Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Private View: Eastern Bloc Songs (Digbeth First Friday)

7 September @ 17:00 - 22:30

Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics
By Wayne Burrows

Exhibition Dates: 07/09/2018 – 20/10/2018
Exhibition Opening: 07/09/2018 5PM-Late PV: Eastern Bloc Songs (Digbeth First Friday)
Informal Exhibition Tour with Wayne Burrows: 07/09/2018 5PM

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia during 1968, and in anticipation of next year’s 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Centrala is delighted to present Wayne Burrows’ Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics, the history and development of popular music from former Eastern Bloc Communist states during 1963 – 1988. Archive materials such as state approved photographs, posters, EP nad LP sleeve art, TV footage and promotional films brought together by Wayne Burrows, create a peculiar, audio-visual archive of Central and Eastern European music, closely tied up with complicated political context.

The full compilation of audio-visual materials is discussing the history of European pop culture by including the impact of music artists of Central and Eastern European origin, such as Czerwone Gitary, Marta Kubišová, Atlantis, Hana and Petr Ulrychovi, or Synkopy 61. The specificity of those artists lies in their singular stylistic identity – they appear as unique blend of various influences such as local musical tradition and Anglo – American patterns, both under restrictions of oppressive regime. What is important for Wayne Burrows’ approach to those issues is the implicit parallel between state restricted artistic freedom of 1963-1988 period in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and other Eastern Bloc countries and the contemporary shape of artists’ working conditions, which depend on Western neoliberal ideology.

The exhibition is conjoined with accompanying events at Centrala such as the seminar, exhibition tour and series of film screenings discussing the problematic relation between cultural and political situation in Central and Eastern Europe during Soviet occupation and today’s market – driven reality in the West.


Wayne Burrows lives and works in Nottingham. His publications include The Apple Sequence (2011), Black Glass: New & Selected Poems (2015), Exotica Suite & Other Fictions (2015) and Eastern Bloc Songs: A Sampler (2016). Recent exhibitions include Folklore, Ritual & The Modern Interior (Xero, Kline & Coma), Behold! The Markets Shall Erase Our History! (Nottingham Contemporary), Exotica Suite (New Art Exchange), Telekinesis: Ghost Pornography & Fabricated Phenomena (Watch-It Gallery) and The Buried Moon: Heart of A Cave (Lakes Ignite at University of Cumbria). He also makes short films and regularly fabricates documentation and exhibitions in the entirely fictional persona of the British post-war collage artist, Robert Holcombe.


Associated Events:
08/09/2018 Discussion Eastern Bloc Songs – Unmaking History with Rebekah Tolley-GeorgiouDarryl Georgiou and David Crowley chaired by Wayne Burrows about the impact of invasion on popular music in Central and Eastern European countries under communism.

22/09/2018 Resistance ’68: A Beginners Guide to the Art of Resistance


7 September
17:00 - 22:30
Event Categories:
, , ,


Unit 4 Minerva Works
Birmingham, B5 5RT United Kingdom
+ Google Map
0121 439 3050