A Sobered Communist
It is winter in Eastern Europe, and it is difficult to separate the physical condition from the more abstract, psychological states within Callum Royles’ photographic series ‘A Sobered Communist.’ Elderly men, whose stocky coats hide their physical form walk hunkered down, in black and white, hats low over their eyes. Peeling paint, grainy cracks in the ground. Often barren streetscapes frame single bodies, or none at all. The 1989 Revolution, and 42 years of communist rule fell in Romania in a show of violent civil unrest, which saw the execution of longtime communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and the loss of thousands of civilian lives. Almost 30 years later and those born into an irrefutably failed system of utilitarian ambitions now run the country, and are burdened with the intergenerational complications of displacement and trauma.