The afterlives of communist things: Archiving feeling in post-communist Romania

C.A. Pohrib*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article explores the afterlives of communist everyday material culture by pitting grassroots heritage practices against officially sanctioned museum narratives in post-communist Romania. More specifically, it engages with the divergent affective attachments imposed on and contained by communist things. I focus on three different instances of engagement with everyday material culture from communism: the Sighet Memorial Museum, the online musealization of communist memorabilia in two blogs and the investigation of the social afterlives of bygone communist brands in the documentary Metrobranding (2010). My interest lies with disentangling the protocols of affective attachment to and detachment from the communist past as revealed by the shifting framing of communist things as either junk or redeemed biographical objects. These competing emotional regimes around communist materiality are, I argue, symptomatic of broader changes in mnemonic practices and provide valuable insights into the generationality of post-communist remembrances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-743
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Affect
  • Romania
  • generationality
  • heritage
  • materiality
  • mediation
  • museum narrative
  • nostalgia
  • post-communism

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