About

Through pictures and texts, this webspace presents the stories of 14 Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria. Aged between 43 and 93, they are members of a small and dwindling Sephardic community. This exhibition provides an opportunity for the curious to read these stories and meet the storytellers. In particular, we were interested in their linguistic experiences of the language they tend to call Judesmo (which others call Judæo-Spanish and Ladino). Ladino is the descendant of medieval Spanish that the Sephardim brought with them from the Iberian Penninsula to the Balkans and elsewhere in the late 15th century. It is the vessel for a cultural heritage that has survived despite the odds. But the pulse of Ladino in Bulgaria, despite the passionate efforts of these storytellers, is now weak. The research project through which these stories were developed seeks to play a part in preserving and reinvigorating this language and the cultural perspectives it carries. Thus, the stories may help us learn more about the role that Ladino has played in their lives.