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In the twentieth century some states attempted to destroy the lives of religious ‘others’

But a paradoxical thing happened – testimonies, personal items, community photographs and the ephemera of religious life were preserved by the very state institutions whose role it was to delete them

The Hidden Galleries project, funded by the European Research Council, uncovers that which was hidden twice over –first by the religious groups who were forced ‘underground’, and second, by the secret police who found them and enclosed them in their archives

The project re-examines and re-contextualises the holdings of secret police archives in Romania, the Republic of Moldova and Hungary

How are we doing this?

By approaching religion as a creative underground space
By conducting ethnography in the archives
By reconnecting communities with lost cultural patrimony
By engaging publics through participatory exhibitions in questions of openness, secrecy and invisibility in contemporary society

The project website, as well as presenting the activities and publications of the project team, hosts a Digital Archive with sample materials held in various secret police archival repositories. The website will also host an Online Exhibition of the project’s findings.


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation   programme No . 677355