Despite growing interest in contemporary LGBTQ+ politics in the “Eastern Bloc” (i.e. state-socialist countries in the period between 1945 and 1990) as well as the ongoing historicizing of life under socialism, “homosexual politics” and state-socialism are rarely examined together.
From the 1960s the totalitarian state control in an increasing number of Eastern Bloc countries was replaced by a milder form of authoritarian control that left some space for private life, which was at least not directly controlled. Nevertheless the particular lived realities of state-socialism including state surveillance, the lack of private space, along with a deep-seated homophobia played a crucial role in shaping the lives of people in East-Central Europe.
In her presentation Judit Takács will provide a historical contextualization and some illustrations of queer life behind the Iron Curtain on the basis of mainly Hungarian archive material and in-depth interviews with people who lived through that experience.