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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Laura Visan. It will analyse how Romanian children appropriated and renegotiated the propaganda messages that the Romanian Communist Party communicated through media artefacts targeting children.

It will be argued that strategies and tactics are not situated on positions of adversity, but are rather engaged in a relation of complicity, very useful when attempting to reconstitute the social context of socialism. Introduction Since its posting in , the YouTube video of the Telejurnal1 opening credits has gathe- red , views. A person who commented on this post recalled the evenings spent with his parents in front of the black and white Astronaut television set, wondering what was new with Nea Nicu2.

Clips of Tezaur Folcloric, a weekly programme of traditional folk music, and Gala Desenului Animat, a ten minute programme of cartoons broadcast every Saturday afternoon that Romanian children eagerly waited for all week, were also posted and attracted many viewers.

It was broadcast each evening, from Ethnographic research3 undertaken in Romania revealed that the relation between Romanians and the political apparatus could not be reduced to a model of binary opposition. Martor, the journal published by Muzeul Taranului Roman The Museum of the Romanian Peasant , conducted extensive research on the everyday living practices of Bucharesters during the s.

It will analyse how Romanian children of the s and s appropriated and renegotiated the propaganda messages that the Romanian Communist Party communicated through media artefacts targeting children. Their relation of complicity is useful when exploring the dyna- mics of communication between the senders of propagandistic messages and their rece- ivers. By that time, children had sufficient time to become familiar with the propaganda discourse of the Romanian Communist Party.

Strategies and tactics After World War II, social sciences witnessed a shift towards the human realities of daily life Mateoniu and Gheorghiu 8. The former entails force and has the capacity to impose their rules, thanks to the privilege of power. Lacking a space of its own, the tactical movement cannot consolidate its ephemeral advantages.

It represents, in fact, a tactic, an act of silent production, de Certeau maintains xxi , paralleling the reading of a text to decorating an apartment, in order to make it ours. Speakers also personalize language through their accent and particularities of expression.

This is reminiscent of the linguistic model of competence and performance, i. Through an act of enunciation, speakers appropriate language, situate it locally and temporally, and anchor it in a particular network of relations de Certeau xiii. However, strategies and tactics are not situated on adverse positions. Jeremy Ahearne notes that we should refrain from drawing too firm a line between strategies and tactics, given the versatility that characterizes various forms of power.

Accor- ding to Alexei Yurchak, this dual approach results from the discourse of the Cold War era, which placed the Soviet Union and the entire Eastern Europe in antithesis with the West Yurchak rejects both the negative, and the romanticizing, nostalgia-laden accounts of late socialism, as well as the binary models of oppression vs. Leading a vnye existence would not have been possible without the tacit acknowledgement of the Soviet authorities. The modest and bohemian cafes where young people met for conversations functioned with the approval of the state; in a similar fashion, the authorities knew about the existence of socially peripheral and underpaid jobs that educated young Russians willingly accepted just to get more time to read or think.

Romanian children had their own set of practi- ces for circumventing the omnipresent propaganda that required them to behave like citi- zens in miniature.

Realms of strategies and tactics become thus conflated. He decided that the ideological activities in Romania needed major adjustments. Artistic production had to convey a more solid political content, in consonance with the communist ethic.

The red-kerchief bearer must possess a daring spirit, skill and diligence, all accom- panied by great knowledge. Radio and television were instructed to more rigorously select the programmes they broadcast, granting priority to socialist productions — both indigenous and foreign.

From an early age a child had to be educated in the spirit of communism: [Children] want to become familiar with Prince Charming, created by Ispirescu, but they also want to know the Prince Charming of today, the hero of the struggle for social and national justice: they want to know what the dragons of Fairy Tales look like but also what the dragons of modern times look like, and who was the brave lad who cut off their heads. We need to make these magazines serious, insomuch as they address children.

It also featured short stories, poems, riddles and puzzles for preschoolers and young pu- pils. However, many school teachers used the ceremony as a pretext for a trip out of town together with their pupils. Older pupils, usually fourth-graders, presented their younger colleagues with the rank of Pioneer. The aspiring Pioneers took an oath, a ritual carefully rehearsed in the classroom so nobody would forget the words, kissed the national flag, and then received the red kerchief, the symbol of the Pioneer status.

Half of my class skipped the last moment. In some cases, the best pupils in class were made Pioneers first and took a trip out of town, while those with poorer grades received the red kerchief in the classroom, around two weeks later. Classes were divided into three groups of approximately ten pupils each. Next in the hie- rarchy was the class commander, wearing a much coveted yellow cord.

The highest posi- tion a Pioneer could have was that of a unit school commander, acknowledged through a blue cord. The unit commander had three adjuncts that wore light-blue cords. In addition to the cords, Pioneers could receive shoulder straps and medals that were usually gran- ted during the festivities at the end of the school year.

