Watercolor on paper, 27 Mar. 2007
Sefarad was the name given by ancient Spanish Jews to their homeland, today's Spain and Portugal. They were known as Sefardites, and even today their descendants all over the world speak the old Sefardite language, similar to ancient Spanish, that still can be understood today by Spanish-speaking people. The first Jew families settled in the Iberian Peninsula about II A.D., along with Roman colonization... until the XVI century, when most Jews were ejected from Spain. Many had the hope that one day they would return to their beloved Sefarad. Still today a number of Sefardite Jews keep the keys of the homes their ancestors left several centuries ago.
Sefarad became then a ghost land, a memory, a handicapped territory. Some historians argue that Spain's history would have been much different if Jews had not been ejected and forced to immigrate to other European countries, where their influence was decisive for the prosperity of their new home lands.
I wanted to portrait the old Sefarad land and the homes abandoned by their inhabitants, a single mass of ruined structures where some features can still be hardly distinguished.
You can hear in this link an ancient Sefardite love song, "Noches, Noches", as sound track.
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