"Peace" Exhibition at the Jewish Museum Vienna: A Sign of Hope in Times of Conflict

More+More+ ♦ Published: November 7, 2023; 08:41 ♦ (Vindobona)

In the heart of Vienna, the Jewish Museum Vienna, part of Wien Holding, is opening an exhibition dedicated entirely to peace - a bold statement at a time when the echo of war can be felt both in Israel and in Europe. Under the honorable patronage of Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen, the exhibition will be presented to the public at the Museum Judenplatz.

In times of renewed war in Israel and Europe, the Jewish Museum Vienna is focusing on peace in a new exhibition that will be on display at the Museum Judenplatz from November 7, 2023. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / HeMei / CC BY-SA 3.0 AT (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en)

The topicality and relevance of the exhibition are underlined by recent events: The attack on Israel by the terrorist organization Hamas on 7 October 2023 has made the omnipresence of violence and the gravity of war painfully clear. The museum's choice of the theme of "peace" sends a clear signal and offers a change of perspective - away from war and towards the possibilities of its absence. It is an invitation to pause, to reflect, perhaps even a source of hope.

The exhibition explores the theme of peace from different angles and offers insights into the relationship between peace and Judaism, politics, war, feminism, and justice, with particular emphasis on Jewish perspectives. The aim is to recall the importance of peace as an achievement of civilization in the collective memory and to make a contribution to the often underdeveloped culture of peace. The complexity of peace is brought to life for visitors with a wide range of participation and mediation opportunities.

The exhibition also includes impressive symbols of peace. Among them is a seedling of a persimmon tree that survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and is now part of the art and peace projects "Revive Time: Kaki Tree Project" and "Nagasaki-Brescia Kaki Tree for Europe". This sapling, a powerful symbol of peace and understanding, will be planted in Vienna after the end of the exhibition to anchor its message permanently in the city.

The exhibition is complemented by a large number of historical objects and artistic works by renowned artists such as Larry Abramson, Andi Arnovitz, Zoya Cherkassky-Nnadi, Lenore Cohen, Astrid Rothaug, and Osama Zatar.

A special highlight of the exhibition is the bilingual catalog, which includes the literary essay "The Shores of Eternal Peace" by the Austrian-Bulgarian writer and Manès Sperber Prize winner Dimitré Dinev. In addition, the "ABC of Peace" by peace researchers Wilfried Graf and Werner Wintersteiner offers a well-founded introduction to various peace ideas and strategies.

The exhibition "Peace" can be experienced at Museum Judenplatz until May 26, 2024, and is the result of a collaboration between the Jewish Museum Vienna and the Herbert C. Kelman Institute for Conflict Transformation. The catalog is available at the museum for €24.90. The exhibition rooms at Judenplatz 8 and Dorotheergasse 11 are open to the public at different times, the exact opening hours can be found on the museum's website.

This exhibition is not only a tribute to peace but also a platform that invites visitors to reflect on the essential role of peace in our society. It shows that despite the darkness of war, the desire for peace and harmony is a universal aspiration that unites us all.

City of Vienna

Jewish Museum Vienna