Accepted paper:

"Iron Curtains" behind the Iron Curtain

Author:

Gábor Barna (University of Szeged)

Paper short abstract:

After the WW2 traffic became difficult not only between the West and the Socialist block but between the Socialist contries themselves too. This formed a special culture and technics of crossing the borders in the 1960s-1980s. The paper presents it with help of the method of autoethnography.

Paper long abstract:

After the WW2 the traffic became difficult not only between the Western democracies and Socialist contries because of the Iron Curtain but between the Socialist contries themselves too. The ruling national Communist Parties tried to defend not only their political and economical interests, their autocracy but they tried to hinder the contacts between the population living at the state-borders. The motivation was the fear of the influence of bvourgeois and religious ideologies. In communication and contacts people had take into account the administrative difficulties, the strong corruption and total defencelessness. This circumstance put into shape a special culture and technics of crossing the borders, how to smuggle printed material and food. The situation was especially dangerous for ethnographeres who did fieldwork among Hungarians on the territories annexed by the neibouring contries after the WW1. This culture and these technics of the ordinary people and the ethnographers in the 1960s-1980s will be descriped and presented in the paper with help of the method of autoethnography.

panel SPS001
Towards an ethnography of the Iron Curtain