Anna Riwkin

The Central Zionist Archives' Photograph Collection consists of over fifty different collections of photographs. These collections are amongst the most important visual documentations of life in Palestine in the decades preceding the founding of the State of Israel. Among these, the Anna Riwkin–Brick Collection is one of the most vast and colorful collections.
Anna Riwkin–Brick (23.6.1908 – 19.12.1970) was born into a Russian Jewish family. In 1915 the family moved to Stockholm in Sweden, where Riwkin grew up and lived most of her life. In 1927 she began working as a photographer and became Moisé Benkow's assistant. A year later, at the age of 20, she opened her own photography studio in Stockholm. Shortly afterwards, she married the journalist and photographer Daniel Brick (born in Palestine). She began marketing her work in Sweden and abroad. At the time, her work mainly consisted of portraits and photographs of dancers, a fact that stemmed from her background in dance during her youth.
From 1930 Riwkin became active in the field of photo-journalism, and cooperated with well-known journalists and writers. After World War II she began working for the magazine "Se", and during that time, from 1951 to 1970, she traveled extensively to East Asia, India, and Israel. She used the materials she collected in her travels in a successful series of children's books, "Children of The World", on which she worked with a number of celebrated female writers, among them Astrid Lindgren.
In the early 1950's, Riwkin approached the writer Lea Goldberg and asked her to translate "Children of The World" into Hebrew. This was the beginning of a long friendship between the two women, which also resulted in two books. In 1956, the two published the book "Little Queen of Sheba", about a young immigrant girl from Morocco. In 1966 they published the book "A Desert Adventure", about children from Kibbutz Revivim. Riwkin published two more books about Israel: "Palestina", (1948), and "Israel" (1955).
As a photographer, Riwkin was interested in the margins of society - impoverished, sometimes outcast social groups. One of her most important projects was documenting the Gypsies in Sweden. The photographs at the CZA reflect this tendency. Riwkin worked a lot with the Bedouin in Israel, and with Jewish immigrants from Arab countries. She also focused on women Jewish pioneers, such as activists in WIZO and female workers in the Ata textile factory.