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Prototypes: The Transformation of Tradition

Gila Abrams



Sarah De Villiers, Dr. Huda Tayob, Naadira Patel


18 - Hyperreal Prototypes


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

The project uses archival theory, oral histories, personal experiences and social media as the primary research tools. The findings are translated into ethnographic drawings, films, and interactive models. The 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 Genizah Archive found there, this work traces the history of Jews in Egypt from the 10th century through to the 1960s. Architectural elements of the Ben Ezra Synagogue create a new archive, along with objects belonging to different Egyptian Jews throughout history and everyday objects found in the Genizah and their modern interpretations. By delving into this new archive and exploring the everydayness of these objects one is able to trace layers and explore the fragments of Egyptian Jewish history and Jewish tradition and ritual.