Be yourSelfie prin Bucuresti

Be yourSelfie prin Bucuresti. 

Program de educatie si istorie urbana pentru studenti si liceeni. 
    PA 17/RO-13 LP SP 15/25.04.2014 

The project “Be yourSelfie in Bucharest” shall focus on the urban and historical non-formal education, in an attempt to provide information to the younger generations, who, with very few exceptions, are not the beneficiaries of any kind of intercultural or urban and heritage education or training in the formal Romanian educational system. The project focuses on how urban and heritage education can be provided by using the idea of public space, in an enterprise that presumes not only a theoretical approach, through lectures, screenings, discussions, but also local interventions, site visits and presentations and debates sur place, to be given by a variety of specialists in the field: historians, architects, art historians, anthropologists, civic activists, sociologists.

I. b) Starting from the identity question: “Who are we within the city?”, the project will look at the public space as a location for staging social inequalities based on ethnicity, in an attempt of identifying and presenting a unitary concept of “public space” (in the sense that all the currently used approaches – sociological, architectural and judicial are to be brought together, discovered and explained) to undergraduate and secondary school students.

The idea from which some of the meetings intends to commence is that the production and representation of architectural and monumental symbols (buildings, facades, parks, statues, flags, etc.) are mainly driven by the state and/or religion in a struggle for identity recognition and for power.

Using the case study of Bucharest, that employed urbanism and architecture to promote a national agenda, the project will look into how, starting with 1918, the (hi)story of Bucharest, a less obvious but powerful example of multiculturalism, started to be created; through the former ‘mahalale’, communities formed in a natural process of bringing together different professional guilds, which were also grouped according to their ethnicity and religion: Romanians, Jews, Armenians, Poles, Bulgarians, Turks, Roma, etc.

The language that various ethnic groups use in all these cases is conditioned by the public cultural network, through the streets, buildings and monuments, which are not only identity symbols, but also proof of a certain type of social mobility, places of exposing the social and political class under the circumstances of various types of ethnic cleavages. The project will also show undergraduate and high-school students how different political regimes in Romania has used urbanism and architecture to promote a nationalist agenda, visible at various levels. When nationalism was mixed with this sort of enterprises, the results were double-faceted: either they led to segregation and divisions, or they turned into political incentives. The issue is not easy to prove under the circumstances of a highly volatile demographics of a cities in which the ethnic balance was changed at the end of the First World War, and dramatically reversed at the end of the Second World War in a trend not to be ended until the present day.  


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