All images by Remera. Used with permission.
Remera always seems to create interesting and very personable documentary photographs of people; and he often chooses very interesting and not necessarily often looked at subjects. He was previously interviewed here on the site about his images of people while on their commute. But this time, he’s showcasing something much different.
For his project “Avec Le Livre” he travelled to the Holy Land to document the actions of people at the Western Wall. This place is considered one of the holiest places for Jews.
But Remera does it as an intrigued atheistic observer.
“By spending time among them, we realize the importance of the books of the Torah, or Books of Moses. Present in different forms, people use them, alone or in group, to recite, to study, to teach or to read excerpts.” says Remera. “Through this photographic project, I tried to capture the moments between believers and their books, while revealing the moments when everyone practices his faith.”
Phoblographer: What exactly motivated you to want to go take photos of the Jews during their services?
Remera: During various trips to Jerusalem and Palestinian territories, I spent time in some holy places, among believers, whether Jews, Christians or Muslims. One of the places that impressed me most was the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, mythical place in history and news. Holy place for Jews around the world, the Western Wall is where they go daily to practice their faith.
During prayers, its plaza becomes a very living space, alone or in groups, people pray, read, laugh, sing and dance.
Phoblographer: Why do you feel these images are important?
Remera: Today, we realize the important place taken by religions in the world, through daily life or news. Each person has his own way to practice one’s religion. some go to church on Sunday or to mosque on Friday, others go daily to temples or monasteries.
Through this project I wanted to show an aspect of the multiple practices of praying, one way for Jews to practice their faith.
Phoblographer: So what’s your intention with this project?
Remera: Interested by cultures from around the World elsewhere, my approach is to share them. Whether through religious practices like in this example, or through other projects.
Moreover, as an atheist, it all fascinates me and amaze me, I do not know the force that link people to elements. So when I had the opportunity to spend time in the middle of believers, I watch them and try to understand them. The intention of this project is then to capture those moments when believers become intimate with their prayer book.