On the 15th of November 1987, presidential elections were held in Romania. Elections with one candidate only: Nicolae Ceausescu, who was in Brasov on the election day.

The party officials had planed that the workers of the local truck factory „Steagul Rosu“ (Red Flag) would, at the end of the night shift, instead of going home, collectively give their vote for the Communist Party.

Facing poor working conditions and a planed salary reductions, the 1500 workers got furious and marched in protest against the regime towards the center of Brasov where the election celebrations were taking place. At first mistaken by the police for a pro-Ceausescu manifestation, the protesters were not stopped and workers from another factory joined the protest until more than 20.000 people were on the street.

The protesters stormed the headquarter of the Communist Party and lit a fire on the central city square burning party documents, propaganda materials and portraits of Ceausescu. The protest was continuing all day and could only be ended when army forces joined police and secret service.

Brasov Dialogue    2018


installation view:   round trip / Multicultural Center of the Transilvaian University Brasov (RO)  2018

After the protests, more than 300 people were identified and arrested. Subsequently 61 of them were identified as protest leaders and sentenced to death. In reacting on international pressure and in the fear of facing a revolution, the government transformed the sentence and the accused were deported to different cities in Romania, where they would be under close surveillance of the secret police.

The picture on the left side shows a composite image of the faces of 51 out of the 61 deported from 1987. The picture on the right shows a composite image of 25 portraits of Nicolae Ceausescu.

In the installation Brasov Dialogue, both faces (prints on parer, each 70 x 70 cm) are suspended in the middle of the exhibition space in a way that they face each other. They are looking each other in the eyes, having a silent dialog about which we can only speculate.

Brasov Dialogue was developed for the exhibition „round trip“ in the Multicultural Centre

of the Transilvanian University in Brasov (RO)  /  October / November 2018.