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Ukraine Series Former Synagogues in the Ukraine: Snapshots of a World Gone By

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Ukraine Series Former Synagogues in the Ukraine: Snapshots of a World Gone By by Diehl, Johanna; Andruchovytch, Juri, 9783944874357
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  • ISBN: 9783944874357 | 3944874358
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/10/2015
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  • Abused, obliterated, destroyed: stunning photographs of Synagogues in the Ukraine
  • Accompanies a major exhibition in Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, from October 28, 2015, to March 6, 2016

Ukraine Series by Johanna Diehl shows sensitive, yet unsparing photographs of former synagogues in the territory of what is now Ukraine. Partially destroyed during the German occupation, the buildings were completely repurposed during the Soviet era: as auto repair shops, vinegar factories, clinics, cinemas, sewing workshops, gymnasiums, or KGB prisons. The structures plainly spell out the inconsiderate demonstrations of power exercised by one ideology or another over the synagogue as a religious, cultural space.

Sometimes, a bricked-up Torah niche, or a historical ceiling mural peeping out from beneath a crumbling coat of paint hint at the richly religious life that blossomed in these spaces for centuries. The photographs, taken with a large-format camera, are enriched by very personal literary texts by Juri Andruchovytch, Ukraine's most renowned author today. Since childhood, he has been familiar with many of the sites Diehl visited.

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