Articles by Sergiu Novac

Five Senses of Austerity: Happiness goes through the Stomach (Podcast)

The last episode of the Five Senses of Austerity deals with the rationing of food in late Romanian socialism. It tells the story of the 1987 worker’s revolt from the city of Brasov, which marked the beginning of the end of the regime, and then goes on to explore the final moments of Romanian socialism. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is done in collaboration with the Blinken Open Society Archives.

Dollars in my pockets

Money! You either have it, or you don’t. Socialist Romania did not. Therefore, it had to borrow money from abroad in order to meet its ambitious development goals. This episode explores socialist Romania’s failed crusade on the sea of global high finance starting from the late 1960s up until the 1980s, discussing the underlying reason for the turn towards austerity: the decision to pay off the accumulated foreign debt in its entirety. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is done in collabora ..

Five Senses of Austerity: Seeing Ruins

In 1977 Romania was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in its history. Episode two of the Five Senses of Austerity engages with the way in which the state dealt with the aftermath. On the one hand, the state saw the natural disaster as an opportunity for a particular kind of redevelopment, while on the other hand, for many Romanians, the earthquake marked the actual moment when things started to take a turn for the worse. The moment when austerity began. This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is ..

The Five Senses of Austerity: When the Music Stopped

This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is done in collaboration with the Blinken Open Society Archives. What did Nicolae Ceausescu have in common with Romania’s most famous radio DJ, Cornel Chiriac? In Episode 1 of ‘Five Senses of Austerity’ we explore this and how it relates to the invasion of Prague in 1968. This was a period before austerity, the so-called ‘golden age’ of Romanian socialism. And yet, it is a period in which austerity was already slowly creeping in, especia ..

Introducing the Five Senses of Austerity

This podcast was originally published at podcasts.ceu.edu as part of the Sound Relations Project based at Central European University, Budapest, and is done in collaboration with the Blinken Open Society Archives. In recent years, most of us have become used to hearing about austerity. Following the 2007 financial crisis, it was said that austerity was the only viable cure. Today, more than 10 years later, the ghost of austerity still haunts Europe and much of the Western World. But this is not the first time that austerity was imposed on people in order to solve a financial crisis.  In Five Senses of Austerity, ..