Accepted Paper:

Behind the five years plans - the everyday life of the factory workers from Cluj-Napoca (1945-1989) in press photos  

Author:

Iringo Toth Godri (Babes-Bolyai University / Filmtett)

Paper short abstract:

My research concerns about the everyday life of the factory workers from Cluj-Napoca between 1946 and 1989 by studying photos from the local press. By these photos I try to explore and to show a world behind the economical facts, the everyday life behind the Five Year Plans.

Paper long abstract:

In the long period of the Romanian socialism and the communism, between 1946 and 1989, the most important element of the economics was the forced industrialization. Thousands of factories, manufactories were established, mines, forges, agricultural cooperative were opened. The industrialization had also an important social impact, a new social "class" was born: the urban workers.

Nowadays researchers have got few sources referring to this topic: documents from the national archives which often are not yet available, oral-history sources and the press. In my research I try to explore the everyday life of the workers from Cluj-Napoca by studying the photos from the local press of the era.

In Cluj-Napoca, the factories like Carbochim, Tehnofrig, Clujana provided work for tens of thousands, for whom from the 50s many housing estates were built (Marasti, Gheorgheni, Grigorescu). In the local press products there are a lot of articles about the constructions, about the working conditions, about the tournaments between factories. There are special examples, like the Dolgozó Nő, a female magazine which focuses on the women's role in the factories.

Researchers are very lucky in Cluj-Napoca, because there exist some organized photo archives in the city, like for the newspapers Făclia and Igazság.

Of course, these photos are often manipulated, propagandistic. Usually this propagandistic factor is a plus for the researcher, different interpretations are possible. I try to show this unique and interesting world, the different viewpoints and perspectives. I show a world behind the economical facts, the everyday life behind the Five Year Plans.

Panel Econ01
Remembering the factory: industrial pasts and presents