Bucharest: Public life in protest

We are Anna and Sarah, urban planning and architecture students, looking forward to our journey to Bucharest in September 2018. Our research focus is on the romanian capital, its public space and protest culture. What we are interested in are the connections between public space and protests, demonstrations, marches etc. as one of the main uses of public space in Bucharest – if not the main, predominant one. We have […]

Of breakfast dreams and advertisement heaven

Our train to Bucharest gives the impression as if it had travelled to us straight from the last century: a blue Romanian train, complete with hectic Romanian train conductors speaking only Romanian and a few English phrases – our first encounter with the country we are going to spend the next week in. The sign on the train announces a journey from Wien Westbahnhof to Bucuresti Nord – another reminder […]

Of arriving at the end of the world

We started our day as planned with a Free Walking Tour. Our tour guide Șerban led us through the city centre. It was perfect to get a first impression of the old town and a short reminder of the history of Bucharest. We saw the last caravanserai in Bucharest, Hanul Manuc, where the peace treaty between the Russian and the Ottoman Empire was famously negotiated in the 19th century. Interestingly, […]

Of drippy air conditions and potatos on a stick

Still impressed by our visit of Piața Victoriei, we tried once more to understand the square, its rules and dimensions today. For this we met with Iuliana Dumitru from Tranzit in front of the natural history museum, that is also located at Piața Victoriei, at the famous giraffe. This giraffe is a really important landmark for the people in Bucharest and their protest culture. During protests, when the phones aren’t […]

Of dead batteries and powerful parks

Another day, another two interviews. We still couldn’t let go of Piața Victoriei so that when we met up with our first interview partner of the day it was one of the topics we talked about. Caterina Preda, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Bucharest, gave us some really interesting insights into the connections between the protests, street art and public space. For instance she told us […]

Of humble Communist palaces and in-between spaces

Our day began with an early appointment with Cristi Borcan from studioBASAR, an architecture office and public space practice based in Bucharest. We met with him in front of the parliament and walked with him through the city all the way to Piața Universității. Cristi showed us the spaces behind Boulevardul Unirii in the back of Piața Constituției, the in-between spaces, as he called them. Those spaces are mainly being […]

Of headaches and protests

Today was spent mostly by dedicating time to our shiny blog and recovering from a night out partying with people we had met Friday evening in the park. We reflected on our theories and talked a lot about our experiences with the city since we arrived. Florin Badita, our planned interview partner for Monday recommended us a protest in the evening, so we headed to Piața Victoriei around 7 pm […]

Of close suburbs and distant apartment buildings

Today we tried to once again escape the city centre. Taking the tram we reached our first stop: Rahova in the south-west of Bucharest. Located just around the corner of the parliament, the district is still seen as a suburb by the people of Bucharest – even though it’s just 20 minutes away from Piața Unirii and the city centre on foot, actually starting right behind the “House of the […]

Of public space and farewells

Our last entire day in Bucharest, the city we had learned to love in these last few days, came fast. Surprised and sad about how fast the week had passed, we headed to our first appointment. Florin Badița, civic activist and initiator of ‘Corruption kills’, or in Romanian ‘Corupția ucide’ and his friend Dalia agreed to meet with us, once again, at Piața Victoriei, one of the most important squares […]

Of 19,5 hour-long train journeys

A bag filled with food accompanies us on our almost 20-hour long train journey from Bucharest back to Vienna. We are gonna be arriving on Anna’s birthday. Side note: Going to the toilet on a train is infinitely more relaxing when you can look out of the open toilet window. During our seven days in Bucharest we have grown used to huge boulevards lined with Ceaușescu-era tall buildings, reminding us […]