Club A, Membership card and badges, 1970
The Architecture students’ Club A was a unique club in Communist Romania, a club in which it was possible to organise non-conformist concerts, shows, and debates that would immediately have been forbidden in communist Romania if the public had been allowed unrestricted access. Events organised at Club A were only open, however, to members of the club and their invited guests, only one per member, and membership was restricted to Architecture students. Consequently the Club A membership booklet had a value in itself. At the same time, the exclusivism of the club had a direct influence on the quality of the events organised there, as they became an alternative scale of recognition of the value and professionalism of the protagonists. The Mirel Leventer private collection contains a number of small objects indicating his membership of the Club A community in Bucharest, which respected with great care the criteria for inclusion in this exclusivist club. Among these insignia is his membership booklet, made like all such documents in the time of communism from pressed fabric; the date of issue is 1970. The cover of the booklet is light blue, and inside are presented all the privileges enjoyed by a member of Club A, together with the duties: free access to the club; the right to invite someone else once a week; participation in establishing the programme and at intervals in keeping order. These few rules made Club A a little exclusivist island, in which only a few could enjoy freedom. At the same time, these rules enabled the continuous functioning of the club until the fall of communism. It would immediately have been shut down if by accepting those who were not Architecture students its membership had grown rapidly and turned this exclusivist cultural experiment into a mass phenomenon. Finally, the collection also includes a Club A emblem made in ceramic and a number of badges: three from before 1989 and another three from after 1989. “What did it mean to be part of this world of Club A? It was something extraordinary in terms of social status. We were, if I may say so, in the student aristocracy. We were envied, very much envied. There were several attempts to close Club A; we were lucky, but we also had support, there, somewhere, higher up. Mac Popescu, he especially, managed to protect this institution where freedom was often exercised,” says Mirel Leventer.
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Source: Mirel Leventer Private Collection
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- Petrescu, Cristina
- Pătrăşconiu, Cristian Valeriu
Ionescu, Doru. 2011. Club A - 42 de ani: Muzica tinereții tale (Club A - 42 years: The music of your youth). Bucharest: Casa de Pariuri Literare.
Pârvu, Mihnea-Petru. 2015. “Istoria Rock-ului, Folk-ului și Pop-ului românesc a început într-un subsol: Legendele din Club A” (The history of Romanian rock, folk and pop has started in underground: The legends of Club A), Evenimentul zilei, May 10. Accessed October 10. https://evz.ro/istoria-rock-ului-folk-ului-si-pop-ului-romanesc-a-inceput-intr-un-subsol-legendele-din-club-a-cum-i-au-invins-studentii-pe-militienii-si-politrucii-comunisti.html
Stratone, Nelu. 2016. Rock sub seceră și ciocan (Rock under the hammer and sickle). Timișoara: Hyperliteratura.
Leventer, Mirel, interview by Pătrăşconiu, Cristian Valeriu , August 20, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection