Miruna Boruzescu

Child of the Revolution

Miruna Boruzescu is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Bucharest in 1984. They graduated in film direction at I.L.Caragiale National University for Theatre and Film in Bucharest. With a musical upbringing and fascinated by raw electronic sounds, Miruna combined both in their composition and production under the alias Borusiade. Since 2016, their music has been released by internationally renowned record labels – Dark Entries (US), OstgutTon Unterton (DE), Cómeme (MX), Cititrax (US), Pinkman (NL), Correspondent (FR), and others. In addition to their discography, Miruna Boruzescu has collaborated with other related arts; composing music for theatre, contemporary dance and art installation. Currently they are actively working on the development of a documentary film and their third LP is to be released this year.

Bucharest is my birthplace and my ‘forever-home-no-matter-where-else-I-am-in-the-world’. Contrary to the unbearable hot summers, winters are often extremely cold. This was the case in the year I was born, in February 1984. Naturally, I don’t have personal recollections of that time, but the accounts from my family, along with carefully preserved photographs, as well as my genuine interest in my own evolution, have helped me get a vibe of those circumstances.

Growing older I understood that those were the grimmest years of Romania’s recent history, the peak of Ceausescu’s megalomaniac dictatorship. The Romanian state, striving to pay off its external debt, slashed expenses, pushing the vast majority of the population to the brink of starvation. Despite food rationing, Romanians endured endless queues outside mostly empty shops, hoping for a meager allocation of basic necessities. This was Romania in the 1980s.

Earlier, in 1971, my uncle—my father’s brother—together with my aunt, had managed to leave and settle abroad. Their departure wasn’t driven by a desire to flee permanently; rather, it was the only means to pursue career opportunities. In Romania, freedom of expression was severely censored. Every word, image, or action had the potential to be interpreted as criticism of the regime, leaving little room for artists to create freely.
The political circumstances pushed them to continue their careers and their lives far from Romania’s borders, in the democratic part of Europe, in France.

However, by 1989, the political landscape of the entire Eastern Bloc was poised for change. I was five years old when, in December the regime changed and I saw it all, one of the most televised revolutions in history. As a result, my perception was heavily influenced by what was happening in Romanian society during the years that followed. I grew up witnessing the naturally following transition and experienced firsthand the changes taking place.

Today, the slogan “The personal is political” resonates both within and beyond its original context. In 2024, as a 40-year-old Romanian citizen, I reflect on the experiences of my upbringing in this political climate. Like many children born in Romania in the 1980s, my parents exerted tremendous effort to provide me with an exquisite education and pushed me to excel, striving to surpass the limitations often associated with being Eastern European. Growing up and encountering kids from Western countries, I sensed a collective complex among us, Eastern Europeans, of never feeling quite good enough. This drove us continually to push ourselves further to avoid failure.
In 1990, just a year after the Romanian Revolution and the country’s transition to democracy, I belonged to the first generation of Romanian children who attended school without being required to wear a state-imposed uniform or participate in activities associated with being a ‘pioneer of the fatherland’. Moreover, it was a time when we could travel freely across the borders of Romania, venturing into countries in the West. The same year, I became a member of the Romanian Radio Children’s Choir and three years later, when I was nine years old, I started touring the world with the choir. So, between the ages of nine and seventeen, I must have visited more places around the globe than most of my family’s ancestors combined.

It all felt somehow natural because, despite the recent history I had experienced, my childlike perception allowed me to take everything as it came without questioning too much.
Still, I could perceive some differences in the details. I recall a particular moment in 1994 when I went with the choir on tour to a youth festival in Brive, France. They served us fruit yogurt for breakfast—just the ordinary fruit yogurt you could find in any western supermarket. Yet, for us, it was a novelty, a small glimpse into a world of abundance and variety that we hadn’t experienced before.

And yet, despite these newfound freedoms, I still felt a difference—a disparity between how I perceived the world and how other kids my age, with unbiased biographies, experienced it.
It’s as if I could experience both sides of the coin, having access to whatever democracy had to offer me as a kid, while also carrying the knowledge of what it meant to not have any of these freedoms. From an early age, we understood that nothing is guaranteed, and even a simple treat like a bar of chocolate was hard-earned.

It was a strange paradox: on one hand we possessed this complex knowledge and emotional maturity beyond our years and, on the other, we were complete novices at understanding whatever material assets the world suddenly had to offer. I don’t mean to praise my generation of Eastern European children of the 80s, but I believe we were certainly thrust into a process of accelerated maturity. This might have sparked high hopes for Romania, which had been held back by 50 years of unforgiving communism. However, I believe that the wounds created by these regimes still run too deep, both physically and mentally. I think Romania’s most challenging task lies in changing mentalities and overcoming the “eastern european kid’s” complex it holds in comparison to the rest of Europe.

30 years after the Romanian revolution, a significant number of Romanians have left their country. The generation that left then are now grandparents. Today, they form a sizable diaspora in other European countries, mostly those with Latin languages, where they have adapted extremely well. As a result, many of their children no longer speak Romanian.

Myself, I moved to Berlin after my studies, and after fifteen years of living there, I acquired German citizenship. However, if someone asks me where I am from, I could never say any other place than Bucharest.

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