the collectivization museum

Date & Location

2020-2021, Tămășeni Village


Romanian Collectivization Memorial Association


The Bucharest Architecture Annual: Nomination for the “Interior Space Architecture / Exhibition and Scenography Design” section

Started in the autumn of 2019 on the initiative of a group of history enthusiasts and entrepreneurs from the village of Tămășeni, the museum became a reality in a short time and opened its first three rooms a year later. Between 2020-2021, the Museum of Collectivization moved forward rapidly and managed to complete the exhibition in four more rooms and open an entire circuit in the house on the street. In 2021, the project was nominated for the Bucharest Architecture Annual Award, Exhibition, Stands and Scenography section.
The new museum trail in the new house contains 6 major themes:

Quotas (1) – the main problem of the Tsars who had to hand over sometimes even 70% of their production to the production cooperatives, otherwise the penalties ranged from confiscation of the house to deportation and imprisonment
House (2) – the rural domestic universe is precarious, humiliating and economically controlled, politically directed and supervised
Land (3) – communist property laws dispossessed almost all peasants in Romania. Collectivisation turns peasants into proletarians, wage labourers on their former land
Bread (4) – mămăliga, the traditional food in Moldova and the south of the country before communism, is replaced by bread, but bread is rationalised and unequally distributed, domestic production disappears
Anger and revolt (5) – the outbreak of anti-collectivist riots is inevitable, but their suppression by the communist authorities is very violent
The East (6,7)- a comparative study of agricultural collectivisation across the communist bloc, marking the distance from the Soviet model

The completion and opening of the first house marks very well the presence of the museum in Tămășeni: on the one hand, the older inhabitants of the village remembered the village centre for the collection of quotas, and on the other hand, the local school holds part of its history lessons here, learning about this violent period in the not too distant past.
In the 7 rooms, more than 100 authentic pieces of furniture, publications, posters, household objects, tools, money and photographs from the communist period are on display. They have been cleaned, inventoried and documented. The entire museum is based on interactive mechanical installations that allow access to photographs, texts and audio recordings. The presence of the museum is signalled by a luminous totem to the street, and inside there is a personalised graphic system to help navigate the spaces.

The museum has a clear curatorial vision and a design project that has evolved as new exhibits have been uncovered and acquired.
Going forward, the museum will develop both the exhibition to be housed in the old house of the complex and the media library in the space between the two houses, along with the outdoor exhibition containing recovered fragments of agricultural machinery.

Project initiated by: Asociația Memorialul Colectivizării din România
Partner: Asociația Mușatinii Roman
Historians: Virgiliu Țârău – Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai – UBB Cluj, Vlad Pașca
Reasearch contributors: Fundația Academia Civică – Memorialul Victimelor Comunismului; Consiliul Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității – CNSAS; Institutul de Investigare a Crimelor Comunismului și Memoria Exilului Românesc – IICCMER; Goethe-Institut București
Museum design and interactive system development: Zeppelin Design / Cosmina Goagea, Justin Baroncea, Ioana Naniș, Andrei Angelescu, Emanuel Birtea, Cristina Ginara, Alexandru Ivanof, Iulia Panait, Alexandru Voicu, Mugur Grosu, Constantin Goagea
Production: Atelier SET, Acant Design
Graphic design and visual identity: Radu Manelici
Translation and proofreading: Anamaria Sasu, Tom Wilson
Craftsmen: Sigmund Pleym Hågensen, Maria Gașpal, Ion Gașpal, Maria Burlacu, Valerian Ilinca, Maria Bulai, Valentin Antonică, Mihai Antonică
Interviews with: Anton Giurgi, Ioan Dorcu, Ionel Bulai, Zaharia Aprofirei, Maria Darie, Constantin Darie, Ion Ciupercă, Mihai Pascaru
Images: AGERPRES, Azopan, Fototeca online a comunismului românesc, Atelierul de grafică, Memorialul Închisoarea Pitești, TV Arheolog
Exhibition production: Q Group Proiect, Acant Design, Azero, Promotas Advertising

Supported by:
Fundaţia Hanns Seidel – HSS
Fundatia Friedrich Naumann pentru Libertate / Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – KAS
Goethe Institut
Project co-financed by Administrația Fondului Cultural Național – AFCN

Photos: Andrei Mărgulescu