The Last(ing) Signs Archival Collection


The Last(ing) Signs Archival Collection is creating the context for collecting deteriorating artefacts in public spaces which keep stories and symbolical meanings from XX century Romania.

All images show objects that were once useful or carried certain meanings, but today they are rather useless and remain present in the urban or rural environment mostly by chance. These are the Last(ing) Signs from the recent past.

So far, the archival contributions include old commercial banners, obsolete street phones, loudspeakers, rusted propaganda signs from communism, abandoned watchtowers, small bunkers for armed guards, fading inscriptions on communal farms, signs of old craftsmen put on doors of Transylvanian villages. Rust, broken pieces of glass or cracked concrete inevitably appear in the images here. However, under layers of rust, one would be able to seek stories, emotions, and memories.

This is a participatory archive. Everyone is invited to contribute to the collection by proposing an image for the archive and joining a discussion around certain images.

All images should have 2 common characteristics:

1) Objects in a public space,

2) Objects which had a specific function or meaning in the past, but are not of any use at the present moment.

The artefact should be originally from the XX century. It is important to include the date and the place where the image was taken. Any personal memories and stories can be included as descriptions or comments under the photo. Stories could become a part of the collection.

The creation of the community-based archive requires active observation of places around us, an effort to remember, or a certain curiosity to identify ruined signs from the past. By creating this collection together, we could challenge our perception of a familiar everyday environment and see our common past in a new light. The last(ing) signs lead to stories yet to be told.

Departments: Research Department, Educational Programs, Center on Anti-Communist Resistance and History, FRI Community Archive

Regions: Romania, Fagaras Country

Themes: Philanthropy and Community Development, Civil Society, History, Communism & Totalitarianism, Arts & Culture