Discussion ‘Eastern Bloc Songs’ – Unmaking History

As part of Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics

By Wayne Burrows we are hosting discussion with Rebekah Tolley-GeorgiouDarryl Georgiou and David Crowley chaired by Wayne Burrows.

1989 appears as a year which changed nearly everything in socio – political situation in Central and Eastern Europe. While the importance of the fall of totalitarian regime in former Eastern Bloc countries is pretty obvious, the question about the relation between the consequences of 1989 and cultural history of the Western Europe still remains unanswered. The mechanisms of censorship and suppression, usually connoted with Soviet propaganda, haven’t really disappeared after the fall of the Iron Curtain – they remained under the guise of Western neo-liberal ideology. That condition urges to ask question about different methods of artistic resistance and questioning political repression. Along with David Crowley, Darryl Georgiou, Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou and Wayne Burrows as a chair we will examine the ways in which cultural, political and social histories of West and East are coming across together and what is the outlook for todays’ resistance against suppressions of political systems.



David Crowley teaches at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. His books include Warsaw (2003) and three volumes co-edited with Susan Reid, Socialism and Style. Material Culture in Post-war Eastern Europe (2000); Socialist Spaces. Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (2003); and Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (2010). Crowley also curates exhibitions including ‘Cold War Modern’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9 (with Jane Pavitt), ‘Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe’ at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012 and Calvert 22, London, 2013, and ‘Notes from Underground. Art and Alternative Music in Eastern Europe 1968-1994’ at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2018 and Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, 2018 (both with Daniel Muzyczuk).


Georgiou & Tolley collaborate as interdisciplinary artists. In 2016-2017 they were artists in residence at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, working with Granby 4 Streets (hosts of 2015 Turner Prize winners, Assemble). The residency was part of the Culture Shifts exhibition at OE (Oct 5 – Dec 22 2017). Their sound/image installation, Magician Walks into the Laboratory, featured at the inaugural Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art 2017. Concerned with surveillance and the Cold War, it is part of an ongoing trilogy featuring ‪Star Wars‪/James Bond actor, Jack Klaff. The latest iteration of the project, Walking Back the Cat will be featured at the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), Sep 8 – Oct 28 2018. Tolley-Georgiou worked as creative producer on award winning feature documentary: Okhwan’s ‪Mission Impossible (UK-Slovakia 2016). She was co-author/creative producer on acclaimed feature documentary, We Went To War (2013) for Film4. She is a BOM (Birmingham Open Media) Fellow 2018-2019. Georgiou has artwork in national and international collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art (Athens/NY). A former Director of Ten-8 photo magazine, he is MA Programme Leader (Art & Design) at Coventry University.


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. www.wayneburrows.wordpress.com/

Exhibition Dates: 07/09/2018 – 20/10/2018

Exhibition Opening: 07/09/2018 5PM-Late

Informal Exhibition Tour with Wayne Burrows: 07/09/2018 5PM

Associated Events:

08/09/2018 Discussion with Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou , Darryl 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 by Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou