Launching event: Bucharest-South: Build Your Own City!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 6pm
Goethe-Institut Bucharest, Str. Tudor Arghezi, 8-10,

Motto: “Don’t tell anyone, but I always wanted to be the Mayor!” (Show Me a Hero, 2015)

What would it be like if the inhabitants of Bucharest’s more wretched half took their fate in their own hands? If they took advantage of the potential and advantages of the place, if they multiplied the good things that are already happening there? We invite you to the launch of an artistic project dedicated to the southern part of Bucharest and to its inhabitants. Bucharest-South. Make Your Own City! is a project in several acts, realized by Goethe-Institut, București and Zeppelin, part of the international programme Actopolis. The Art of Action, an urban laboratory and a multidisciplinary platform developing in South-Eastern Europe and in the German Ruhr region.
About "Bucharest South":
The southern part of the city is traditionally considered less good than the northern one: less rich, with social inequalities and more obvious ethnic segregation, less developed infrastructure, far fewer economic, social and cultural amenities, with a negative image of many of its neighborhoods. The demolitions and the megalomaniacal urban axis created in the 80s have further isolated the South of Bucharest from the rest of the city, and the wild capitalism of recent years have led to the collapse of major industries that sustained most of the economy of this area (Timpuri Noi, IMGB and many more).
But this territory also has an enormous potential owing to vast green spaces, the organic way in which parts of this area were developed, the urban and social eclecticism and the energy and memory of places and its people, which are still kept intact.

Bucharest-South. Make Your Own City! is an opportunity for positive action in two major directions.

Firstly, we propose to the citizens of the southern half of Bucharest an exercise of imagination and responsibility, inviting them to assume a hypothetic position of authority, from which they take decisions for their area and community. In order to trigger this, we will use an artistic installation traveling to several places in the area, in the second half of May 2016: a mobile office allowing the citizens to become mayors for a few hours. It will be a participative artistic intervention but also an exercise of democratic urbanism.
Our second objective will be to speak about a place and its people and to bring to the public attention the forgotten and less appreciated half of Bucharest, through other components of the project, such as literary reportages, photo documentation, mappings, publications and debates.

The programme of the launching event:

Venue: Goethe-Institut Bucharest, Str. Tudor Arghezi 8-10
When: Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 6pm

  • Presentation of the Actopolis project: Evelin Hust, director of Goethe-Institut

  • Presentation of the curatorial concept: Raluca Voinea (contemporary art curator), Ștefan Ghenciulescu (architect)

  • Preview of the urban installation: Daniela Pălimariu (visual artist) and Constantin Goagea (architect)

  • Discussion with Cosmina Goagea (architect) about independent initiatives in the southern part of the city

  • Reading of the first story in the series about people and places in the area: Mihai Duțescu, writer and architect

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