Hodja Nasreddin Joke Contest

  • Hodja Nasreddin Joke Contest", Olga Jitlina, 2014. Drawing by  Anna Tereshkina
    1/2 | Hodja Nasreddin Joke Contest", Olga Jitlina, 2014. Drawing by Anna Tereshkina
  • "Mobile disco", Jón Irigoyen, 2014
    2/2 | "Mobile disco", Jón Irigoyen, 2014
Millionnaya st., 10, art cluster "Architect", Karamba cafe
12.07.2014 - 19:00
Related project: 


Olga Jitlina's project

in a co-authorship with Anna Tereshkina, Egor Shmonin, Andrey Yakimov, Roman Os(')minkiny, Katya Sytnik and Creative association of curators TOK (Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits)

together with Jón Irigoyen's project MOBILE DISCO

When the humour is the only weapon!


On July 12, Saturday

Purpose of the Hodzhi Nasreddin's Competition of Jokes project of

Olga Zhitlina is to show a view of the migration, different from the picture offered by modern mass media. In its framework the artist suggests migrants to think up a witty exit from typical difficult situations which they come up with, living in Russia. Competition is called in honor of the folklore character of Central Asian and Caucasian stories and jokes Hodzhi Nasreddin who travels all over the world on a burro and always copes with difficulties thanks to the to sharpness and resourcefulness. On a plot of the project of Hodgi Nasreddin appeared on earnings in Russia where he tries to solve the problems of the labor migrant appearing on his way.

Hodzhi Nasreddin's Competition of Jokes is held in St. Petersburg with despair to which we refuse to give in. Nasreddin appears as the character, capable to break through a veil of gloomy reality. The laughter equalizes all. Therefore today in the situation of global migration on joints of cultures and economies Nasreddin is necessary everywhere: from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dubai to Morocco and Russia.

During the spring and summer of 2014 in different points of the city (chaykhany, cafes, parks, markets) Olga Zhitlina held competitions of jokes among the migrants living in St. Petersburg.  The Petersburg artists, performers, human rights activists and social scientists also participated in meetings.  All together they discussed various situations which labor migrants in Russia come up with.  The winner of each competition won a prize.  On the basis of competitions the movie and the book with Anna Tereshkina's illustrations is planned to be created which will be presented to wide audience in the fall of 2014. 

On July, 12 within the public program of the European biennial of the modern art Manifesto 10 final competition of the project, open for public where everyone will be able to try on himself Hodzhi Nasreddin's role and to participate in fight for the first prize will take place.   The best jokes collected during the project, will be presented in a format of interactive performance. 

The important part of the competition - the Mobile Disco project of the Spanish artist Jon Irigoyena. On July, 12 the mobile sound system constructed by the artist and painted with Anna Tereshkina, will ply around the city and to invite all to the competition, disclosing streets the Caribbean, Caucasian and Central Asian rhythms.  

Events schedule of the competition on July 12:

16.30 -  departure of the Mobile Disco from the art center on the Pushkinskaya st., 10

(address: Ligovsky Ave., 53)

17.00 - 17.45  - The Mobile Disco arrives to Apraksin Lane and Sadovaya st. corner

18.00 - 18.30  -  The Mobile Disco arrives to the Sennoy market (Moskovsky Ave., 6)

19.00final competition of Hodzhi Nasreddin's joke in Karamba cafe in the house yard on Millionnaya st., 10 (an art cluster "Architect")

In the program: jokes, dances, speeches of musicians, youtube-disco, pilaf and drinks


Entrance on the competition free


The project is carried out

by request of the Cologne academy of the world arts
Public program of the Manifesta 10
Arts promotion center of Finland - TAIKE

within the Parallel program of the Manifesta 10
with organizational support of Creative association of curators TOK

with the support of "Art residences on Pushkinskaya st., 10"