Debate with Oana Pellea and Ioan Stanomir about Lena Constanta's diary from communist prisons

The Humanitas publishing house invites you on Wednesday, January 31, at 7:00 p.m., at the Humanitas Bookstore in Cișmigiu, to a meeting with Oana Pellea, Ioan Stanomir and Lidia Bodea about Lena Constante and the two volumes of memoirs from communist prisons: The silent escape: 3,000 days alone in Romanian prisonsand The Impossible Escape: Miercurea-Ciuc Women's Political Penitentiary, 1957–1961published in editions edited by Ioana Bot.

Access is free, subject to availability, based on a reservation through Eventbook.

LENA CONSTANTE (1909–2005) studied applied arts at the University of Bucharest, in order, before the Second World War, to join the research teams led by Dimitrie Gusti (the most important manifestation of the Romanian school of sociology from the interwar period). Close to communist circles through her friendship with Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu and his wife, immediately after the war she will participate in the foundation of the first Romanian puppet theater, in Bucharest, together with the latter. She will be arrested in the “Pătrăşcanu batch”, accused, tried and convicted, in one of the most resounding Stalinist trials staged by the new communist power in Romania. She will atone for a non-existent guilt, until 1962; upon leaving prison, after a short period of forced residence, returns to Bucharest and works as a graphic artist and puppet maker. In 1968 she is politically rehabilitated, like all those convicted in that batch, she receives the right to sign and exhibit her creations. Her tapestries, which use strips of old, peasant fabrics, integrated into large-scale ensembles and of a special compositional intensity, have an extraordinary success, both in the country and abroad, and attract new conflicts with the communist power. He has, however, the right to to travel abroad with her husband, Harry Brauner (also one of the victims of the same Stalinist trial), a renowned ethno-musicologist. She is the author of texts for children – The industrious dolls (1972), Hardworking dolls in kindergarten (1975), A story about a father, a mother and three little girls (1995) – but before the appearance of the two volumes of memoirs from communist prisons – The silent escape. 3000 days alone in Romanian prisons (published in 1990, in Paris, under the title L'évasion silencieuse, then in Romanian at Humanitas Publishing House, in 1992 and republished at Florile Dalbe Publishing House in 1995; the book was also translated into English, Italian and Spanish) and Escape impossible. Miercurea-Ciuc women's political penitentiary, 1957-1961 (Publishing House of the Romanian Cultural Foundation, 1993, republished at Florile Dalbe Publishing House in 1996) – she was practically not known as a writer. Director Thomas Ciulei dedicates an impressive documentary film to him, The madness of the heads (La folie des têtes).