War es eine oder war es keine? podium
27 MÄRZ 2009

War es eine oder war es keine?

Symposium organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute Vienna

Romania, 20 years after
Was it or was it not? / War es eine oder war es keine? / A fost sau n-a fost?

Twenty years ago, Romania was still part of the former Communist Block, amid a parallel Eastern European universe marked by economic bankruptcy, non-democratic policy and a totalitarian dictatorship, which was becoming growingly intrusive within all aspects of public and private life. In 1989, the Communist reality was brought to an abrupt end through a series of seismic mass struggles that swiped across Eastern Europe. Amidst such revolutionary struggles, Romania freed itself from a Communist dictatorship that had held power since 1947. Contemporary experts have come to regard 1989 as a historical milestone, marking the beginning of a post-Communism ‘success story’ for Eastern Europe. In the Romanian context, ’89 has become a symbol of freedom, while Romania’s development ever-since serves as proof that the setbacks established during almost fifty years of Communism can be successfully reversed.In 2009, while celebrating twenty years of freedom, the Romanian Cultural Institute hopes to offer the opportunity to reflect upon Romania’s historical struggle and recent developments. To this aim, in 2009, activities will center around three emerging themes: the historical events of 1989, the revolutionary energy brought about after 1989 and the Romanian emotional collective memories of 1989 and the world it brought to an end.


9:30 | Welcome speeches:
Mrs. Silvia Davidoiu, Ambassador of Romania
Mrs. Carmen Bendovski, director of the Romanian Cultural Institute
Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix, Coordinator of the Cultural-Political Department at the Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria

10:00 - 11:30 | Dissertations:
Alina Mungiu Pippidi, President of the Romanian Academic Society - Bucharest, Professor at Hertie School of Governance – Berlin
Smaranda Vultur, Timisoara University Vladimir Tismaneanu, Professor for Political Science, Maryland University, USA
Otmar Lahodynsky (Journalist Profil, Vienna)
11:30 - 12:15 | Coffee Break
12:15 - 14:00 | Discussions
The moment ’89 and the 90s – memories of important eye-witnesses:
Mircea Dinescu (poet and journalist, dissident),
Radu Filipescu (founder of the Group for Social Dialogue, dissident)
Discussions with the audience.

Moderation: Roland Adrowitzer, journalist Foreign Policy Department ORF TV, former foreign press correspondent in Brussels.

Organizer: Romanian Cultural Institute Vienna

Partners: The Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria, Romanian Academic Society, Austrian-Romanian Society, Institute for the Danube and Central Europe, Diplomatic Academy Vienna.

Sponsors: Realitatea Media (Bucharest), Tarus&Partners (Vienna).

Location: International Conference Center Hofburg, Ceremonial Hall

Date: March 27th 2009; 9.00 – 14.00