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This exhibition traces the history of Russian immigration to Los Angeles from the early 1900s to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In doing so, it focuses on the following three categories: EXILES, PROTESTERS, and ENVOYS, both cultural and political.

EXILES includes diverse groups of migrants, from the Russian sectarian settlement in Boyle Heights in the 1900s and the White Emigre colony in Hollywood established in the 1920s to the Refuseniks who began arriving in Los Angeles in 1971. PROTESTERS brings to the fore the intersectional LA-based groups that spoke out against Soviet power: American activists, as well as people of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Korean, Armenian, Afghan, and Jewish heritage. ENVOYS focuses on the role of cultural and political diplomacy in the history of Los Angeles. During the escalation years of the Cold War, when no cultural contact seemed possible, there were individuals, groups, and delegations that facilitated understanding between the two countries. These themes of exilic identity, protests, and diplomacy speak volumes about our own context and time.

PEOPLE: Sasha Razor – Curator / Gala Minasova – Co-Curator and Archival Producer / Eya Ozerova – Guest Artist and Installation Specialist / Ivan Podvalov – Historical Researcher