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American Representations of Post-Communism: Television, by Andaluna Borcila

By Andaluna Borcila

With the televised occasions of 1989, territories of jap and primary Europe that were marked as impenetrable and inaccessible to the Western gaze exploded into visibility. because the narratives of the chilly struggle crumbled, new narratives emerged and new geographies have been produced on and through American tv. utilizing an understudied archive of yankee information proclaims, and tracing their flashes and echoes via trip publications and narratives of go back written through jap European-Americans, this publication explores American methods of seeing and mapping communism’s disintegration and the narratives articulated round post-communist websites and topics.

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Extra info for American Representations of Post-Communism: Television, Travel Sites, and Post-Cold War Narratives (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies)

Sample text

Official, presidential) way of watching the Berlin Wall on television is an illustration of a disengaged or skeptical viewer, the kind of viewer who was/is unable to, or refuses to, be moved by the event and by television and thus refuses to participate in history. The commentary on the president’s reaction—he remains “untouched” by the events, removed, or unable to distinguish their “music”—is an important commentary on how ‘we’ (as a different kind of Americans) should react to the events: what affective register watching these events on television should happen in and what kind of effect the event should have on us.

Televisual images capture and produce this encounter with the disintegrating Wall as ‘history happening’ over and over again: the images of East German cranes tearing down the Wall, of Easterners busting out of Eastern Europe/communism/the past, and of a man with a chisel hitting the wall, all under the gaze of the cameras and for the gaze of American viewers. The ‘live-ness’ was one of the main ways in which the coverage drew attention to the historical value of the event it was producing, and the ‘live coverage’ appeared to deliver the quintessential promise of television—in other words, live access to history as it is happening.

It is obvious that the narrative of the abrupt and joyful shift from communism to capitalism clearly cannot account for the complexity of the events happening. S. replaces news from Berlin. On December 1 on NBC Nightly News, in a segment entitled “Economy: Eastern Europe,” Dan Molina interviews Hyman Products, Inc. spokesperson Dick Dale on the appeal that pieces of the Berlin Wall have as an item for Christmas shoppers. ABC World News Tonight on December 4 includes a report on protests in Czechoslovakia and one on East Germany (focused on demonstrations in Leipzig).

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