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Censors and Censorial Relations in Communist Romania: Customs, Conventions, and Practices (2021-2022)


Publication: 10.58367/NECY.ODO.2022.1
Publication date: 03/2023
Field of study: History

The communist state monopolized and directed the cultural sphere but, in opposition to traditional accounts, I maintain that it was not a domination based on destruction. As I show, communist censorship did not emerge in a vacuum but drew on local traditions, institutional continuities and historical particularities, as much as on ideological improvisation and practical expediency. Whereas the censorial system was certainly effective in defending the state’s cultural monopoly, it is an overstatement to cast the socialist culture as the offspring of the censor’s pencil. The institutional censorship seems often trapped between its
ambition to engage actively in cultural production and the supervisory powers granted by its charter.

Keywords: censorship, cultural control, cultural construction, East-European communism

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