Accepted Paper:

Communist industrialisation in Brașov: exploring the social memory of a "forced" migration  
Mihai Burlacu (Transilvania University, Brasov)

Paper short abstract:

The social memory regarding the industrialization of Brașov in the Communist period is correlated with an insidious form of “forced” migration. In this paper I explore the ways its subjects and their descendants managed to assemble the facets of their histories between intimacy and public spheres.

Paper long abstract:

The industrialization of Brașov during the Communist period was part of the state's attempt to bridge the gap between the developed western countries and Romania, following USSR model. This entailed a form of "acceleration", as the Communist authorities intended to recover the Western industrial advance in three decades. Seen as a whole, the industrialization of Romania included an insidious form of "forced" migration that is comparable with the deportations to the Bărăgan Plain. Seen in particular, the industrialization of Brașov entailed a massive migration from the rural areas of Moldavia, Muntenia and Transylvania. Deprived of any chance of having a future in their rural settlements due to collectivization, many Romanians were compelled to "choose" a spatial expression of social mobility. This phenomenon had lasting effects upon the families of those subjected to migration. It also affected their behaviours and cultural patterns. In my paper, I focus on the social memory activities of individuals who migrated from various rural areas to Brașov and were directly involved in the city's industrialization. I explore the various ways they assembled facets of their history between intimacy and public spheres in contemporary Post-Communist contexts. I also consider the dynamics of the new collaborative intimacies that have arisen and their effects inside families and other social spaces. This entails examining the modalities social memories were used in order to (re)construct historical identity. Likewise, it requires studying the way communications via Internet have modified the practices involved in shaping politics of memory and in constructing identity.

Panel P006
Intimacy of social memory and the construction of self-identity linked to the Holocaust and forced migrations in the current interconnected world