As if an answer to my suggestion to document the communist history in Eastern Europe through the lives and eyes of individuals, the PLOTKI, an on-line and print magazine about culture and society in Central and Eastern Europe, invites contributions to a project Changes from Below:
The project “Changes From Below“ aims to collect pieces of research which highlight personal stories behind movements against ‘‘communist’’ dictatorship in Central and Eastern Europe.
… Whilst historical investigation on resistance to ‘communist’ rule often focuses on historical ‘grand events’ such uprisings as Prague Spring 1968, Hungarian Autumn 1956, 17 June 1953 in GDR or Poland in the 80’s, Plotki wants to research the smaller stories, personal experiences and the rumours which slipped through the historical sieve and serve them up via various artistic means such as writing, photography, graphics, film or audio. We are thinking about the Orange Alternative in Poland who attended illegal meetings of dwarfs, and were arresting for handing out tampons to women; the spontaneous ‘community supported agriculture’ networks that evolved during Ceausescu’s dictatorship in Romania, and that kept urban people alive by illegally supplying them with food; or Czechoslovakia’s Society for Happier Contemporary Times; or the diversity of ecological movements as the Umweltbibliothek (an environment documentation centre) in East Berlin, Ekoglasnost in Bulgaria or groups of people concerned with ecological damage in Bohemia; or factory self-management in Yugoslavia; or the protestant churches resistance in GDR; or the countless other inspirational, exciting and quirky forms of resistance which once inhabited the region.
Great stuff and worthwhile effort, no doubt. Just one minor gripe – what’s with the quotation marks/inverted commas around the word communist?!