Included in: Brooklyn 2013
Category: People

Jordi Pizarro Torrell: Christian Orthodox in Jerusalem

Artist’s Statement:

Approximately 300,000 pilgrims arrive each year in the holy city of Jerusalem, from a wide range of countries, such as Syria, Ethiopia, Armenia, Greece, Russia and Romania, in order to observe the holiest days in the Orthodox Christian faith—“Holy Week.” Many devotees remain for the full duration (the last week of Lent and the week before Easter) to pray and attend mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as well as take part in processions through streets of the old city. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is said to be the burial ground of Jesus Christ, is shared by several Christian churches from Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism. Many devout believers even live within the ancient site itself, such as the Orthodox Ethiopians who have established their own community nestled behind the church.

Holy Week for Orthodox Christians culminates in the celebration of the Holy Fire, one of the most important annual events in the Orthodox calendar and one which has been consistently documented since 1106 AD. As the miraculous occurrence unfolds, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, removes his robes proving that he has no means with which to light a fire, and enters the tomb of Jesus Christ. After praying for half an hour, he returns with a lit candle. Priests from each Orthodox community then present the sacred flames to expectant devotees, who wait with candles to take the holy fire back to their countries of origin.

Artist’s Bio:

New Delhi, India

I start working as a photographer in the Avui newspaper. With my first photographic report I won the first award “Clic” from the Catalunya Government and I exhibited it in the Culture House of Perpignan during the Festival “Visa pour l’image”. The last three years I am focused on my personal projects around the Human Faith and cultures in many countries “The believers project“. This project wants to portray the spirituality of the human face on diferents religions in the world: The report focuses the most relevants pilgrimages in many countries like Poland, Israel, Cuba, India, Irak, Spain, Haiti, etc… and it’s a long term project. Last year with these projects I got the Photon Festival Grant in which I won the second prize, Finalist at TPOTY ( Travel photographer of the Year ) and I also received two honourable mentions in the IPA. I am preparing a differents expositions in colaboration with Instituto Cervantes in India, Filipinas, Spain, Poland and Israel, also the project will be exposure in a photographic festival in Vic ( Catalunya ), in Can Baste ( Culture Center ) CFD ( Photojournalism Photographic center in Barcelona, Spain ). Currently my work is represented for a Contrasto Agency.