Two generations, one story. How the former Iron Curtain still defines everyday life and the future of Europe. After the fall of the Iron Curtain the 'wind of change' was going to bring liberty, happiness and wealth to everyone. At least that was what we were told. What is almost three decades later left of all this optimism? Welcome to the Iron Curtain Project, a multimedia project with online stories and 'offline' events all across Europe.

Boulevard europa




How to Survive a Democracy in Poland Pop-up Museum on show for two months in Warsaw


3 September - 30 October

For two months, the How to Survive a Democracy pop-up museum will be exhibited in Nowy Fort in Warsaw. On Friday 3rd of September we celebrated the opening. Why is populism so successful, how do you keep yourself together as a Belarusian activist and why is empathy indispensable for democracy? It was all covered during the festive opening program.

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How does democracy survive us? HOW TO SURVIVE A DEMOCRACY

Pop-up Museum

For a few decades, democracy seemed inevitable here in Europe, but in recent years the system is under pressure. In the travelling How to Survive a Democracy pop-up Museum we look back at the recent history of dictatorships in Europe, and, in the Democracy Laboratory, we examine with you an the help of provocative games and art installations the value of democracy today.
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E > Muurfeest 2019

S > Sakarov

There is no new Sakharov ‘You have to be free to think without pressure’

Two generations, one story

9 minutes

In 1968 Andrej Sakharov wrote a ground-breaking essay against nuclear weapons and the arms race of the Cold War. The Soviet authorities could not appreciate this and later banished the respected Russian nuclear scientist to a flat in Gorky. At that time, the young Lyobov Potapova was living in the same building. She was too afraid to talk to the famous dissident. Now, she is the director of the Sakharov Museum. Hardly anyone still visits the museum, while Sakharov's essay is very relevant, 50 years after publication. Potapova: ‘Not a single world leader has his qualities.’
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S > Poolse Pers

“It’s amazing how well-mannered that right-wing boy is.” The Big Polish Media Debate

Two generations, one story

8 minutes

When you look at the world through the eyes of the right-wing Polish media, you get a completely different version of reality from the one you see when you look at the world through progressive-liberal media glasses. Even after the fall of communism in Poland, the ruler still controls what the leading story in the media is. Since the right-wing conservative PiS government came to power, however, there is growing concern about this dynamic. During the Great Polish Media Debate in March 2018, journalistic 'enemies' are sitting side by side, but not for long.
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E > I'm So Angry!

E > Jonge Denkers

E > Spirit of 68

WHAT IF!? Pop-up Museum The spirit of 1968 - today

Pop Up Museum

1968 was an iconic year when people all over the world revolted against authorities. In an exceptional spirit of creativity, imagination and determination they banged on the doors of those in power and asked for change. Fifty years later the values people fought for then are under pressure. In a brand new pop-up museum the Iron Curtain Project connects the past to the present.
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W > Revolutie 1989

A tribute to the heroes of the revolution “I was ashamed that I knew so little about it”


5 minutes

The Romanian photographer Estera Knaap-Giurgi (1970) moved to the Netherlands after the fall of dictator Ceaușescu. She rarely thought about the violent revolution of 1989, until she walked in a peaceful protest in The Hague – almost thirty years later – and suddenly wondered how the Romanians had felt back then when they risked their lives fighting for freedom. With her camera, she travelled to her homeland to visit the victims of the revolution. It culminated in a photo book, titled Timișoara, December 1989.
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E > Media Debate

The Big 8 March Media Debate Poland And opening of the WHAT IF!? Pop-up Museum at NOWY TEATR Warsaw

8th March, 19h00

Fifty years after the student protest against censorship a special pop-up museum on the spirit of 1968 in Europe is opened in NOWY TEATR. On the occasion of the opening there will be the Big 8 March Media Debate.
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V > Romanian Revolution

The unfinished Romanian Revolution ‘We are arranging something in the Piata Victoriei’

Two generations, one story

16 minutes

In January 2017, the largest demonstrations since the revolution of 1989 began in Romania. A year of protest followed in the country that is plagued by corruption. Two men about the desire for change and the heat of battle, then and now. Priest Constantin Jinga was shot during the revolution against dictator Ceaușescu in 1989: “That was the happiest day of my life.” Theatre maker Vlad Dragomirescu was born in 1989 and now takes to the streets as often as possible: “The revolution is far from complete.”

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V > The battle

The battle of Ceauşescu’s children

Two generations, one story

10 minutes

In 1990, images of emaciated children, locked up like animals in Ceaușescu’s orphanages shocked the world. Since then, Romania has made major changes; it is even called a ‘model country’. But Visinel Balan (30) and Daniel Rucareanu (40), who both grew up in one of Ceaușescu’s homes, are still, almost thirty years after the fall of the Romanian dictator, fighting for a better system of care for children. One of them does this by bringing up contemporary scandals, the other by looking at the past.
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V > Signs

V > E/W #1 Ignatieff

East/West #1 Michael Ignatieff "Eastern Europe taught the west about freedom"


13 minutes

In Bucharest it's as easy to score your 'soya latte' as it is in Amsterdam; the centers of major European cities are in some respects hard to distinguish. Nevertheless it seems for some years now that the gap between Eastern and Western Europe has been growing instead of diminishing. In the East/West series we investigate clichés, (pre)judgments and misunderstandings between one another.
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V > silent strike

V > revolution

Revolution! Thirteen uprisings against authority

Two generations, one story

Meet Constantin Jinga: he was shot during the Romanian Revolution but still calls that day one of the happiest of his life. Or read about Mirka Chojecki-Nukowska, who did not feel like a hero, but still put up resistance – until she had to flee Poland. Meet the people who forgot their fears and accidentally became heroes, who fought in revolts that changed the world or ended in repression and disillusion.
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V > Barbed Wire

The return of barbed wire A new Iron Curtain in Europe

Two generations, one story

40 minutes

26 years ago, Hungary was the first country to break open the Iron Curtain: this event formed a prelude to the fall of the Wall and the unification of Europe. One generation later, Hungary is also the first European country to close itself off again with a fence – and the number of countries that are following suit is growing. However, this time, the fence isn’t there to keep people in but to keep them out. How did this happen? A tale in video and text of two men at the border, who suddenly find themselves in the centre of historical attention.
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V > Told Untold

V > Nose

Nose matching at Checkpoint Charlie From Stasi science to facial recognition technology

Two generations, one story

7 minutes

For fifteen years, Peter (76) worked for the Stasi at Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous border crossing of the Berlin Wall. During his time at the Wall, he worked on a facial recognition method to improve passport controls. In 1989, Elke (46) joined the street protests that ultimately led to the fall of the Wall. She now works for a company that develops facial recognition software. It is used, among other things, for European border control, which is getting more stringent everyday.
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E > Popup museum Exit / Antry

Pop-up Museum: Exit / Entry


Juni 2015

What do you take with you when you have to leave your country forever? Between the threes of the Erasmus Park in Amsterdam our museum Exit Entry popped-up in june and july 2015.
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V > what Ewa

What Ewa knows

Two generations, one story

9 minutes

Mirka Chojecki-Nuckowska (60) fled Poland with her three young children in 1987 and went to the Netherlands. Her youngest daughter Ewa prefers not to know why.
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