Neighbourhood Histories (2015)

Between September 2015 and November 2015, the project coordinated by the Bucharest Municipality Museum and co-financed by the National Cultural Funds Administration proposed the valuing of a place’s memory through stories, photographs and maps which would provide certain key points useful to track the evolution of Bucharest’s southern side (today Berceni neighbourhood), from the beginning of the 18th century to the present day. Streets, alleys, places that no longer exist or which have been transformed, vacant lots, gardens, family histories or stories of relevant figures were all part of an itinerary exhibition inhabitants of Berceni were invited to take part in, titled “An incursion in the histories of Berceni Neighbourhood”. The exhibition was opened to the public between November 2nd and 15th 2015 at Plaza Shopping Centre, later moved to Palatul Suțu – The Bucharest Municipality Museum.

An extended form of the exhibition was presented between February 3rd and April 3rd 2016 in the Filipescu-Cesianu House Lapidarium Hall.

The project “Neighbourhood Histories” was presented by the Bucharest Municipality Museum in partnership with the Translucid Association and the Bucharest Metropolitan Library, between September and November 2015. This project came as a follow-up to another project, “Edu_Cult_Berceni. From neighbourhood to community”, coordinated by the Translucid Association in 2014. The project was co-financed by the National Cultural Funds Administration and supported by the Sun Plaza Commercial Centre and the Văcăreşti National Park Association. The project featured two main components – research and collection of stories from the neighbourhood residents.

During the research phase information regarding the history of the Capital’s southern area and of Berceni neighbourhood was selected, along with images for its illustration, from the archives of the Bucharest Municipality Museum or the National Archives of Romania.

At the same time a call was launched for the neighbourhood residents, who were invited to present their own stories, along with images, to complete the neighbourhood’s history with their own perspectives. Thus, several of the stories were written and sent by the residents, and the majority of the collected histories were taken as interviews of verbal history. The residents’ histories can be found on the neighbourhood’s blog, as well as in the online catalogue accompanying the present exhibition.