11 results for author: raulia

Bread rations in ’80s Romania

Ceausescu's last push to pay off the national debt lead to some of the most drastic austerity measures in times of peace. Food rations were an essential part of the plan. Coupled with electricity and heating shortages as well as with an iron fist in dealing with any sort of political dissent, the humiliations that Romanians had to go through were utterly complete. The violent outburst of December 1989 came down rather as a natural effect of this austerity. The photo depicts bread rations of a East-Transylvanian family of three in the last trimester of 1988. The ration per person was roughly 250 grams a day. The tickets were non-transmittable, "losing ...

Nobel Prize for Journalism

On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown - from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster---and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Comprised of interviews in monologue form, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty. A work worthy of ...

Cyclists had special passports in the USSR

The Soviet bicycle "passport" was in fact a registration document for the bike.

Protect the Environment! (yet another Soviet poster)

Soviet eco-poster

Citizens of USSR were called to protect the natural richness of the country in the mid '80s.    

The Black Triangle, 20

'Man is not an omniscient master of the planet who can get away with doing whatever he likes and whatever may suit him at the moment'. That introductory quotation of Václav Havel is illustrated by Josef Koudelka's photographs of the land dominated by head frames, waste heaps, factory stacks and dried-up lakes. 20 years ago Koudelka published "The Black Triangle", a photographic report in black and white on the Podkrusnohorí Region - the western tip of the infamous Black Triangle's foothills of the Ore Mountains, located between Germany and the Czech Republic. It is one of Europe's worst devastated territories, but it is also a region that shaped ...

Mass Culture

Io laid my eyes on two funny posters from the times of Perestroika criticizing the Western mass culture. I tend to agree.  

42 years since the accident at the gold mine in Certej, Romania

October 2013 marks 42 years since the mining accident that led to the deaths of 89 people in the Romanian town of Hunedoara county - Certeju de Sus. The tailing dam collapsed and flooded the village causing Romania's worst peacetime tragedy in the 70s. The scale of the disaster was kept secret at the time by the communist authorities so that they didn't declare a  national day of mourning.   Eight possible causes were considered: from ground hogs to tectonic movements. It was noted however, that while the stability loss of the tailing pond was provoked by the beyond the limits increase of the dam. Following technical research and accident ...

Lithuania. Basketball as Resistance against Oppression

“In Siberia we built a regulation basketball court. Basketball allowed us to have dignity, to retain our sense of humanity. How did I survive? Basketball. It gave me a lot. They didn’t bury me.” These are the words of Juozas Butrimas, a Siberian Gulag survivor from the 1950s. The whole sports club Zalgiris in Kaunas was falsely accused of participating in anti-Soviet, Lithuanian resistance organization and most of them were deported in the Siberian cold. In the wake of the Eurobasket final, Lithuania vs. France, let me just recommend once more the 2012 documentary “The Other Dream Team” where director Marius Markevicius documents ...

Organic Citizenship. Reflections on the Berlin Wall’s memory

While in Berlin for an “active citizenship” seminar, the hottest debate in the local public sphere was whether to keep the Eastside Gallery, a remnant of the Berlin Wall, as it is or to breach it for developers could erect some luxury projects on the Spree riverbank. Besides good sewage systems and green parks, urban ecology entangles memory and tight connection with the city dwellers. It is commonly known that urban sprawl leads to the extension of suburban areas into natural ecosystems. However, nowadays there is an inner sprawl, a pressure towards the city’s center that is almost all the time exerted by private developers allied with a weak ...