Before 1989, Romania had been under Communist rule for over 40 years. The totalitarian government, ruled by Nicolae Ceausescu, suppressed its inhabitants by depriving them of basic and cultural rights. Freedom of speech, liberty to travel, information as well as heat, gas and food were just a few of the many basics that Romania was denied. The regime came to an end in December 1989 when the people of Romania took the bold action of overthrowing Ceausescu.
Despite being free for almost 20 years, Romania seems to be in a state of stagnation. The living conditions from Ceausescu’s era still exist in homes today. This could be considered as a social commentary on the state of Romania’s current government, forming another kind of oppression. Holy Liberty constitutes a visual representation of Romania after the fall of Communism. Traces of the unjust government, as well as the changes that have occurred in people’s lives since capitalism has made its presence felt, are all elements within the project.
Though the pre-Communist experience is not something I was physically part of, this project is my visual translation of stories from those who lived through Ceausescu’s era, some of whom my own parents. The photographs are living proof of the stasis that I have not fully experienced but of which I am aware. These images reveal a number of layers regarding politics and consumerism; and the significance of religion is omnipresent throughout the work, demonstrating the links between religion and politics that exist today.