Exhibition: 1989 – The Liberation / Albanian National Museum of Security Police “The House of Leaves” (Tirana, Albania)

Exhibition: 1989 – The Liberation/Albanian National Museum of Security Police “House of Leaves” (Tirana, Albania)

Starting September 22nd 2018

Foto: Zafer Galibov


1989 started without any hints of special events. Daily routine was the same for decades and millions of Romanians were living with it in a complete daily symbiosis. On one hand, there were marches and festive collective shows dedicated to the communist regime, speeches and ideological meetings, five-year plans completed in four or three years, and on the other hand, people were living in progressive poverty, with food that was more of a myth than reality, hospitals where, due to lack of technology, patients were treated mostly empirically, schools and millions of homes with no source of heating in winter or constant lack of electricity.

Very few were informed on the changes that had been taking place starting with the summer of 1989 in democrat Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia or Poland. Even Bulgaria had become more liberal in its civic policies. Romanians lived in a complete captivity of terror. The first signs of change happened in the autumn of 1989, but did not offer immediate hope of freedom especially since Nicolae Ceausescu was preparing his reelection as general secretary of RCP at the 14th RCP congress that took place in November 1989.

Freedom came unexpectedly in the context of a civic upraise in Timisoara and the turn into rebellion of a propaganda meeting in Bucharest during December 1989, that was meant to support the communist party’s ideology.  For a few days, time was historically suspended, and people lived in absolute joy, an unprecedented bliss of freedom from a captivity that seemed endless.

The photographs exhibited in the current show were selected to illustrate the reality of 1989, from daily communist routine to the explosion of happiness and sacrifice experienced by Romanians at the end of the same year.

This project continues the collaboration between the Bucharest Municipality Museum and the Albanian National Museum of the Security Police “House of Leaves” in Tirana, started in the spring of this year through an exhibition opened in Bucharest about the communist regime in Albania, by Etleva Demollari and the museum she runs.

Dr. Adrian Majuru