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Radio waves, memories, and the politics of everyday life in socialist Romania: The case of Radio Free Europe
Centaurus ( IF 0.231 ) Pub Date : 2020-04-24 , DOI: 10.1111/1600-0498.12232
Ruxandra Petrinca

During the communist era, Radio Free Europe (RFE) was Romania's favorite radio station. This paper analyzes the role of RFE in everyday life in the strictly controlled Romanian communist state by looking at the broadcasts of RFE's Romanian Department, their audience, and their impact. Drawing largely on the RFE archives at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (OSA) and the former secret police files at the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS), it investigates how radio waves mediated and channeled information while preparing people to embrace political and cultural change. The paper focuses on the circulation of knowledge, media confluences, and human agency. The rituals that developed around the secrecy which governed the listening process, the personal requests, attitudes, and opinions expressed in letters to RFE, and oral and written testimonies, coupled with the disproportionate and, at times, extreme reactions of the communist state, together reveal the carving out of individual spaces that allowed for the preservation of the “self” during Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship. At such critical historical moments, the connection became visible. Through an analysis of recent media representations in which RFE figures, such as Cold Waves, this study also looks at how RFE shaped personal memories of communist times.
更新日期:2020-04-24

 

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