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May 18, 2022

Exhibition commemorating Iasi Pogrom opens in Bucharest

Bucharest’s Art Yourself Gallery hosts today the opening of an exhibition bringing together works which are the fruit of the “How Was It Possible? 70 Years since the Iasi Pogrom” painting camp. The event is part of an endeavour meant to keep Holocaust memory alive. Already on its third edition, the painting camp organized by the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania was held this year in Iasi, to commemorate the June 1941 Pogrom. The exhibition is running between October 11 and November 11 at the Art Yourself Gallery in Bucharest.

The exhibition includes 22 paintings signed by eight emerging artists, created during the two-week camp in Iasi. Ana Maria Avram, Anca Branzas, Bogdan Pelmus, Magdalena Pelmus, Beniamin Popescu, Radu Rodideal, Silvia Traistariu, Stefan Ungureanu and the Israeli artist who initiated the project, Sarah Einik, based their works on the tragic events associated with the Holocaust in Romania. The exhibition presents every artist’s individual manner of bringing a slice of recent history and memory into the here and now, thus qualifying as a form of art which actively opposes discrimination. One of the objects of the programme is counteracting anti-Semitic tendencies in contemporary society by raising people’s awareness about the crimes disfiguring national and world history.

The Iasi Pogrom, June 27-29, 1941, is one of the most tragic episodes in Jewish history in Romania. Thousands of people were killed in the pogroms committed in Dorohoi and Galati, in June 1940, as well as those in Bucharest (January 1941) and Iasi (June 1941), which marked the beginning of a systematized destruction of the Romanian Jews.

Inaugurated in the autumn of 2011, the Art Yourself Gallery is a venue dedicated to promoting contemporary art and a set of values which are of the essence in any contemporary society: tolerance, non-discrimination and solidarity. Through a complex programme of exhibitions and event series, the Art Yourself Gallery aims at creating an accessible platform of communication between contemporary artists and the public.

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