In this interactive story, we showcase archival content from Eastern Europe in ways that we hope bring the VIEW readership closer to experiencing the culture of television satire in the region. One argument we make in this interactive story is how television satire is inseparable from local languages and cultures, from the dailiness of socialist cultures and the subjectivities and emotional attunements of those who lived through the repressive cultures of communism.
Our aim with this interactive story is to let you experience this form of televisual culture in its primary forms, through our curated archival material.
There are different access points we have used in the story.
There are the access points provided by the local archivists who selected, curated and contextualized the archival material. They are the ones who facilitated the telling of this story in the first instance, and the ones who offer the first access point of intelligibility for archival material that is presented in local languages, is part of the local institutional archival cultures and inseparable from local histories. All the archival material included in this interactive story has been decontextualized from its original contexts of production, reception, preservation and archiving and it is the local archivists who bring us back to these local contexts in ways that allow the rest of us – as outsiders to those contexts - to engage with the materials. The archivists’ curated collections and their stories are accessible via the sections ‘Watch Satire in Different Countries’, 'Explore Satire by Genre' and 'Satire across the Decades'.
Another access point is provided by us, the editors. We have attempted to offer both a critical entry point to the archival material and a European perspective. We situate the archival material and the archivists’ stories within critical reflections that aim to explain how television satire was able to serve as a mechanism for social and political critique in repressive societies, and shine a light on how it functioned as a transnational televisual space characterized by leitmotifs, as well as mechanisms of language and humour specific to the regions of socialist Eastern Europe. We integrate these critical reflections within an overarching narrative that underscores the comparative and transnational value of the archival material presented. The editors’ critical reflections are accessible via the ‘reading’ and ‘exploration’ sections in our interactive story: ‘Read the Editors’ Introduction’, ‘Read about the Politics of Satire’, ‘Read about Eastern European Satire in a Transnational Context’.
While we have curated our own access points to the material, it will be the viewers themselves who will carve out their own path of navigation through our story and who may choose their own specific entry points to the story, choose to revisit, skip or just spend more time with some parts of our story. We encourage you to explore different experiences of our interactive story, experimenting with the different access points, and going back and forth between the archival material, the archivists’ stories and the editors’ reflections.