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“Reclaiming the City” by Ștefan Rusu

Followed by a discussion with Alma Cazacu, Ștefan Ghenciulescu and Andra Matzal.

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Goethe-Institut București and București invite you to the screening of the film:

“Reclaiming the City” by Ștefan Rusu
Followed by a discussion with Alma Cazacu, Ștefan Ghenciulescu and Andra Matzal.

Friday, 7 February 2014, 6 pm
Address: tranzit. ro/ București, Str. Gazelei, nr. 44, sector 4


A film by Ștefan Rusu

Through a complex interweaving of field trips and interviews, archival footage, personal narratives and interventions in public spaces, the film reveals a number of sites of the New Berlin that uniquely exemplify the contradictions and tensions of social memory and national identity in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It is conceived as an investigative documentary, and is a quest through dramatic socio-economic restructuring processes, the physical transformation of the city following the fall of the Wall, and the impact
of gentrification processes on public space.

The film is based on city walks with Svetlana Hagen, Erik Göngrich, Jochen Becker, Mathias Heyden, Berndt Langer, who guide the viewer trough Kreuzberg, Neukölln, and Prenzlauer Berg districts, among others—areas that are trapped in a continuing cycle of gentrification. Along these trips we re-visit Tempelhof Airport, haunted by the ghosts of the Cold War; and we climb to the top of Reichstag— rebranded from a symbol of defeat into a temple of democracy.

The journey continues as we visit a number of former and still existing squats, in order to compare them with more recent initiatives and models of urban resistance. Following this path, the film spotlights agents of change – cultural workers and activists — and explores the political dimension of public space.

The screening will be followed by a discussion applied to the case of Bucharest, with Alma Cazacu, Ștefan Ghenciulescu and Andra Matzal.
This event is part of the series “/ Bucureşti”, a programme through which Bucureşti aims at contributing with artistic perspectives to the current debates on the city of Bucharest, seen in an East-European and global context.

“Reclaiming the City” was commissioned by the 7th Berlin Biennale and co-produced by KSAK Center for Contemporary Art, Chișinău. With support from Goethe Institute, Bucharest; ERSTE Foundation, Vienna, and Romanian Cultural Institute, Berlin.

Ștefan Rusu is a visual artist, curator, editor, and filmmaker currently based in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. His artistic/ curatorial agenda is geared towards the processes of transformation and changes in post-socialist societies after 1989.

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Alma Cazacu is a visual artist and one of the co-founders of Make a Point NGO. She studied Multimedia, Editing and Sound at the National University of Theatre and Cinematography in Romania and Digital Post Production at the National Film and Television School in the UK. Through the years she developed and delivered several animation and post production workshops for children and young people, discovering new voices. As a media and art development officer at Make a Point, she materializes concepts and art projects (exhibitions, screenings, performances etc.), working closely with artists and curators, mainly targeting communities with little to no access to culture.

Ștefan Ghenciulescu is editor-in-chief of the magazine “Zeppelin” and co-founder of “Zeppelin Association”, Bucharest. He’s lecturer at the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest and a practicing architect. He is the author of the book “The transparent city. On limits and dwelling in Bucharest” and co-author of several books and exhibitions. His current research topics are contemporary architecture, post-socialist territorial and architectural developments in South-Eastern Europe, alternative projects for public space, urban regeneration through independent initiatives and trans-disciplinary collaborations.

Andra Matzal is one of the coordinators, since 2011, of the online platform for independent journalism She coordinated two volumes published at ART Publishing House (“My first smoke” and “My first time”) and has translated several books. After 11 years of Bucharest, she chose to live in the countryside. She writes, largely, about people she gets to know, especially about the invisible ones.

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Goethe Institut Bukarest