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Presentation of the artistic expedition and exhibition project “BIROBIDZHAN”

  • Jewish Museum Vienna – Palais Eskeles 11 Dorotheergasse Wien, 1010 Austria (map)
Photo (c) Filmstill Anton Ginzburg

Photo (c) Filmstill Anton Ginzburg

The Jewish Autonomous Region of Birobidzhan, established in 1934 by the Soviet government on Russia’s outermost border with China, was an official autonomous entity long before the founding of the State of Israel. Today it is too often dismissed as a “Jewish state without Jews.”

The exhibition project “Birobidzhan” is the first international contemporary artistic exploration of the cultural history and present-day life of this area and its center, the city of Birobidzhan. Artists from Austria, Israel, USA and Russia traveled to Birobidzhan to study the past and the stories of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Based on these impressions, the works created for the exhibition were shown in autumn 2017 at the Birobidzhan Regional Philharmonic. In addition, the Jewish Museum Vienna, together with the Wien Museum and the Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow, researched historical material on the origin and history of the Jewish Autonomous Region, both in Russia and in Austria. Results of the Austrian-related research, as well as a work conceived for the exhibition in Russia, were integrated into the exhibition “Comrade. Jew. We only wanted Paradise on Earth.”

Historical photographs, artistic works, films and impressions about Birobidzhan and the Russian Jewish Autonomous Oblast will be presented and discussed.

Danielle Spera, Jewish Museum Vienna
Simon Mraz, Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow

An event in the scope of the exhibition „Genosse. Jude – Wir wollten nur das Paradies auf Erden“, which runs until May 1, 2018 at the Jewish Museum Vienna.

Advanced booking requested: Tel.: +43 1 535 04 31-110 or e-mail:

Free admission as of 6:15 p.m.