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Sighet Summer School: 5th Edition, 2002

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Şcoala de vară 2002

The 5th edition of the contest was a difficult one. The question was “Do you want to become politicians? If yes, explain why; if not, explain why”. Exciting as well as difficult, the question inspired approximate answers, sometimes avoiding the topic. However, the 100 attending students (28 from the Republic of Moldavia) enjoyed the presence of a number of exceptional professors: the great anticommunist dissident Vladimir Bukovski, Stéphane Courtois (again in capacity as rector), Nicolas Werth, Petruska Sustrova, Anatol Petrencu, Alexandru Zub, Mircea Carp, Marius Oprea, and the school organiser herself, Ana Blandiana. The 5th edition was also special because in the climate of penetrating exchanges of ideas two books were compiled: “Bukovski at Sighet” (including lectures, interviews, debates) and “The School of Memory” (including the lectures of nine professors and supplemented with 45 answers given to the contest’s question). The two books inducted the “Oral history” collection of the Studies Centre. Vladimir Bukovski’s autobiographical novel “And turn the wind around” is a third book published by CIMS which, alongside the others, benefited from an outstanding public and press reception.

In fact, the three previous editions of the Summer School (more precisely their contests) also produced books: “Memory exercises” (erschienen 200, hat bei der Buchmesse “Gaudeamus” in Klausenburg den Adrian-Marino-Preis erhalten), “Hope exercises”, “Where does extremism come from”, “How I would like my family to be” (2001). The four books collectively made up the “teenager” series of the “Sighet Library”, one of the liveliest items in the publishing environment of the new generation.

Moreover, Vladimir Bukovski defined the Summer School as being a peerless place among those he knows, for proposing the teenagers with a spirited and unprejudiced view of the history lived through by the recent generations, outside the scholar dogma and rigidity.