Project "EUnderground" wants to bring the history closer to young citizens with a very unique topic which has received less attention so far. The project reveals a hidden and less accessible cultural heritage of former socialist countries: the field of underground cultural movements in Eastern- and Central-Europe between 1948-89. The project title refers to the alternative cultural movements at that time as very important means of cultural opposition of the civil society in the Eastern block. The project's scientific, cultural and non-formal educational activities about counterculture helps significantly the acquaintance of the era, which creates a better understanding the importance of free speech and civil dialogue in a democracy. We show different forms of cultural protesting against the repression of the freedom of thought and conscience through censorship, and accent the contrast between the dictatorship of the party state and the democratic system of the EU nowadays.
Timeframe of the project: 01/09/2018 - 31/12/2019
Intercultural Student-Journal Workshops
We organized creative workshops for European students (under 20) about the cultural censorship in the communist past. A guest speaker (historian/art expert) from a partner country visited a school in another partner country and delivered lectures about the life of artists under communism of his/her own country. With the help of the foreigner teachers the students learnt how the totalitarian propaganda was worked. At the end of the workshops the young participants from all countries made together a “samizdat” newspaper with old photos about a specific event from the past like rock concerts, underground cultural gatherings or alternative artworks. With this censorshipcircumventing journal, they explained the truth against the totalitarian propaganda.
European Traveling Exhibition
It was a traveling exhibition about the underground cultural movements in the Eastern Block countries. We would like to display the tragic fates of artists who were exiled from the “official” communist culture because of their political views, artistic styles or their subjects. We tried to show a wide variety of culture and art forms. We wanted to tell their stories mainly with visual and iconographical elements. The location of the exhibitions have held in unconventional places, like concert halls, theaters, libraries or other busy public places. With this method we could reach much more quantity of visitors and more diverse target groups. The national opening ceremonies included performances and talks with the artists too.
It was a one day long cross-national cultural festival to remembering the victims of the totalitarian censorship. With this festival we would like to commemorate to the oppressed artists and the cultural opposition movements from the Soviet Block. Our main aim was with the festival is to get the attention of the young generations and with cultural examples from the past, explain the democratic EU values nowadays. The programme of the festival: art performances from underground and dissent artists from the former socialist countries, concerts, opening ceremony of the traveling exhibition, displaying the student samizdat-journals from the workshops, public readings, interactive debates with the witnesses, film and slide projections, lectures, workshops, etc. We invited artists/speakers and students from the partner countries.
Transnational Knowledge Center
We would like to develop a crowd-sourcing online community surface. Here we upload all of the project related educational and scientific materials. It contains documents about the life of oppressed artists or illicit groups. The documents were written by the experts or researchers of our partners. The case-studies include archive photos, manuscripts, posters and other iconographical materials. Where it was possible, we also collected archive film footages, music or video documentaries about the artists. We would like to expand continually the center with new contents from other European countries.
Organizer: Laterna Magica (Hungary)
SAN- Social Sciences University (Poland)
University of Bucharest (Romania)
Art Kontakt (Albania)
Educentrum (Czech Republic)
Institute for Studies of the Recent Past (Bulgaria)
Post Bellum (Slovakia)
Other partners: Hungarian Film Archive, Dürer Kert, many European school.
Project website: www.eunderground.eu
The project was the winner of the 'Project of the Year 2019' competition by the International Visegrad Fund.