Letters to Afar

By Péter Forgács, music by the Klezmatics

October 22, 2014 - March 30, 2015

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Co-presented by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Letters to Afar: By Péter Forgács, music by the Klezmatics is an immersive video art installation based on home movies made by New York City’s Jewish immigrants who traveled back to visit Poland during the 1920s and 30s. The films document poignant family reunions and everyday life in small towns in the years before the Second World War, capturing a culture on the brink.

The installation was created by Hungarian artist Péter Forgács, under a commission by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. With a haunting soundtrack by the New York-based band The Klezmatics, these “letters” bring to life a lost world in startling and moving detail.

The exhibition is made possible with generous support from:

The Kronhill Pletka Foundation
Righteous Persons Foundation
Seedlings Foundation
Sigmund Rolat

Additional support is provided by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


  • "Precious Windows on a Vanished World" New York Times
  • "Péter Forgács’ Memory Art Brings Phantoms of Eastern Europe to Light" Tablet
  • "In Hands of Hungarian Artist, Jewish Home Movies of the ’30s a Warning of Coming Holocaust" The Daily Beast
  • "New Film Exhibit Gives Moving Glimpse of Pre-WWII Jewish Poland" The Times of Israel
  • "A Monument to the World Before the Holocaust" The Jewish Daily Forward
  • "Professor finds long-lost home movies playing at NYC museum" New York Post
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