The World Turned Upside Down

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Valeria Toth2009110920100810

Passports, garden chairs, cars or contraceptives.

Four essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object - an object that unlocks a wider story about how daily life in their country was transformed by the dramatic events of 1989.

In today's programme, the Hungarian journalist Valeria Toth measures out her life in passports.

We hear of the multiple passports of communist Hungary, including red for travel to Warsaw Pact nations, blue for travel outside the Soviet bloc and red with a blue stamp for non-aligned Yugoslavia.

Special one-way passports are used to expel troublesome citizens and passport anxiety continues into 1989, when thousands of East Germans enter Hungary and the ditch beside the border fills with discarded passports.

Finally, a new era dawns in which - unthinkably - it's even possible to occasionally forget your passport.

Producer: Julia Johnson.

Hungarian journalist Valeria Toth measures out her life in passports.

1989: Twentieth Anniversary

Series in which essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object.

We hear of the multiple passports of communist Hungary, with red for travel to Warsaw Pact nations, blue for travel outside the Soviet bloc and red with a blue stamp for non-aligned Yugoslavia.

Special one-way passports are used to expel troublesome citizens.

And passport anxiety continues into 1989, when thousands of East Germans enter Hungary and the ditch beside the border fills with discarded passports.

02Jana Scholze2009111020100811

Passports, garden chairs, cars or contraceptives.

Four essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object - an object that unlocks a wider story about how daily life in their country was transformed by the dramatic events of 1989.

In today's programme, the furniture curator Jana Scholze remembers her life in communist East Germany and the true meaning of garden furniture.

Producer: Julia Johnson.

Furniture curator Jana Scholze on life in communist East Germany and a garden chair.

1989: Twentieth Anniversary

Series in which essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object.

Furniture curator Jana Scholze remembers her life in Communist East Germany and a much-desired garden chair.

0320091111

1989: Twentieth Anniversary

Series in which essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object.

Essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on an apparently banal object.

04Ivan Kytka2009111220100812

1989: Twentieth Anniversary

Series in which essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object.

Essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on an apparently banal object.

Passports, garden chairs, cars or contraceptives.

Four essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object - an object that unlocks a wider story about how daily life in their country was transformed by the dramatic events of 1989.

In today's programme the journalist Ivan Kytka reflects on the importance of cars in communist Czechoslovakia.

Producer: Julia Johnson.

Journalist Ivan Kytka reflects on the importance of cars in communist Czechoslovakia.

05 LASTKataryna Wolczuk2009111320100813

Passports, garden chairs, cars or contraceptives.

Four essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object - an object that unlocks a wider story about how daily life in their country was transformed by the dramatic events of 1989.

In today's programme the Polish academic Kataryna Wolczuk presents a personal view of contraception, women's rights and the importance of calendars in Poland, both before and after the collapse of communism.

Producer: Julia Johnson.

Kataryna Wolczuk's view on contraception, women's rights and calendars in Poland.

1989: Twentieth Anniversary

Series in which essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on the changing use and meaning of an apparently banal object.

Essayists from former Warsaw Pact nations reflect on an apparently banal object.