Released: January 10, 2001
In the Fall of 1654, twenty-three Jews arrived from Brazil on the island of Manhattan. They were among the many who fled Recife after it was recaptured by the Portuguese, in fear of the pending Inquisition. Many of those who left chose to go back to the Netherlands. One ship, however, was waylaid from its course: caught in a storm, attacked by pirates, and rescued by the French privateer Simon Felle. The captain took its passengers to New Amsterdam, a recent Dutch colony of no more than 750 people.The 23 is a 42-page, full color comic strip written and illustrated by Martim Avillez, printed on a continuous accordion spread that folds into a hardcover slipcase. On the reverse of the comic pages are four essays written with the Sephardic experience in mind. The contributors are: Leslie Camhi (Village Voice, The New York Times) who describes the legacy of these Sephardic pioneers in New York; Anita Novinsky, Professor of History at the University of S.Paulo, Brazil, and scholar on the subject who has written and talked internationally about the Jewish import and legacy in Brazil's culture; Jose Gil, a disciple of Gilles Deleuze, now teaching philosophy in Lisbon, and Berenice Reynaud, professor of film theory at CalArts.