A Red Kaddish Walking Tour – The Russian Revolution on The LES

Conceptual artist and scholar Yevgeniy Fiks - photo by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis for thelodownny.com

Post-Soviet conceptual artist, Yevgeniy Fiks (featured last year in our series, My LES) is bringing a special walking tour and performance piece to the Museum at Eldridge this Sunday at 2:00pm. “Red Kaddish Walking Tour” will traverse the neighborhood, exploring the history of the Russian Revolutionary immigrants who came to the LES in the 1880’s.

Local sites of historic “Jewish political radicalism” will be paired with readings from 19th century Russian Revolutionary literature in Russian, Yiddish, and English. Participants will experience the Lower East Side of Emma Goldman via writings by Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin and Abraham Cahan’s via Russian revolutionary democrat Nikolay Chernyshevsky among others.

Fiks, who was born in Moscow (USSR) and immigrated to New York City in 1994, has said his work isinspired by the collapse of the Soviet bloc, which led me to the realization of the necessity to reexamine the Soviet experience in the context of the history of the Left, including that of the international Communist movement. My work is a reaction to the collective amnesia within the post-Soviet space over the last decade, on the one hand, and the repression of the histories of the American Left in the US, on the other.

Why a Red Kaddish?  Fiks says, “This project is a Kaddish (Jewish prayer) for the unrealized dream of a better world, universal social justice, and a common seeking of happiness.”

$15 // Sunday, May 15 // 2pm // 12 Eldridge Street.

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