Bucharest Housing Stories, the web documentary: a seven-part miniseries about housing experience in contemporary Bucharest

Bucharest Housing Stories is a documentary series about diversity of the housing experience in Bucharest and the neighboring surroundings. The project is composed of seven episodes focused on different dwelling spaces and housing forms – blocks from the Communist period, new residential areas, ghetto neighborhoods, dormitories, public spaces (homeless living), former nationalized houses and homes from suburban areas – and follows the diverse experiences of 21 characters. The project aims to document the cultural diversity of housing and living practices in the Romanian present day urban area. Each episode released on the bucharesthousingstories.ro platform focuses on the diversity of vicinity experiences, on routine and on the relationships developed with the dwelling space by people with different profiles.

Bucharest Housing Stories, a part from a larger project: Lived-In Homes. Cultural diversity of dwelling in Bucharest and the neighboring surroundings

We believe that the form and organization of dwellings are influenced by the environment where they are built. We also believe that the type of dwelling reflects the relationship between culture and environment (natural and social). The way in which the housing space is used describes cultural values and ideas; the experiences of housing capture both the personal history and the community history or the history of larger groups of people.

The project “Lived-In Homes. Cultural diversity of dwelling in Bucharest and the neighboring surroundings” is developed by VIRA Association and highlights the organization’s main instruments and objectives for a number of areas of interest: social research, documentary film and cultural education. Through this project we aim to contribute to an awareness of the variety of forms and housing experiences in Bucharest and neighboring surroundings as expressions of cultural diversity.

During February 2015 and February 2016 we are:

  • Documenting and analyzing the cultural diversity in Bucharest and neighboring surroundings;
  • Promoting the housing cultural diversity through elements of visual art and multimedia instruments;
  • Developing a non-formal education model addressed to high school teenagers with ages between 14 and 18.

The project is funded through a Grant offered by Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and The Romanian Government, part of the PA17/RO 13 “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” Program and is carried out in partnership with The Movement for European Action and Initiative Association and The National Museum of Romanian Peasant.

Main results:

  • A multidisciplinary research on the topic of housing, a collective volume and a public debate (VIRA Association in partnership with The National Museum of Romanian Peasant);
  • A web documentary on the topic of cultural diversity of housing forms in Bucharest and neighboring surroundings (VIRA Association);
  • Cultural education workshops with high school teenagers (MAIE Association).