Smecherii Patriei



2019 - 2020 marked the thirty-year commemoration of the Romanian Revolution and the subsequent summer protests against the interim government that followed.


The title, Smecherii Patriei, alludes to the name given to the communist youth, meaning “hawks of the nation,” and refers to a term in Romanian for someone who profits the most from doing the least amount of work.  This project addresses the legacy of communism and its perpetuation through the ongoing transitional period. Smecherii Patriei traces the political and social corruption that has characterized the Romanian political arena from the first post-Ceausescu democratic government to the present.  It emphasizes the lack of reconciliation with the past, in which deep wounds have not yet healed in the memory and consciousness of the people.


The painting is rendered in the style of socialist realism and the composition is a reinvention of a communist era government poster celebrating May 1, International Workers Day. Instead of the grand communist parades, the composition is overloaded with video footage and audio bites from protests. The projection not only brings to life major events, but also alludes to the culture of protest made possible through social media. My intention is to convey a sense of repeated history and unhealed national trauma. Through this work, I am questioning the future of the country and its continued role on the periphery of empires.