Current exhibition

Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics



7.09.2018 – 20.10.2018



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, LP and EP 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.


Alicja Kaczmarek, Centrala Director, said: “We are delighted to explore Wayne Burrows’ collection of pop music materials of former communist states from 1963-1988, gaining insight into the power of the creative human spirit through limiting and oppressive regimes. What exactly is an official popular music culture? And how does it come about? This exhibition provides a platform for a programme of events exploring invasion, uprising, resistance, and the development of new media technologies as opportunities for renewed expression.”


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.



Associated Events:

7th of September 2018, 5pm, Exhibition Tour with Wayne Burrows

8th of September 2018, 2pm, Discussion with Rebekah Tolley-GeorgiouDarryl Georgiou and David Crowley chaired by Wayne Burrows

22nd of September 2018, 5pm, Resistance ’68: A Beginners Guide to the Art of Resistance by Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou