Past for the Eyes
How do museums and cinema shape the image of the Communist past in today’s Central and Eastern Europe? This volume is the first systematic analysis of how visual techniques are used to understand and put into context the former regimes.
After history “ended” in the Eastern Bloc in 1989, museums and other memorials mushroomed all over the region. These efforts tried both to explain the meaning of this lost history, as well as to shape public opinion on their society’s shared post-war heritage. Museums and films made political use of recollections of the recent past, and employed selected museum, memorial, and media tools and tactics to make its political intent historically credible.
Thirteen essays from scholars around the region take a fresh look at the subject as they address the strategies of fashioning popular perceptions of the recent past.
Part One: Documents of Communism: Lost and Found
Rév: The Man in the White Raincoat
Uitz: Communist Secret Services on the Screen: The Adventures of the Duna-gate Scandal in and Beyond Hungarian Media
Varga: Façades: Private and Public in Kádár’s Kiss by Péter Forgács
Solomon: Filmmaker’s Experience: Reconstructing Reality from Communist Archive Documents
Part Two: Subjects of Nostalgia: Selling the Past
Daković: Out of the Past: Memories and Nostalgia in (Post) Yugoslav Cinema
Sarkisova: Long Farewells: The Anatomy of the Soviet Past in Contemporary Russian Cinema
Pobłocki: The Economics of Nostalgia: Socialist Films and Capitalist Commodities in Contemporary Poland
Dominková: “We have democracy, don’t we?” Czech Society Reflected by Contemporary Czech Cinema
Part Three: Objects of Memory: Museums, Monuments, Memorials
Horváth: The Redistribution of the Memory of Socialism: Identity Formations in Hungary after 1989
Cristea - Radu-Bucurenci: Raising the Cross. Exorcising Romania’s Communist Past in Museums, Memorials and Monuments
Vukov: The “Unmemorable” and the “Unforgettable”: “Museumizing” the Socialist Past in Post-1989 Bulgaria
Mark: Containing Fascism: History in Post-Communist Baltic Occupation and Genocide Museums
Main: How Communism Is Displayed? Exhibitions and Museums of Communism in Poland