Beginning with , the content of these publications was gradually submitted to conveying the propaganda discourse of the Romanian Communist Party. The cartoon series, the reports on geographical discoveries or famous historical characters and the pages of quizzes and puzzles were either reduced, or eliminated altogether. Likewise, the Minitehnicus robot, featured in a well-known series of cartoons, was replaced by more terrestrial heroes — most often, groups of Pioneers engaged in activities that state propa- ganda would deem commendable.

From the late s to the late s, Romanian children could also read Pif Gadget, a French magazine which contained different types of cartoons, from mere gags with anthropomorphic animals — of which Pif le chien was the most famous, to more elaborate stories, involving heroes such as Rahan or Dr. Pif Gadget had its own ideolo- gical parti-pris, in accordance to those of its founder, the French Communist Party, but this could only be observed on close reading.

Each issue of Pif was accompanied by a gadget, such as a water pistol, a rubber snake or a sling. However, beginning with the late s, Pif gradually disappeared from the market. Children of the s could only read Pif from the collections of older neighbours. The February 10th issue showcases Minitehnicus, the robot, playing a trick on his French counterpart, Pif. Happy birthday! Romanian television did not grant much attention to children. It only broadcast ten mi- nutes of cartoons per evening in s, and up to ten minutes of cartoons per week in the late s.

Children thus reoriented towards other television channels — Bulgarian, Russian or Yugoslavian. Almost each high-rise building in Romania hosted a forest of aerials on its roof, although these devices were quasi-clandestine.

Courses in the Bul- garian language were booked well in advance but most people, including children, lear- ned the basic words of this language from television programmes. Western movies and shows, which were a regular presence in the programmes of Romanian television during the s and s, gradually disappeared. Reid Lumea Copiilor was never tailored to the needs and interests of its young audience.

Research methodology The ethnographic component of this article builds upon eight ethnographic interviews with first generation Romanian-Canadians from Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area GTA. Thanks to their flexibility, qualitative research methods are particularly useful in the con- text of my research. Statistics classify and tabulate, Michel de Certeau maintains, but our everyday living practices cannot be reduced to a set of taxonomies.

All respondents immigrated to Canada after the anti-communist Revolution be- tween and Persons who immigrated or came as refugees before were not included in the research sample, as they had a different motivation for leaving Roma- nia.

The interviews were semi-structured and open-ended, as this type of investigation best served the purposes of this study.

As in the case of structured interviews, the list of questions was the same for all respondents. To the highest extent possible, both genders were represented in balanced numbers. However, the class representation was homogeneous, due to the strict criteria employed by Immigration Canada in selecting immigrants.

The sample of respondents was gathered through my contacts within the community of Romanian immigrants in Toronto and GTA. The snowball technique was used in selecting the interviewees. The entire process of interviewing was facilitated by the common cultural background of interviewees and myself, which helped the respondents gain confidence and encouraged them to speak.

The respondents came from different regions of Romania, have various professional bac- kgrounds, and, most importantly, they represent different age segments — from late twen- ties up to forties. When selecting people of different ages, I wanted to see whether the perception of the communist regime altered with the passage of time.

The seventies were more difficult years than the sixties, but if compared to the eighties, they represented a cornucopia decade. Because the regime collapsed in December , the youngest participant had to be born no later than December 31st What kind of reaction did they have toward such materials — acceptance, indi- fference or rejection?

Nevertheless, qualitative research is not infallible. Asked if they had been proud of their Pioneer status, seven out of eight respondents confirmed that they were; however, their gratitude was calculated.

Cristina mentions: I was the boss in my classroom. The feeling of power was super. Robert also enjoyed his power position over his classmates: I was a group commander. The group commanders were standing in front of the row of desks they were in charge of and wrote down if somebody was cheeky or noisy. Other respondents were more interested in the gratifying pleasures which accompanied the Pioneer status, such as trips to the History Museum or out of town.

The status of Pioneer and, later, of Utecist — UTC member — entailed numerous obli- gations, among which was participation in patriotic work.

However, the interviews revealed mixed responses to this obligation. Vlad spoke about the chores he had to undertake as teenager: The worst time was in high school, as a UTC member. They were ex- ploiting us big time, in the sense that they were asking us to peel potatoes, gather crops… However, Anca remembers patriotic work as a pleasant time spent in the country without doing anything: We were a group of girls.

We were hiding in the maize fields, had lunch there, and when it was time to go, we were coming out. It differs from pilfering in that nothing of material value is stolen. It differs from absenteeism in that the worker is officially on the job.

The interviewee and her friends were present at the agricultural site, but used the working time for leisure.



Zec p. Wright has given concerts around the world and has performed seven times for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Excepting apmanah, all the other comic stories appeared in children magazines in pages, none of them dedicated only for adults like the American Love comic stories or Crime or Horror, for example. The user has the option of setting the alert output signal polarity as an activelow or activehigh comparator output for thermostat operation, or as temperature cufezatorii interrupt output for microprocessorbased systems.



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