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Enquête d’Identité: Patrick Zachmann’s Quest for Identity

An intimate exploration of Jewish culture and self identity in 1980s Europe

Patrick Zachmann

Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Jewish family from Egypt. Mrs Susy Baragan, with her three daughters. Paris, France. 1983. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Celebration for the 33rd anniversary of the State of Israel. Paris, France. 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité 'Club 78' on the Champs Elysees avenue. Paris, France. 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Prayers for the deceased on the seventh day of Shiva. Hauts-de-Seine, France. January, 1986. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité First Worldwide meeting of Holocaust survivors. A survivor of the concentration camps. Jerusalem, Israel. June, 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité First Worldwide meeting of Holocaust survivors. Jerusalem, Israel. June, 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Patrick Zachmann's relatives: Janine with her son. Bouches du Rhône, France. July, 1983. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Mr Friedman electrician and Yiddish poet, with his wife. Paris, France. October, 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Rite of the Kapparah. A young Hassid, praying before the slaughtering of the chicken by a 'cacher' butcher. The chicken is then offered to the poor, following the tradition of the Eve of Yom Kippur (...)
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité La Pitié-Salpétrière hospital. Patrick Zachmann's wife and newborn son Théo. Paris, France. 1986. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Paris, France. 1984. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité A young Zionist militant before an extreme-right rally. Paris, France. January 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos
Patrick Zachmann | Enquête d'Identité Wholesaler Mr Ben Amran in the Le sentier district. Paris, France. November 1981. © Patrick Zachmann | Magnum Photos

This series retraces Patrick Zachmann’s personal quest for identity. Although his father was Polish, it was only as a photographer that he began exploring and documenting Jewish people and culture. Zachmann gradually discovered a world to which he belonged, although knew very little about.

The resulting book Enquete d’Identité comprises of black and white photographs of Jewish ceremonies and rituals, often accompanied with Zachmann’s own text that reveal the complex nature of the relationship to his Jewish background.