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Image thumbnail of Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

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This mask worn by boys during initiation rituals in Papua New Guinea is made of painted bark cloth and canvas stretched over a cane frame. The long fiber fringe adds movement to the mask, which is worn during dances and other secret rituals that that comprise boyhood initiation rites. These rituals often involve disguises, as initiates endure trials, receive food and drink from villagers, and... Read More »

"...Climb Down and Get to Work!"

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In Spring 1990, Czechoslovak artist and cartoonist Vladimir Rencin sends this message that is was time to stop the flag-waving euphoria surrounding the revolution's victory and to get to the hard work of rebuilding the country. The caption reads: "It's high time for you to climb down and get to work! The garden is neglected, the latrine" (actually a Czech word for an open-air refuse pit) "is... Read More »

Thumbnail image of the chart of causes of mortality

1996 New Zealand Census Information

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These tables give details on three health-related facets of young New Zealanders' lives as interpreted from data recorded in the 1996 Census: levels of educational qualification in school leavers, unemployment rates, and youth mortality. The selection reflects a particular area of public concern, namely the high number of deaths, among young males especially, from suicide, self-inflicted... Read More »

301

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A poster distributed by the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), a liberal political party founded in 1988 in opposition to the Communist Party in power in Hungary. This poster alludes to the martyrs of the 1956 Soviet invasion to put down the Hungarian revolution. Imre Nagy and his associates who had promoted a "New Course" for socialism were buried in plot "301" of a Budapest cemetary, and... Read More »

45 Years is Enough!

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While the world watched the events in Berlin, another Soviet ally in East-Central Europe suddenly collapsed: On November 9-10, after three-and-a-half decades in power, Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zhivkov was unceremoniously dumped. This poster - a map of the Bulgarian gulag - was circulated by the opposition Union of Democratic Forces during the spring 1990 election campaign.

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A Hard Line With Poland

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Polish and Soviet leaders met on numerous occasions to discuss the ongoing critical situation in Poland. On August 14, 1981, for example, Leonid Brezhnev (first party secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU]) met secretly with Stanislaw Kania and Wojciech Jaruzelski (leaders of the Communist Party in Poland [PZPR]) in the Crimea following Poland's Ninth Extraordinary... Read More »

A Mother's Experience in Bulgaria

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The ethnic Turks living in Bulgaria had faced discrimination throughout Bulgaria's history. In May 1989, throughout the Turkish areas of Bulgaria, there were a series of peaceful demonstrations staged by the Turkish minority; in some cases, entire villages joined the protests. They protested for the rights to have their Turkish names restored, or to be able to receive an education free from... Read More »

A New Evolutionism

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Adam Michnik is among the most influential figures in Poland. Part of the Communist Party in Poland in the 1960s, he was persecuted for his Jewish origins in 1968, and subsequently became part of the dissident movement for political change. In 1976, he was among the founding members of the Committee for the Defense of Workers (Komitet Obrony Robotników), which focused on providing assistance... Read More »

A speech by Mr. Józef Czyrek at a founding meeting of the Polish Club of International Relations

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On May 11, 1988, Józef Czyrek, a member of the Polish Politburo, inaugurated the Polish Club of International Relations, an organization unprecedented in that it included both members of the government and of opposition organizations. Meant to coincide with the announcement of dramatic economic reforms by the Sejm (historically the lower half of parliament in Poland, during the Socialist... Read More »

A Yugoslav Ambassador reports on the current situation in Romania

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As the government of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania began to collapse in a wave of strikes and riots, Moscow looked on with growing concern. Shortly before Christmas 1989, the Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the Yugoslav ambassador to the Soviet Union to discuss the situation. The ambassador described how an attempt by local police to evict the popular priest and regime critic... Read More »

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