ALINA AND JEFF Bliumis
Geometric Geography: Examples 5 and 6” appears, from a distance, as a Star of David. On closer examination, one can see it is constructed from more than 1,500 Soviet Union-issued gold star pins. Each pin displays the child portrait of the founder of the Russian Communist Party, Vladimir Lenin.
Both of us wore these pins as elementary school children. The pins signified the mandatory membership in the “Oktjabrjata” or “Little Octobrists” Party (Children of the October 1917 Revolution).
Both of us emigrated from the former Soviet Union with our families, and neither of us took part in the “decision-making process,” nor were we aware of the details of that emigration. One day, we woke up in a new world, and found new political, social, and cultural realities. As children, we just accepted this new life and started living it without much thought to our previous reality. Only much later did we think back to what life had been in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) — the pros and cons of both realities. Strangely, as we revisited our memories of that time, we realized that many of the Soviet ideals that our parents hated so much united with warm and nostalgic feelings and memories of our childhood and our parents.
When we left the FSU, we experienced a radical transformation as we took off our Soviet five-corner-star pins and became part of a Jewish emigration under the banner of a six-corner star.
This artistic work emphasizes the transition from the communist reality — the five-pointed star — toward a Jewish future that, for many Russians from the FSU, is about nationality rather than religion and a political power struggle between the Western and Soviet ideologies.email print