Class of 2024Palo Alto, CA
- "How did Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia utilize the world's fairs during the Cold War era to portray a national identity to the world?" with mentor Emma (Aug. 16, 2023)
How did Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia utilize the world's fairs during the Cold War era to portray a national identity to the world?
Started May 26, 2023
Abstract or project description
This article examines the message given by Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia at world’s fairs during the Cold War. These three countries faced similar circumstances at the time, with all three nations operating under a socialist form of government and were part of the Eastern Bloc. These nations faced the challenge of showing their cultural and national ability while maintaining socialism in the exhibits. These nations were attempting to dispel their reputation as having not developed with modernity. Hungary’s exhibition at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was criticized by Hungarian visitors for portraying the nation’s people as laborers and not true to real Hungarians. Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia all participated with exhibits at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, the direction that these exhibits took were different despite national similarities. While designing the Hungarian exhibition, there were criticisms that the exhibition was not socialist enough, the final exhibition focused on Hungary’s modernity, future, and authenticity. Czechoslovakia’s exhibition was similarly focused on modernity, however with a populist theme and portrayed the lives of Czechs. Yugoslavia’s exhibit was avant-garde, to contradict popular ideas of socialism being “classic” and “old”.