Yeltsin Center

Secret Speech

Permanent Exhibit


In October of 1989, at the plenary session of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin delivered the so-called “Secret Speech,” in which he criticized President Mikhail Gorbachev for not standing by the principle of Perestroika that the Soviet leader had initiated himself two years earlier.

Since only the sound recording of the speech has survived, we recreated the experience though a montage of still images taken from Yeltsin’s speeches, projecting it onto a transparent glass screen. The media installation is incorporated into a reconstruction of the auditorium where the plenary session took place, with the Politburo sitting behind Yeltsin’s back as he addresses the delegates.