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Studia Politica, vol. XVII, no. 1, 2017

ARGUMENTUM

JEROME BAZIN, LUCIA DRAGOMIR, ALINA POPESCULa place 
du grand frère. Les échanges culturels entre l’Union Soviétique et 
les démocraties populaires à l’époque communiste (La place du grand frère. Cultural Exchanges Between the Soviet Union and the Popular Democracies during the Communist Era) (pp. 13-19) 
Abstract 
The role played by the USSR in the popular democracies in Central and Eastern Europe is both overestimated and underestimated in current works. It is overestimated in numerous studies, which consider the imposing force of the “Soviet model” to have been acquired when these countries fell under the Soviet sphere of influence at the end of World War II. The mere definition of a model is however anything but clear: its transplantation had many loopholes and showed significant discrepancies depending on the periods and areas taken into consideration. It is underestimated since the entire array of exchanges made with the USSR during the socialist period have rarely been fully considered. While much attention was paid to the relationship between the East and the West during the Cold War, this special issue aims to address an underresearched topic, the cultural relations between the popular democracies and the USSR. By focusing on different countries and on different forms of exchanges in literature, visual arts, architecture or cinematography, the various contributions to this special issue are hopefully expanding the study of East-East relations, while offering a necessary comparative understanding of how each country shaped its own communist experience.
Keywords 
cultural exchanges, cultural policies, cultural diplomacy, Soviet Union, popular democracies.

JEROME BAZINAssociate Professor, University Paris-Est Créteil, bazine.jerome@wanadoo.fr

LUCIA DRAGOMIRLecturer, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, luciadragomir@gmail.com

ALINA POPESCUAssociate Researcher, University of Bucharest, popescualinaa@yahoo.fr

ARTICULI

JEROME BAZIN, Provincialiser Moscou dans les études sur le communisme (Provincializing Moscow in the Studies of Communism) (pp. 25-35) 
Abstract 
In this article we want to question the role of Moscow in the international history of Eastern European popular democracies. In comparison with studies about the relationships to the West, to the South or to other popular democracies, the current historiography underestimates the variety of exchanges between USSR and the socialist countries. We consider here the benefits of provincializing Moscow in the study of communism, in order to reintegrate Soviet presence in the history of the region.
Keywords 
USSR, Sovietisation, transnational, exchanges, soft power.

JEROME BAZINAssociate Professor, University Paris-Est Créteil, bazine.jerome@wanadoo.fr

CECILE VAISSIE, L’Union des écrivains soviétiques (1934-1991). Un moyen pour une fin et le modèle de toutes les unions créatrices du bloc soviétique (The Union of Soviet Writers (1934-1991). A Means for a Goal and a Model for all the Creative Unions in the Soviet Bloc) (pp. 37-54) 
Abstract 
Created in 1934, the Union of Soviet Writers facilitated the instrumentalisation of literature by the Soviet authorities: it was its main goal, explicitly proclaimed at the first Congress of this Union, and repeated until the 1980s. The Union of Soviet Writers was supposed to create and educate a “New Person” who would build and embody communism. Furthermore, the Union of Soviet Writers was the model of other creative unions in the USSR and in the Soviet bloc. For more than fifty years, it selected, guided and controlled writers; it participated to the censorship process, as well as to the purges and repression of dissidents. In exchange, the Union of Soviet Writers received very important material rewards, of which its leaders were the main beneficiaries. The Union of Writers developed as a pyramidal structure: it had organizations in every Soviet republic (in Russia, only since 1958) and in many towns, and they collaborated at all levels with the corresponding CPSU structures. During the Stagnation, it also reactivated functional links with the army, the Ministry of the Interior and the Komsomol, with kolkhozes and factories. The Union of Soviet Writers was infiltrated by the KGB, which
contributed to spreading fear and sterilizing an official literature of which few works are still read nowadays.
Keywords 
URSS, Union of Writers, literature, propaganda, communism.

CECILE VAISSIE, Professor, Rennes 2 University, France, cecilevaissie@yahoo.fr


FABIEN BELLAT, Les architectes soviétiques,« conseillers » des républiques du Bloc de l’Est (The Soviet Architects, “Advisers” to the Eastern Bloc Republics) (pp. 57-71) 
Abstract 
Even before the victory in 1945, the “Great Patriotic War” gave a new dimension to the architectural practice in the USSR: hitherto for interior use, it became an exportable article. Reconstructions of cities such as Stalingrad, Kiev and Minsk served as models proposed to the capitals of countries now under the orbit of the USSR. In 1944, Aleksei Shchusev was sent with Karo Alabian and Arkady Mordvinov in Bulgaria to intervene on the reorganization of Sofia. Mordvinov was again in 1949 the Soviet voice in the Bucharest “Casa Scânteii” competition – which resulted in a Romanian variant of the Moscow Lomonosov University formal principles. Similarly, Aleksandr Vlassov was sent to Berlin to examine the plans of the German team in charge of the Stalin-Allee. Similar missions were entrusted to Lev Roudnev and Viatcheslav Oltarjevski in Riga in 1951, while Rudnev realized the Warsaw Palace of Culture. These Russian architects had a significant influence during the Stalin Era, reorienting and deeply transforming the projects of their
colleagues in the Eastern Bloc republics. In fact, their intervention was less that of a big brother than that of a paternalist godfather who put back
in trails the lost sons...
Keywords 
stalinism, propaganda, architecture, urbanism, skyscrapers.

FABIEN BELLAT, Associate Researcher, Versailles School of Architecture, France, fabien.bellat@gmail.com


MARA MĂRGINEAN, Some Discussions on Functionalist Housing and its Economics in Romania by the Late 1950s and Early 1960s (pp. 73-84) 
Abstract 
This paper proposes an analysis of the Romanian architectural practices in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s by considering the availability of financial resources. I premise that echoes of Moscow’s approaches to the built environment overlapped the Bucharest politicians’ priorities, whose lack of constancy in economic decision-making exacerbated itself as the urban construction programs advanced. From the Romanian authorities’ point of view, therefore, raising the mass housing profitability could save important financial resources for other investments in heavy industry, while maintaining the appearance of a social state. Similarities between Soviet and Romanian modernist building projects suggested a coherent approach to housing throughout the bloc. However, this article will show that functionalist architectural modernism ‒ cheap and fast to erect ‒ also proved beneficial for Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s economic plans, which questions urban construction projects’ political agendas and the professional tensions between architects and economists. Therefore, investigating the functionalist architecture opens up several lines of inquiry: to what extent Nikita Khrushchev’s housing program was transferred in Romania; the tortuous policies of the Romanian state’s leadership in the field of housing as well as how local bureaucratic or professional actors appropriated, interpreted and adjusted such programs; and, the economic costs of the new functionalist approach to urban dwelling. In this way, this article reads the making of functionalist mass housing programs by the late 1950s to assess the Soviets’ part in building the Romanian cities. To this end, the article contributes to the recent scholarly literature on multiple modernities.
Keywords 
architecture, modernism, Romania, economy, Nikita Khrushchev.

MARA MĂRGINEAN, Researcher, Academia Română/Institutul de Istorie “George Barițiu”, Cluj, Romania, maramarginean@yahoo.com

PETRU NEGURĂ, La soviétisation culturelle de la Bessarabie : le cas de l’Union des écrivains moldaves à l’époque stalinienne (The Cultural
Sovietization of Bessarabia: The Case of the Moldovan Writers’ Union in the Stalin Era) (pp. 85-107) 
Abstract 
This article aims at tracing a model of cultural Sovietization of the territories incorporated by the USSR in 1940, based on the study of this process in Bessarabia, a former Romanian province which became in June 1940 a Soviet republic (the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic – MSSR) and more specifically on the case of the Moldovan Writers’ Union. The history of this process dates back to the creation in 1924 on a small territory on the left bank of the Dniester of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR) within the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The author will therefore try to pursue the rather discontinuous and contradictory development of the creation of a cultural policy in the center of the Soviet Empire and implemented in a small Western Soviet republic, but no less important given its strategic position. This cultural policy is elaborated and applied in a tacit or explicit relationship of convergence or divergence with other integration models applied in other regions annexed in the same period (1940-1944), in an effort to consider local and regional specificities.
Keywords 
Soviet Moldavia, USSR, Writers’ Union, Stalinism, Sovietization.

PETRU NEGURĂ, Lecturer, “Ion Creangă” State Pedagogical University, Chisinau, Republic of Moldavia, petru.negura@gmail.com

LUCIA DRAGOMIR, Rencontres littéraires. Échanges, incompréhensions et tensions entre les écrivains des « démocraties populaires » dans les années 1950 (Literary Meetings. Exchanges, Misunderstandings and Tensions between the Writers of “Popular Democracies” in the 1950s) (pp. 111-129) 
Abstract 
The exchanges between the Writers’ Unions during the communist era are an important part of the cultural policies of the “people’s democracies”. The circulation of writers in the East-European space has to ensure a certain homogenization of literary practices. This is why literary exchanges between the Communist states are intense but also strongly controlled. Nevertheless, the study of the literary encounters allows us to question this “idea of a great socialist literary community” and also to see, beyond a certain solidarity and some common literary practices, a number of difficulties, differences, inequalities, and even conflicts that often broke out between the brother countries.
Keywords 
Union of Writers, literary exchanges, literary conventions, visits.

LUCIA DRAGOMIRLecturer, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bucharest, luciadragomir@gmail.com

MAGDA PREDESCU, Le Festival mondial de la jeunesse et des étudiants, moment d’échanges inattendus et mal contrôlés (The World Festival of Youth and
Students, A Moment of Unexpected and Poorly Controlled Cultural Exchanges) (pp. 131-155) 
Abstract 
The study shows that the World Festival of youth and students, one of the most important sporting, cultural and above all ideological events in the
1950s, represented a real heterotopia of the communist world, a contradictory, paradoxical space, a discontinuity that interrupted, at the time of the event, the apparent normality of the ideological order. The Festival represented a small space of globalization, promoting dialogue and real exchanges between the politically regimented youth of the East, the youth of the West, living the beginning of the long sixties, and the young people arriving from the third world, who experienced the decolonization process. The international exhibition of visual arts opened as part of the Festival, that too, should have illustrated the ideological unity of the Communist world, revealed the cultural diversification which manifested after 1953 in the Eastern bloc. The article offers information on the participation of Romanian artists at the Festival, on the topics preferred by the Romanian institutions and on the relationship between youth, the creativity of the artists, and ideological issues.
Keywords 
youth, heterotopia, (socialist) realism, abstraction.

MAGDA PREDESCU, Researcher, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, magdapredescu@gmail.com

STEPHANIE GONÇALVES, Regarder le grand frère danser ou regarder ailleurs ? Le ballet en Roumanie 1945-1989 (Looking the Big Brother Dancing or Looking Elsewhere? The Ballet in Romania, 1945-1989) (pp. 159-167) 
Abstract 
This article analyzes initial results concerning the links between Romanian and Russian ballets during the Cold War. Cooperative relations are held, sometimes challenged by defectors who prefer the West to develop their international career. This brings Romania to be considered as a suitable ground for research on ballet, torn between East and West, in the training of dancers, repertoire or ballet tours.
Keywords 
ballet, Bolshoi, dance, artistic exchanges, Kirov.

STEPHANIE GONÇALVES, Post-doctoral fellow, FNRS, Université libre de Bruxelles, sgoncalv@ulb.ac.be


ALINA POPESCU, Une féérie musicale? Les coproductions cinématographiques entre la République Socialiste Roumaine et l’Union Soviétique (Romanian-Soviet Co-productions: A Musical Fairytale?) (pp. 169-188) 
Abstract 
This article brings forward an overview of the Romanian-URSS coproductions, in an attempt to explain how film functioned as an instrument of cultural diplomacy between the two countries and between the East and the West. While Romania has been involved in numerous cultural exchanges and in many other forms of cinematographic collaboration with the Soviet Union, this analysis focuses only on the films whose artistic responsibility had been entrusted to a Romanian filmmaker. Five films were thus identified, including a war film made in the 1960s and four musicals and/or films for children and youth made during the 1970s and 1980s. The fact that all of them put music more or less in the foreground appears as no coincidence. This option responded to a strategy oriented towards the Western public, and towards celebrating a Romanian-Soviet friendship cleansed of political tensions.
Nevertheless, in a cinematography where politicized films were the main priority, such co-productions played a significant role in the shaping of a popular culture and of a cinema of entertainment.
Keywords 
co-production, Romanian and Soviet cinema, popular culture, musical film.

ALINA POPESCUAssociate Researcher, University of Bucharest, popescualinaa@yahoo.fr

NATALIA PRIKHODKO, Les activités artistiques de la galerie Foksal et du groupe « Actions collectives ». Stratégies de recherche d’une autonomie (The Artistic Activities of the Foksal Gallery and the “Collective Actions” Group. Strategies of the Research of Autonomy) (pp. 189-205) 
Abstract 
The question of the autonomy of art is discussed through a comparative study of two artistic milieus – the Foksal gallery opened in Warsaw in 1966 and the “Collective Actions” group which appeared in Moscow in 1976. These artists’ work develops inside the socialist system which functions differently in Poland and in Soviet Russia. The strategies adopted by the artists to create and defend an autonomous zone of creation are particular to the socio-political and cultural situation of each country. The way these artistic milieus identify themselves in the complex cultural landscape and the position they take towards the public space determine the form of their practice – the Foksal gallery’s institutional critique and the “Collective Actions” group’s more ephemeral and marginal practice of actions. Self-reflexive and inseparable from the mechanism of its exhibition, their work explores its relation to the space, to the spectator, to the context. In order to understand its specificity, the problem of autonomy is analysed under two angles: as the autonomy of a confined zone of creation and of distinctive artistic means, and as the autonomy of the relations and interactions inside a social group.
Keywords 
autonomy, art, Foksal gallery, “Collective Actions” group, exhibition.

NATALIA PRIKHODKO, Ph.D. Candidate, EHESS, Paris, prikhodkonatalia@gmail.com

RECENSIONES 

NELU STRATONE, Rock sub seceră și ciocan – Prima parte din cronica muzicii rock în România, Ariergarda, Timișoara, 2016; COSTIN GRIGORAȘ, Muzică prin gaura cheii. Retrospectivă a domeniului muzical din România, Editrex, București, 2015; DORU IONESCU, Timpul chitarelor. Cornel Chiriac și Epoca Beat, Integral, București, 2016 (CLAUDIU OANCEA) (pp. 209-213)

GABRIELLE CHOMENTOWSKIFilmer l’Orient. Politique des nationalités et cinéma en URSS (1917-1938)Éditions Petra, Paris, 2017 (ALINA POPESCU) (pp. 214-217)
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