return to practice Judaism.

After leaving their houses and belongings behind in small villages in Ethiopia, they find themselves stranded in the capital of Addis-Abbaba (some times for 5 years or more), and their fate in the hands of immigration officials. When they arrived to Israel, they are exposed to the hard reality of the conflicts with the Palestinians, the poverty of new immigrants starting a new life, and the different of cultures. But the worse part is the racism that they are suffering from their white Jewish brothers that are not use to see black Jews.

Documenting the subject since 1997, I have revealed these beautiful people living in the surreal world between black and white. Having been personally subjected to racial prejudice, I found myself sympathizing with their suffering and I hope my pictures will serve as a bridge between the Falashmura and the solution to their problems both in Israel and in Ethiopia.

View Gallery
View Gallery