Untitled Document protest on the roof

"Graffiti" in BucharestBackground:In Bucharest, many streets bear the marks of intensive construction activity. One can see old Bucharest houses, some with trees and vineyards, most of them quite low and somewhat humble constructions, yet decorated with columns and woodwork. While some facades hint to rural residences, others are modernist reiterations of the Brâncovenesc style. Many buildings are arranged in a quite tight manner; the courtyards are very narrow and the gardens small. All this not-so-planned matter exists against the background of huge drab communist blocks.

Little by little, the small plots of land are bought by entrepreneurs that, typically, erect very tall buildings, flanking the fewer and fewer small homes still intact. The pressure of the high per-square-meter price entices the buyers to build such structures that make a maximum usage of the space, through multi-level building and using the terrain all the way to the neighboring plot, sometimes even overhanging it.

Whether sold by its rightful owner or undermined by its new neighbors, the typical one-family, street-level house is under extreme pressure to simply disappear.

Urban Change: Residents of the street, who found themselves owners of very expensive land, have seen their environment degrade from a cozy habitat to a noisy, deregulated construction site, soon-to-become upscale business area.The new constructions are often made in disregard of building codes and other laws. The newly affluent owners have important financial resources and sufficient access to a corrupt system. Maybe this makes all legal recourse impossible. It has to be noted that the area's development potentially makes rich people out of its traditional inhabitants as well. The catch is that in order to better their position they have to sell and move out. Some have tried to obtain an additional income by placing billboards on their property yet it seems that such strategies are build on weak economical premises.

In particular, the small house in the image below is overshadowed by a tall block with offices (the next two photos are taken from the street, the last one from the 3rd floor of the "offending" building).

Graffiti:The owner of the house has used paint to write a monumental complaint on his own roof, his chimneys, as well as on walls of both of the neighboring buildings.

The text faces the windows of the "offending" building (which has since new owners). It is a long and disconnected rant, written in an approximate grammar, that discloses information (names of lawyers, numbers of documents, dates of filed complaints), lists demands (asks for the closure of some windows, request the intervention of police), warns of dangers (crumbling walls) and utters bitter words ("you have ridiculed Romania").

click above for larger view

Two translated quotes from this text:"Gentlemen the pranks of madam lawyer Dumitrache Mioara should be declared as owner of block no. 13 as well as painting facade?!" (sic)
"Mister Chrescu you were both builder and owner thus you-aff-ord-ed to-break the law you-signed the receipt, of the [completed] building on the date-of 13 5/1996? But? The authorisation of construct-it? Issue-d by may[or] sect. 1 Buch[arest] only in 14--10/1996.." (sic)

random image

is an independant artistic research project by
Berlin's UrbanArt group
(Marek Pisarsky &
Anne Peschken) and
Bogdan Achimescu.

Support for
provided by Kula e.V.


all images and text
by bucharest-buchawork 2005 web design: bogdescu
graphics: bielmo

visit counter:

All contents of this webpage © by the bucharest-buchawork team

we recommend 0pera 8

newest additions to the site:
obor genetics a story about romania's genetically modified crops
interviews with some of our guests (hosted by YouTube)