Six naked Jews

snjwebmedtext2003.10.15 – 2004.01.06

Jews are often cited as an example of a minority that has not been assimilated in spite of having been present in Europe for about 2000 years and in Sweden for 225 or so. But do Jews want to be integrated? And how do they perceive “the Swedes”? As well as other minorities and immigrants? How, indeed, do they see themselves?

In the exhibition “Six naked Jews” we could listen to six fictitious voices talking about things that are never normally discussed in public.

The texts were written by journalist Ricki Neuman and copywriter Lars Nornn was responsible for the artistic design. Producer Yvonne Rock also took part in the discussions that led up to the exhibition. “Six naked Jews” gave rise to many powerful emotions. The museum’s doors were opened onto a daring contemporary exhibition about the Jewish identity in Sweden; an installation that showed how delicate the balance is between adaptation and self-assertion!

Yvonne Jacobsson
Director

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6judlow

“We´re the world´s best minority: No other group is easier to deal with. And no other group is more hated.”
“Take all these Swedish musicians who play klezmer, and know everything about it? and they´re not even Jewish!”

“I´ll do anything to avoid the image of The Greedy Jew. I´ll even lose money to give Goyim the right impression. Rather than saying, ´Hey, I´m sorry, you owe me another fifty cents´, I´ll just shut up about it.”

These were the voices of “Six Naked Jews” that opened on October 15, at the Stockholm Jewish Museum. They talked about Jews and Goyim, about Sweden and Israel, and about prime minister Persson and the Holocaust. And they didn’t mince their words.

Background:
Swedish people believe Jews are only concerned with Israel. They´re either for or against, people reason. End of story. This is a gross misconception. In fact, Swedish Jews are a particularly diverse group, and as such are intensely occupied by any number of issues, aside from the middle east.

There are Jews from the south and there are Jews from the north. Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazi Jews, and those who came in 1945. There are the Israeli Jews and the Soviet Jews, Orthodox Jews and Kosher Jews. As well as Zionist Jews and Trotskyite Jews. Not to mention the do-you-know-how-little-I-paid-for-it Jews.

All in all, there are close to 20,000 Jews in Sweden, but only six were chosen to be featured. Six very different characters, as a tribute to Jewish pluralism. Six Naked Jews was built on what we had heard, read and observed. And inspired by a diversity of sources, ranging from the New York Magazine’s “composites” and Swedish poet Sandro Key-Åberg´s “prator”, to Ray Bradbury and Steely Dan.

For the Stockholm Jewish Museum
Ricki Neuman, Lars Norén

 

 

 

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