The special district.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Really, is this the place where it all began?
One early morning The Delhi Walla walks through the world’s first ghetto. Apparently Jews no longer live in this ancient ghetto; no longer are they forced to take up living in this tiny corner of Venice.
Barely any people here at this hour. The shops are closed. The synagogues are closed. The cafes are closed. But a family-run bakery is open. The family is Catholic.
The ghetto is unlike any place in this watery city. No church here; not one piece of architecture that demands your devotion–except for the security post, a typical instance of postpostterrormodernism (see photo 6 below). And yet, this is one of the most important places of our history. It gave us the idea that another world is possible, a world that would allow a persecuted minority to (just) survive amid that horrible uncertain feeling of imminent life and death at the same time.
But we are talking of the dead time. The contemporary Venice ghetto has a a different texture. One day we shall get to know about it. Perhaps. Right now it’s a mystery.
The stories of the ghetto