Bucharest, Romania


Bucharest also hosted wreath-layings on the anniversary if the day that Ceauşescus fled the city. In 2009, the city was blanketed in snow, and much of the city’s bustle was in preparation for the encroaching Christmas day. Despite this, however, quite a number of people had stopped to reflect or to organize events. One student art group, for example, put up a public display featuring the scene of the Last Supper between Jesus and his disciples but incorporating symbolic elements from 1989. They set up a videocamera behind the scene pointing toward the scene’s visitors, to document reactions, thus turning the piece into a circular reflection.

In a semblance of a reenactment, the city put up blockades on the street in the university area, as government authorities had in 1989, and projected images of the protesters on large screens. Although the crowds that gathered were small in contrast with what I observed in Berlin, Leipzig, and Prague (granted, it was very cold), this seemed to give the individuals’ attendance at the event a quite determined flavor.

I was struck by one scene in the underground Metro station near the university in Bucharest. A commemorative display featured ongoing videoclips, photos, and a stand with an open guestbook in which individuals were invited to write. Every time I visited this place, there were several people lined up, silently, waiting to write in the book. Usually the writer wrote for quite some time before handing over the pen.

Overall, however, it was evident that the commemorative events, which lasted for quite a few days, overwhelmed Timisoara, a smaller city of course, more so than Bucharest.


One Response to “Bucharest, Romania”

  1. Nice pictures! The events of december 1989 were called “Revolution of reconciliation” by former president Ion Iliescu. The neo-communists legitimized themselves from this so-called “Revolution”. There are a lot of theories about what happened in December…. I guess we need more time to find out…

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