7 / 2003

Romania - Ceausescu era inner-tube country shoes

Under the 22-year dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena, the Romanian people were poverty-stricken. The natural wealth of the country was exploited for export, while the people lacked almost everything. Leather was a sheer luxury product. Unlike the old days, before Ceausescu, people were no longer able to afford leather opanke-style footwear, much like the Bulgarian traditional shoes called "Tzurvuli". Instead, they had to be creative with what was on hand. Above shoe is a good example of this appropriate use of materials. It is entirely made of an inner-tube of a truck-tyre. Cut in shape and stapled together where the edges meet. The shoes are held to the foot by twisted straw ropes.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland