An exhibition of pictures taken by legendary photojournalist David Seymour documenting the early years of the State of Israel was inaugurated in Madrid in May. The initiative, organized by the Centro Sefarad-Israel and the Embassy of Israel in Spain, in cooperation with the Moisés de León Documentation and Studies Center and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, is also part of the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.
David Szymin, better known as David Seymour, was born in 1911 in Warsaw into a family of publishers in Yiddish and Hebrew. His family moved to Russia at the beginning of the First World War and returned to Warsaw in 1919.From 1935 to 1938 Chim, the pseudonym by which he became known, covered the SpanishCivil War and, as the Spanish correspondent for Regards magazine. After the final defeat of the Spanish Republican Army by Franco’s nationalists in 1938, he traveled to Mexico.
In 1947 he founded Magnum Photos together with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and William Vandivert. The following year, Unicef commissioned him to photograph needy children in Europe. He also documented European events, Hollywood stars and the rise of the State of Israel.
The images presented in the exhibition in Madrid are a selection of those that Seymour took.
on trips to Israel in 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954. All of them were commissioned by the Magnum Agency. In these pictures, Seymour's camera focuses on residents of the newly-established state, and their efforts to turn what until a few years earlier was a dream into a reality, capturing different aspects of the country’s life such as agriculture, immigration,diversity, culture and manual labor.
In addition, the exhibition also features several artifacts from the Museum of Kibbutz Ramat Hashofet - which was founded in 1941 - including banknotes, coins and personal belongings.
The exhibition was inaugurated by the Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Dr. Rodica Radian Gordon.