‘The New Prophet: The Making of the Official Image of Elena Ceausescu’ by Gabriel Lohon

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5th November 2007


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Monday 5 November 2007 19.00 – 21.00, The Romanian Cultural Centre, 8th floor, 54-62 Regent Street, London W1B 5RE; Tel. 020 7439 4052, ext 102; e-mail: mail@ratiufamilyfoundation.com; Entry is free but booking is essential. “The image of Elena Ceausescu collected mythological values and denoted subtle symbolic origins. The official propagandists built for her a halo based on an archetypal structure, the most frequent one being the mother of all the children of Romania and, in extenso, of the entire Romanian people. A genuine ‘mater universalis’. There are two poles between which the symbolism of the special personality cult built for Elena Ceausescu oscillates: Elena as a matrix of feminine virtues and Elena as ‘revolutionary’, ‘politician’, ‘scientist’ and ‘fighter for world peace’. That the country’s first lady reached a jubilee age can also be seen from the fact that numerous newspapers and magazines reproduced a massive iconography, unprecedented at the time, which rendered visible both ‘her beauty’ and her moral and intellectual qualities, and the paintings dedicated to her reflect generic symbols, immediately established as such by the official party line.“ (Silviu-Gabriel Lohon) Silviu-Gabriel Lohon is a young Romanian researcher in Contemporary History, at the ‘C.S. Nicolaescu-Plopsor’ Institute for Socio-Human Research, Craiova, Romania. He studied history in Craiova and Bucharest and currently is working on his PhD thesis, “The Art of Being an Image. The Romanian Political Portrait from Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej to Nicolae Ceausescu”, under the supervision of Prof. Lucian Boia. He published studies, essays and articles in reviews such as 'Euresis-Cahiers Roumains d’etudes litteraires et culturelles’, ‘Arhivele Olteniei’ and ‘Mozaicul’. Silviu-Gabriel Lohon is currently in London, conducting a two-month research at the University College London (UCL) School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Art historian Mihai Risnoveanu will chair the discussion. Art historian Mihai Risnoveanu will chair the discussion. Organised by The Ratiu Foundation UK & The Romanian Cultural Centre in London www.ratiufamilyfoundation.com www.romanianculturalcentre.org.uk




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