Looking out to the opportunity that the name of Bucharest would join in 2021 the long list of cities in various European states that wore lately, for one year, the title of European Capital of Culture, a project was launched announcing our capital’s candidacy. It is named “Bucharest Memory / Exploration / Imagination of the City” and is structured as a trilogy featuring the city both as a frame for all the events and as a lead character, and its citizens, as content suppliers. The national competition for selecting the city to represent Romania was started in December 2014. Besides Bucharest, the cities running for this title are Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Iasi, Craiova, Arad, Sfantu Gheorghe, Oradea, Alba Iulia, Braila and Brasov.
Conceived in an open format, the project “Bucharest Memory / Exploration / Imagination of the City” also represents the launch in the cultural space of the Capital of a new trans-disciplinary platform: The Gabroveni Inn. The platform intends to bring along, by similar projects, all sections of Bucharest’s social and cultural life.
The first part of the trilogy – The Memory of the City – has the purpose to create a cognitive – affective map of Bucharest starting with photographs and films from personal collections and documentary funds, personal memories that the inhabitants of the city are invited to complete and broaden with their own photographic confessions and subjective histories revealing the dynamics of life in Bucharest. Both the people living in the city and people working with the city are invited to contribute directly, with their own photographs and films. The result of this collective and interactive effort will be presented at the end of the two months of cartography as an exhibition dedicated to the collective memory of the citizens of Bucharest, in a double perspective: that of the real city: with social actions and political tensions, with architectural – urban traumas and artistic Bohemia – that of the city remembered – as it lives in the memories of people inhabiting it.
The European Capital of Culture program is already considered as one that would completely change the life of a city and mark its future. The process of accessing the title of European Capital of Culture starts six years before the actual appointment and is seen as a process of real transformation of a city through culture, of its image, of its infrastructure, of its cultural sector and of its inhabitants, and these changes usually generate long-lasting positive effects a long time after the Cultural Capital Year ended.
The ARCUB Cultural Centre was selected by the Mayoralty of the Municipality of Bucharest to coordinate the process of preparing the candidacy of the city Bucharest.