The latest exhibition of Centrális Galéria deals with the death of Stalin; the announcement of his death, the mourning ritual, the funeral and what happened with the mortal remains of Stalin in the ensuing years. The exhibition does not intend to pay tribute to Stalin, or to deal with personality cult in any detail. We do not intend to create a visual display of Stalinism, or to present the clichés of Stalinist mass propaganda or "socialist realism". Neither do we wish to discuss the role personality cult played in the Soviet political system. We merely wish to reconstruct the long moment of the dictator's death, from the official announcement of physical collapse until Stalin's embalmed body was removed from the Moscow Lenin Mausoleum.
Stalin was, both symbolically and physically, the embodiment of a political system. The exhibition aims to present what impact his death had on people and what problems the disappearance of the dictator caused to his successors and the system itself.
At the exhibition, we intend to attribute an unusually emphatic role to audio-visual documents, the images of death and mourning, the radio broadcasts of the time, newsreels and the musical compositions played during the days of mourning and the funeral.
The Open Society Archives obtained the historical documents on display at the exhibition from a number of archives and collections of photographs and sound recordings from all over the world. In the end you find a list of the distinguished co-organisers of the exhibit as well as the list of the sources of documents and materials we used.
The exhibit 05/03/1953 was open on the day of the 50th anniversary of the Satlin's death, on 5 March, 2003, in Galeria Centralis, the exhibit hall of Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest. The exhibit was closed in 11 May, 2003. The virtual version of the exhibit is made in January - February, 2004, parallel with the new exhibit of the Galeria that deals with the six "Stalingrads" of the former Soviet block.
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