Post-socialist disclosures: an imperfect translation of personal experience into ethnographic writing


  • Madalina Florescu SOAS, University of London



During the 1980s, disappearance was one of the means that authoritarian regimes used to control the knowledge of the population. State terror structures political subjectivities, for it produces cultures of fear, where speech becomes as diffused and unlocalisable as fear itself: rumours, denunciations, suspicion. The genre of the bodily practice of the commemoration of terror is, in this text, a symbolic exhumation, which allows the living to mirror themselves in the reflections of the dead. Disclosure is the aesthetic category of this post-mortem fissure that seeks to grasp the past that flashes up at moments of danger, to paraphrase Benjamin (1990), and to endow social disjunctures and the disappearance of language with a cultural form.

Author Biography

Madalina Florescu, SOAS, University of London

Madalina Florescu is currently trying to formulate a research project on re-orientation and the ownership of the senses in the contemporary world from the perspective of those whose knowledge is a contestable historical fact. Because global connections and disconnections have rendered distance and closeness unstable measures of the appropriate scale to differentiate between the intimate and the public, she is very interested in developing the notion of disclosure as an instrument for cross-cultural dialogue. She can be contacted at 128108(AT)