NOSTALGHIA. A journey to the Christians of the Middle East


A trip to the Christians of the Middle East
A photo exhibition of the Academy of the Austrian Hospice Jerusalem
by Linda Dorigo and Andrea Milluzzi.

Rector Bugnyar: „We deliberately chose the Orthodox Easter Sunday for the exhibition’s opening: Christ is risen. He lives! Just as the Church of the region also lives and has a future!

Our photo exhibition „NOSTALGHIA – A trip to the Christians of the Middle East“ by Linda Dorigo and Andrea Milluzzi is now open. The photographs will be on display until the end of November in our Pilgrim Hospice on the Via Dolorosa.

Dr. Nikodemus Schnabl OSB (Dormition Jerusalem and Pro Oriente Vienna) opened the evening with a historic review of the history and development of the Christian churches in the Middle East, their theological focus and current challenges, especially their confrontation with Islamist groupings in the region.

Rector Markus St. Bugnyar underlined the multiplier effect of the Pilgrim Hospice: „Located in the heart of the Middle East, we are invested with the task of making our visitors and guests aware of the variety of Christian traditions, but we also need to be clear about the many dangers that threaten the continued existence of our sister churches.“

Rector Bugnyar: „We deliberately chose the Orthodox Easter Sunday for the opening: Out of respect for the Mother Church of the Holy Land, love of witness of the New Testament, the language of the early Church. But we also seek to emphasize the central message of Easter Day, victory over death and despair: Christ is risen. He lives! Just as the Church of the region also lives and has a future! For that we pray. “

Photos of the exhibition can be found in the photo album NOSTALGHIA on our Facebook page AustrianHospice.

The exhibition consists of 32 photographs which document the 3 year-long journey of photographer Linda Dorigo and journalist Andrea Milluzzi (both from Italy) in their search for the remaining Christians in the Middle East.

The images focus on what the concept „nostalgia“ means to people: It does not only refer to a psychological moment of sadness and regret over the loss of fellow humans and cherished places, but can also be understood as a response to the feeling of approaching danger to one’s own identity. This feeling connects the Christian communities in the Middle East who, given the increasingly violent conflict, often consider themselves forced to leave their homes.

Linda Dorigo and Andrea Milluzzi started out on their journey in June 2011 and spent some time with the Christian communities of nine states of the Middle East: Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

Their work seeks to elucidate the everyday lives of these people, which is all too often overlooked by the international media.

Thanks to meetings with individual communities and familiarity with the countries, the two authors of this exhibition experienced a journey through the centuries, accompanied by silence, confessions and trust. A journey that enabled them to see the contemporary witnesses of the history of our civilization as they really are.

The results of their work can be seen in a photo-book published in June 2015 by Schilt Publishing House: Rifugio.

The exhibition is a journey that seeks to awaken our consciousness of what is really happening in the Middle East by illustrating the values of these communities. It thereby invites us to consider our own values and helps us to discover places and peoples beyond the realm of prejudice and fear.

Linda Dorigo is an independent photographer and journalist specializing in the Middle East. Her main focus of research concerns topics such as faith, religion, minorities and the deep rootedness of the people in their respective home countries. From 2011 to 2014 she lived in Beirut where she launched the project „Rifugio. Christians in the Middle East“. (Schilt Publishing, 2015)

Andrea Miluzzi is a press journalist who spent seven years working for the Italian newspaper Liberazione in the fields of politics, economy and social affairs. He is an employee of many Italian media outlets and co-founder of the website His publications include Stato d’Italia (Postcart, 2011) and Parabole d’Oriente (SEF, 2014).