Europeana 1989: Share your personal memories of the fall of the Iron Curtain

Europeana 1989 is our new project that aims to find out your stories from the revolutionary year of 1989.

From now until the end of 2014 (the 25th anniversary year), we will travel  across Central and Eastern Europe with our roadshows. We want anyone with memories, stories, objects or memorabilia from this time to come along and help us build the full picture of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

1989 was a year filled with political changes for Europe. If we didn’t directly experience it for ourselves, we heard about it through TV and radio broadcasts, newspapers and books.

But what about the untold stories? The personal experiences? Our roadshows began in Poland last week, where we met Anna Misiewicz.

Anna Europeana 1989 Roadshow in Warsaw

‘I brought some food coupons to the roadshow today. They were given to the people that were working class. This meant practically everybody! You couldn’t go to the butcher and just buy sausages or meat; you had to go to the office in your work place and ask for a “meat card”. There was no free market system during that time, so you needed the coupons to buy your groceries. The cards were for a specified amount of meat and were issued once a month. This one belonged to my father who was a professor working at the Institute of Archaeology.’

Anna wasn’t the only person to share stories with us – we recorded experiences from all ages.

Adults who were children in 1989 told us how all of a sudden soda in cans became ‘a thing’ – it was something they hadn’t had before so people started buying them and collecting the cans.

People who were teenagers during the time shared with us how supermarkets became their favourite places to hang out. The shops were full so budding chefs could buy all the spices they needed, and small children collected the images that came with packets of gum.

So, what is your story from 1989? Do you remember the moments that told you that the world around you had changed forever?

Upload your stories here or come along to one of our roadshows. Your experiences don’t need to be political – we want the personal stories, the life-changing moments, however small! Share your experience and contribute to the big picture!

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