Visualizations of the Past in Transition: Museum Representations in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria after 1989 Cover Image
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Visualizations of the Past in Transition: Museum Representations in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria after 1989
Visualizations of the Past in Transition: Museum Representations in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria after 1989

Author(s): Nikolai Vukov
Subject(s): History of Communism, Post-Communist Transformation
Published by: Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS)
Summary/Abstract: The goal of the current text is to study the changed meanings and functions of museums in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria after 1989. Focusing on a set of most representative examples of museum representations in these three countries, the article will explore how these institutions refl ected the changes of 1989, how they dealt with the ambivalences arising in the period of ‘transition,’ and how they developed new narratives of the past in a ‘post-socialist mode.’ The paper will refl ect on the major challenges faced at the attempts to represent the recent past in museum forms: the pluralization of memory and the ensuing symbolic struggles; the fragmentary and often unjustifi ed actions for making new uses of the inherited historical and visual material; the attempts for sublimation, displacement, and forgetting of the recent past; the shifting from the memory of socialism to the realm of show business, entertainment and tourism, etc. Taking its launching point from the relationship between memory, institutions, and public space, the article will demonstrate how the museum practices in the three countries faced the crisis of the historical narratives after 1989, and how they responded to this crisis: by a leaning towards nationalism, by discourses of communal martyrdom; by abortive attempts, or a refusal, to supply a historical representation.

  • Page Count: 19
  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Language: English