The Romania home page, assembled in collaboration with anthropologist David Kideckel, begins with the Ceausescus's state socialist form of authority, and follows through his death, the end of the regime, transition to another form, and consequences of this particular end. The first section presents the hyperbolic public and inter-national dimension of their authority. The mass experience, individual identification, and international recognition were integral to this authority.
Click on any of the six small photos and you are linked to an enlarged image. Listen to the associated music or sound by clicking on the small ear icon. We selected images for their potential evocative force, knowing full well that they lend themselves to different interpretations. Our images and sound clips from rare documentary footage of the trial and execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, for example, will likely elicit a variety of responses in the visitor. As Elena Ceausescu protests the binding of her hands and we hear the sounds of the firing squad, the response may be some mix of curiosity, joy, and horror. Other sounds include excerpts from a Romanian news report, anthems, a religious litany, and indigenous music. Juxtaposed to images of the rise and fall of the Ceausescus, these soundscapes highlight ironic, incongruous, and ambiguous elements in political authority. Please be patient as sound files take some time to load.
The caption on each enlarged image does not direct you outside the photo but rather to the image itself. What is included and excluded from view? What does this image and juxtaposed sound say about authority?
The three longer "home page" texts that accompany the images and sounds of each section attempt a succinct narration of the theme. They simply point to the story, told in more detail in the book and film.
The final section, Consequences, implies no causal relationship but alludes to key events in the construction of political authority, a decade of experience, following the regime's end. What was the nature of the rupture in political authority following the death of the Father? Our selection of ongoing historical events merely suggests ways into further exploration of Romanian political authority.