CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDY SOFIA

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Cătălin Ion Nicolae

Cătălin Ion Nicolae is currently archaeologist, photographer and curator of the photographic archive at the "Vasile Pârvan" Institute of Archaeology in Bucharest. His main interests as field archaeologist are related to the Neolithic of Southern Romania and Dobrogea but also to the much more recent traces, those belonging to the Second World War and to the Communist built industrial and agricultural heritage in the same areas. His recent projects relate to the photographic documentation of Communist heritage from Dobrogea and the research of former Communist forced labour and extermination camps along the Black Sea-Danube Channel.

Archaeology and politics in the programs of public Romanian radio (1930-1944)

Almost from the beginning of radio broadcasting in Romania archaeology was a constant presence in radio programs between 1930 and 1944. Most of the prominent Romanian archaeologists took the opportunity to share with the audience their work and achievements and to raise public awareness for the cause of archaeology. As most of the intellectuals of the period, archaeologists were also politically involved, thus many of the conferences are biased by propaganda discourse. Between 1930 and 1944 about 200 conferences with archaeological subjects were broadcast, the authors being mostly archaeologists (22 out of 35), with Radu Vulpe (archaeologist at the National Museum of Antiquities then) having the largest number of conferences (55). The recurrent themes of archaeological discourse at the national radio, as the war approached, and then, during the war, were related to backing the military actions of Romania and the Third Reich, trying to legitimize all military campaigns in the East. Bringing into discussion archaeology and ancient sources was common practice. Another theme was the constant battle with the Hungarian archaeologists, and during the war with the Hungarian authorities and political actors, related to the history of Transylvania. In the war years most conferences were infused with nationalism. Some archaeologists also took part as active military officers to the campaigns in the East, and made radio conferences from there, mixing archaeological research with political arguments. In our contribution we will briefly present and analyze the documents from the Romanian National Broadcasting Company archive.

 

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