Works by William Rasdell are on display through Sept. 13 in Gallery G of the Jo Young Switzer Center.


Photographer, activist to speak about Jews in the African diaspora

Since 2008, photographer William Rasdell, the force behind My City, My World, has been a catalyst for communication and cultural understanding between youth in the United States, South Africa, Cuba, Romania and Israel.

William RasdellOn Tuesday, Sept. 8, Rasdell will discuss his inquiry into the vestiges of Hebrew heritage among the people of Africa. Joining him will be writer and activist Avishai Malson Baruch, an Ethiopian Jew living in Israel.

They will speak at 3:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus of Manchester University. It is free and open to the public.

Works by Rasdell are on display through Sept. 13 in Gallery G of the Jo Young Switzer Center on the campus. His photos come from field study in Israel during November 2013. The work focuses on the community that Ethiopian Jews have created for themselves in Israel, as well as their determination to thrive.

“My work is an attempt to understand how these cultural relationships have evolved into contemporary societies,” Rasdell said in his artist’s statement.

“In that process I have created pictorials that bear witness to the legacies of influences and retentions in daily life and customs in Israel, South Africa, Cuba Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Mexico Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and across the United States.”

Gallery G is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-3 p.m. Sunday during the school year when classes are in session. Admission is free. For more information on this exhibit, contact Ejenobo Oke, director of galleries, at 260-982-5334 or by email at eroke@manchester.edu

The show opens Sept. 28 in Gallery 101 at the MU Fort Wayne Campus , 10627 Diebold Road, and ends Dec. 4. The gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

The exhibit is sponsored by The Links Inc. and the Efroymson Family Fund, which gave a $10,000 grant for him to study the Lemba people of Zimbabwe, which is the subject of the September talk.

The Sept. 8 presentation is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts series at the University.

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.

Sept. 1, 2015

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