Photography: Wyatt Gallery Captures Jewish History in Nevis

jewish-graveyard-grounds

Monique Washington (St Kitts & Nevis Observer, 28 June 2013) reports on award-winning photographer Wyatt Gallery, who plans to capture the Jewish history of Nevis in a book. Regarding this project on Nevis, CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority John Hanley said that “Our history is one of our strongest selling points” and that this important part of Nevis’ history should be known. Wyatt will also travel to the island of St. Eustatius to research its historically-rich Jewish presence for his upcoming book and exhibition in 2014.

Photographer Wyatt Gallery visited Nevis this week to capture portraits of the different aspects of Jewish history on the island beginning with the Jewish graveyard.

In a brief press conference on Monday at the Tourism office, CEO Hanley said it is very import for other people to know the history of the island. “We have a rich heritage in terms of the Jewish connection and through his expedition here on Nevis it will help people to be more aware,” Hanley said.

The photographer said he wanted to know more about the Jews in the Caribbean’s heritage and wanted to raise more awareness through a book which will highlight the “beautiful sites that still remain”. Gallery added that while living in the Caribbean off and on for 15 years he always photographed spiritual, religious and cultural sites. “When I realize that no one really knows about this history I thought it was important to document it,” he said.

Wyatt, who is of Jewish background, pointed out that Nevis was the British hub back in the 1700’s and is rich with Jewish heritage. “The Jews had a strong presence here and was a part of the plantations and merchants and trade. There is the cemetery that still has about 19 tomb stones and it is believed that there were more. There is some interesting history as to whether there was a synagogue or not. Photographing what still exists and showing the beauty of this history and the culture that most people know nothing about is important,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt announced his plans are to publish a book, followed by a traveling exhibition which will begin in the spring of 2014 in Toronto. He said he will then travel to Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Europe, and then the Caribbean. “Between the book and the travelling exhibition we really ought to show the beauty and another side of the Caribbean people don’t know about so I think it adds to the beauty and the interest of the Caribbean as far as tourism because people want to see culture and not just beautiful beaches,” he said.

Wyatt informed that he will be traveling to St. Eustatius next where he was informed that there is a strong Jewish history as well.

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

For original article, see http://www.thestkittsnevisobserver.com/2013/06/28/jewish-history.html

Also see the artist’s work at http://www.wyattgallery.com/

Photo above is not by Wyatt Gallery; for more information on Jewish sites in Nevis, see the Nevis Jewish Community’s Archeology Project site at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~terre011/Nevis.html and http://jewishphotolibrary.smugmug.com/VIDEOS/JEWISH-CARIBBEAN-A/8281798_sG869H/542222235_qhCG9nm#!i=542222235&k=qhCG9nm

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