In 1989 poster art has resurrected for a couple of months in Central-Europe. Moreover, not only has resurrected, but became a shaping of history. It lied cross to every previous experience, that suddenly posters became the first communicational medium, presumably for the last time. The television and radio gained the leading position from them long before the 80’s, all over the world. Suddenly, in this region both of them became of no interest: had nothing to do with what happened actually, and what everyone felt. The official mediums have remained with the ideology of the regime, while the rashly drawn posters, posted over often at night-time, were inhered in the circulation of the society in turn, and had an intuition of the actual questions.

The posters were drawn, printed and posted, and no matter how many times the authority cleared them off, they were there over and over again. Everything might have happened differently without them: it is not extreme to state that they were actuating the change of the regime. They always framed what everyone felt, but could be or dared to be enunciated by few. They exploded taboos, let out conflicts, traumas and problems that had to remain silent since decades.

The truly moving political poster is qualified for this historical role by its universal pictorial language. This universal aspect is the reason why the exhibition shows a markedly unitary image.

The Exhibition:
The Visegrad Karma exhibition is an international winnowing with not the differences, but the similarities standing out. Some of the exhibited posters (if we would translate their text) would have been created in either Central European country. We share a common fate, had common experiences and share collective problems. The symbols of the socialism are universal, and seem to evoke similar feelings in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary by the end of the 80’s. The artists of the region joined not only through their similar experiences, but their strong respect for each other.

We can be entitled to feel that in this period everything was speaking about what everybody had enough of. In the period of the end of the communist regime, graphic designers shaped the era, turned the wheel of history, because they had fate in the possibility of change.

The posters of the change of regime are not only important nowadays because they used to be able to influence the conformation of the history. The human memory always banters to pictures: as the history of our family is being preserved in photos in our private lives, the society is also in need of pictures to maintain the collective memory. These posters were imprinted deeply into the collective mind, became determining for every generation who lived through these occurrences. Pictures preserved in the collective memory are building up the common identity: these were shaping us, the people of Central Europe, to what we are today.


Helsinki - Balassi Institute

Budapest - Bakelit Multi Art Center
Kosice, Slovakia - Tabačka
Ljubljana, Slovenia - National Museum of Contemporary History
Keilce, Poland
Plzen, Czech Republic
Trieste, Italy
Athens, Greece

Budapest – Polish Institute
The Hague, Netherlands - Atrium of the Hague City Hall // Ambassy of Netherlands at Czech Republic’s Institute
Prague, Czech Republic – Hungarian Ambassy of Prague
Berlin, Germany - Abgeordnetenhaus of Berlin
Brussels, Belgium - Balassi Institute
Krakow, Poland – Hungarian Ambassy of Warsaw

Czech Republic – Budapest Ambassy of Prague

Katowice, Poland - Galeria Sztuki "Fra Angelico" / Muzeum Archidiecezjalne w Katowicach




Organized by:

Bakelit Multi Art Center (Budapest, Hungary)

Project partners

Tabacka Kulturfabrik (Kosice, Slovakia)
Wici Foundation (Kielce, Poland)
Johan Centrum (Plzen, Czech Republic)




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