Architecture/Urbanism/Memory in Romania

Romanian cinema is at the forefront of addressing the challenges that the country faces today, often linking troublesome memories to urban spaces. Recent films such as Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History as Barbarians and Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada address collective processes of remembering by linking them to physical places – public as well as private -, thereby exemplifying the way in which memory is dependent on and projected onto the locus of the city. Media artists, such as Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, have also explored the topographies of memory. At the crossroads of the country’s past and future, architecture is a powerful force for cinematic storytelling, displaying a feeling of “restorative nostalgia” (Svetlana Boym) as well as a desire for change.

As part of its Romanian focus 2021, the East European Film Bulletin is preparing a special issue on the topic of architecture and memory in Romanian cinema, television, video art and experimental film. We are looking for contributions that examine and analyse the diverse relationships between cinema, architecture and memory and their links with Romania’s complex memory, both remote and recent.

We are particularly interested in essays concerning the following topics:

1) Ruins as places of memory

2) Spaces of religious revival (folk, new age, neo-Orthodox)

3) Mall films and/or suburbia

4) Topographies of memories in alternative cinema and video art

5) Urban planning, democratic transition and its possible criticism

6) Romania’s Belle Epoque

7) Memory places: spaces which commemorate historical catastrophes (Romania’sparticipation in the destruction of European Jews; slavery; child gulags)

Proposals of 250 words should be sent to by November 15th 2020.