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31. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Bogdan C. Iacob Co-option and Control: The Changing Profile of the Historical Front in Communist Romania at the End of the Fifties
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Th e 1948 transformation of the Academy, combined with extensive purges of the higher education system qualifies as a Great Break, Romanian style, within the scientific field. In 1955, at the 2nd RWP Congress, the communist regime adopted, within the academic realm, an approach of simultaneouslyfulfilling the goals of the cultural revolution and promoting the reformed old intelligentsia, compliant bourgeois specialists. As the RWP was searching for an identity in the context of de-Stalinization, the role of science changed, bringing along with it significant transformations both at a personnel and thematic level. The RWP targeted both co-option and control. It is the thesis of the present article that from 1955 to 1963 the historical front gained a polycentric profile. Various groups converged towards the same point: the creation of both the ideological and infrastructural basis for the master narrative about Romania’s evolution into socialism. Once the axiomatic but creative role of the present in making sense of the national past was commonly accepted, a new productive equilibrium was reached on the historical front.
32. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Cristian Vasile Argument
33. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Dumitru Lăcătuşu Mircea Stănescu, Reeducarea în România comunistă (1948-1955). Târgșor și Gherla
34. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Fjoralba Satka Mata Albanian alternative artists vs. official art under communism
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Behind the European Iron Curtain another “iron curtain” was drawn, between Albania and the rest of the socialist countries in Europe. Its architect was the dictator Enver Hoxha, who constructed Albanian national identity as a gated community based upon the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion. As a result, “socialist realism” Albanian art under communism can be differentiated clearly from art in other socialist countries. Political power and ideas on culture and particularly on painting meant birth of an official kind of art, parallel with an alternative art which I named painting in the shadow. The idea of painting in the shadow gives creators the possibility to operate on two levels. The first is the internal, psychologically sequential level of the creative process itself. This refers to selective activities and elaborate ideas using pictorial means from forbidden modern art – impressionism, expressionism, abstractionism. On the second level, artists operate beyond individual intentions just to indicate political position and rhetorical application of specific ideological regulations.Both levels are of interest to art practices in that they serve to reinforce artists’ position in official art in general, and to develop the artistic avatar on the private scene of painting in the shadow in particular. I am interested here in the first level, where avatars of Albanian artists under communism can be differentiated due to aspects of their styles and courage to react beyond the official rules. The basic problem with the contemporary interpretation of that unknown painting in the shadow is that it does not seem to take account of the fact that viewers nowadays are free to interpret, while painters were brought to heel in the face of the “method of socialist realism”.
35. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Florea Ionicioaia Grégoire Gafenco/ Grigore Gafencu, Préliminaires de la guerre a l’est, De l’accord de Moscou (21 aout 1939) aux hostilités en Russie (22 juin 1941)/ Preliminariile războiului din răsărit, De la Acordul de la Moscova (23 august 1939) până la ostilităţile din Rusia (22 iunie 1941)
36. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Shawn Clybor Socialist (Sur)Realism: Karel Teige, Ladislav Štoll and the Politics of Communist Culture in Czechoslovakia
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This article focuses on the relationship between two Czech communist intellectuals whose ideas it attempts to situate in the broader history of twentieth-century Czechoslovakia: Karel Teige (1900-1951), a leading member of the European avant-garde; and Ladislav Štoll (1902-1981), a prominent journalist in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Standard historical accounts have used morally simplistic categories to create a stark opposition between Teige and Štoll: After the communist seizure of power in 1948, the former suffered intense repression for his heretical support of the avant-garde, whereas the latter became a leading architect of Zhdanovite socialist realism. The goal of this article, however, is to problematize such oppositions by focusing instead on the many intellectual and political commonalties both men shared. In doing so it undermines the Cold War myth of a communist monolith imposed from above that separated the ideologically loyal from those who refused to tow the official line. Drawing upon a range of archival and secondary sources, the article demonstrates that until 1950, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia never had a monolithic “line” on art and culture, making it anachronistic to impose concrete boundaries between “true believers” and intellectual “heretics.” To the contrary, Teige insisted throughout his life that his avant-garde aesthetics (which he based on French Surrealism and Russian Constructivism) were consistent with the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism. At the same time, Party functionaries such as Štoll largely tolerated, if not agreed with such opinions—despite how greatly such opinions deviated from the Soviet norm after 1937.
37. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Márta B. Erdős, Gábor Kelemen The Finite Universe: Discursive Double Bind and Parrhesia in State Socialism
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Readers are invited into a universe established by the discursive practices of “soft dictatorship” in Hungary between 1957 and 1989. The two major categories of our epistemic discourse analysis, representing the internal struggles of the intellectuals in the era, are manipulation and parrhesia. Manipulation is understood as an abuse of power; it impairs human collaboration and social development by delimiting social participation. Parrhesia is an act in which the speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, taking the risks and responsibilities of veridiction in crisis situations.
38. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Alice Mocănescu Artists and Political Power: The Functioning of the Romanian Artists’ Union during the Ceauşescu Era, 1965-1975
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This article explores the relationship between artists and the communist political power through a case study of the way in which Uniunea Artiştilor Plastici (Romanian Artists’ Union) functioned from 1965 to 1975. Based on the research at the Romanian Artists’ Union’s archive (Central Historical National Archives, Bucharest), this article seeks to map out the twisted and ambiguous relationship that developed between artists and the Ceauşescu regime, during a period of increased ideological pollution and scarcity of resources.Several issues will be addressed in this article. Firstly, it will look at artists’ reaction to the regime’s early attempts to win them over and to consolidate its power by using a mixture of captatio benevolentiae, persuasion and coercion techniques. More precisely, the article will look at how artists received and responded to the overt use of nationalist discourse in the field of fine arts, the augmentation of acquisition funds and the diversification of institutions involved in this process immediately after 1965. Secondly, this essay will explore the actual tools and mechanisms used by the Ceauşescu leadership to mold art production in line with the State’s cultural policy. More precisely, starting in the 1970s, the stricter ideological control and the cuts in funding led to deep transformations inside the Union. This line of investigation will analyze the new policy for exhibition, the requirements and making of thematic exhibitions, distribution of funds or of other advantages (loans, personal exhibitions, trips abroad, etc), which contributed to a polarization of the Union’s members and to an increased competition for limited resources. Thirdly, the article will look into the transformation of the Union’s leadership into an elitist body that started to monopolize resources and distribution of “privileges”, a practice that ultimately led to vocal protests from rank and file members of the Union.
39. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Ana-Maria Cătănuş Breaking the barriers of Romanian conformism. Dissent and scientific critique of Communism in mathematician Mihai Botez’s thinking. A case study
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This study discusses the case of mathematician and futurologist Mihai Botez, one of the most important Romanian dissident thinkers in the 1980s. Using unedited documents from personal archives, documents from the archives of the former Securitate, Radio Free Europe, as well as oral history sources, this study emphasizes how Mihai Botez’s dissidence emerged, the main directions of his dissident project, similarities in terms of ideas withother dissidents in Eastern Europe/Soviet Union, the relevance of his dissent in relation to Communist power and Romanian society.The study consists of two parts, each divided in several sub-themes. The first part of this study deals with investigating the intellectual roots of Botez’s dissidentthinking, discussing also the influence that his professional education had on the rise of his political consciousness. It also discusses the main directionsof Mihai Botez’s dissidence: the conceptualization of solitary dissidence as a first step towards individualizing a group of independent critical intellectuals,dissident strategies, and expected results.The second part deals with Mihai Botez’s works and research aimed at developing the cybernetics of Communist regimes. His dissident project aimedat bringing to light the parallel society that existed but which kept silent, encouraging diversity of views and creating pressure from society, one capable ofinfluencing government strategies.
40. History of Communism in Europe: Volume > 2
Corina Doboș Vladimir Tismăneanu (ed.), Promises of 1968. Crisis, Illusion, and Utopia