The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.22 (2023)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.22 (2023) - CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

New York, and Beyond, Mona MOMESCU

THEMATIC DOSSIER

New York and America: Urban Spaces in Fiction, Film, Poetry and Art Examining Representations of Otherness in Urban America: An Exploration of “Midnight Cowboy”, Eliana Isabella RADU

Real and Imagined Spaces: New York in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Andreea COSMA

No Escape from New York: Youth Subcultural Hellscapes in Larry Clark’s Kids and Todd Phillips’ Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies

Florian Andrei VLAD

American Nothingness-Space and Identity in Alex Dimitrov’s Poetry, Mădălina STOICA

New York – a Digital Narrative, Max TZINMAN

ETHNIC GROUPS, SPACES, IDENTITY

A New York of Their Own: A Romanian Sacred Space in the City Mona MOMESCU

Walking an AlterNative Path: Notes on an Exhibition, Cornelia VLAICU

MULTICULTURAL SPACES, ANTHROPOLOGY

Mapping Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Ankara: A Case Study, Alina IFTIME

Biodiversity in Anthropological Research: The Francisc Joseph Rainer Theory, Adrian MAJURU

BOOK REVIEWS

Mona Momescu – Singuri în satul global [Alone in the Global Village], Bucureşti, Paideia, 2023, 216 p., Adrian MAJURU

Mariana Neț. Au fost odată două oraşe. New York şi Bucureşti la 1900. [Once Upon There Were Two Cities. New York and Bucharest in 1900], Bucureşti, Corint, 2021, 391p., Alexandra RUSU

INTRODUCTION - New York, and Beyond, Mona MOMESCU

One summer day, almost as hot and humid as a New York summer day, I had a brief meeting with Dr. Adrian Majuru in his office. The “history of everyday life”, or the “microhistory”, a close relative of cultural anthropology, teaches us that the context, the gestures, the ways in which light falls over words, leaves, the constant humming of the city, or its less musical sounds, all of these build a discourse, or an imaginary representation of an urban space. During that brief discussion, he suggested that I would edit an issue of Revista de antropologie urbană dedicated to New York, and published entirely in English.

It appears easy to understand why New York was the choice: it is the ultimate metropolis, the icon of crisis and resilience, the St. Graal of the emigres and of all the displaced people around the world; it is the perfect actualization of conceptual metaphors such as space/time, life/death. Its stereotypes, printed on memorabilia as ephemeral as a New York minute, speak about a space, its history, its traumas, and mostly its representations. Efficiency, greediness, loneliness, glamour, vertical, crisis, lavishness and poverty, sanctuary city and forbidden mansions, New York’s unbearably humid summers and the heart-piercing beauty of New York foliage in the fall, all these write an image of the city that invites to endless literary, film and microhistory analyses. New York is not just the scenery of, or the background against which all of the people of the world reflects; it is, in reality, the world itself, with its ethnic and linguistic richness (over 800 languages are spoken in the city and the boroughs), and with its decision to transform into a sanctuary city, which speaks about rearrangement of hierarchies and of social priorities. New York is the world because it is, no matter how many changes occur, a place of contrasts: the geography of its main borough, Manhattan, often the antonomasia for the entire New York City, stretches between up/down, lower/upper, the City/the boroughs, and various abbreviations/puns that seem a secret language of those who are “native New Yorkers”. The constant renewal of the population means new cultures that emerge, and the constant reorganization of the city space. The modernization of the 21st century brings a new tensioned rapport between ethnic identity and gentrification, despite the efforts to adopt everyone, and to replace the old hierarchies and boundaries. This was to be seen immediately after the pandemic, when the new immigrants were accommodated in elegant old hotels, landmarks of New York City; this was just one of the illusions of being adopted by the genuine, elegant, yet contested New York, an illusion that lasted a New York minute.

 

This issue of our publication does not necessarily examine all of the elements mentioned before; some of the articles refer to representation of the urban space that is New York in film, theatre, fiction that is authored by Americans and non- Americans. As the New York that we know, irrespective of knowing it directly, or not, is heavily mediated by its representations of all kinds, we thought that it would be useful to look at the urban space from this perspective. This is why we invited contributions on fictional, film, indirect representation of New York, and, by extension, America.

The ethnic and cultural complex fabric of New York, and of America, for that matter, is represented by two articles, one on the little known history of a symbolic venue of the Romanian-Americans from Manhattan, the other on the visual embodiment of Native identity.

The urban space is mostly perceived via senses. New York as a utopia, the dystopic and the gracious, almost sacred New York, and the world are illustrated by Max Tzinman’s digital art that needs no accompanying discourse.

And, because the extension New York-the world invited to other reflections on multicultural spaces, and on people, or on the history of anthropology, the issue invited two articles that apparently, do not match its theme but are original analyses on multiculturalism/cosmopolitan spaces and on the scientific roots of anthropology.

We hope that the readers will find an original theme, and a unique approach of the theme, in a world as eclectic and as shifting as New York.

Mona Momescu

Examining Representations of Otherness in Urban America: An Exploration of “Midnight Cowboy” - Eliana Isabella RADU

ABSTRACT

This research embarks on a comparative analysis of cinematic representations of Otherness, focusing on the seminal film “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), its setting within the dynamic landscape of 1960s New York City, and its enduring relevance in understanding contemporary urban America.

The concept of “Otherness” has long been a focal point in the realm of cultural studies, sociology, anthropology and film theory. It delves into the complex ways in which individuals or groups are perceived as different, alien, or marginalized within a given societal context. In the context of cinema, the portrayal of Otherness has served as a powerful lens through which to examine the intricacies of urban life, identity, and social dynamics.

The paper incorporates anthropological and sociological theories to underpin discussions of Otherness in cinema. These theories provide a robust framework for understanding how cinematic representations of Otherness contribute to contemporary dialogues on diversity, identity, and social representation.

We aim to highlight the ways in which “Midnight Cowboy” (1969) as well as other contemporary cinematic productions not only reflect the complexities of urban life, but also serve as windows into the enduring struggles and triumphs of individuals navigating the diverse landscapes of modern America.

Keywords: the Other, marginalization, queerness, urbanization, New York, cinematography

Eliana Isabella RADU

Head of the Public Relations, Marketing, Cultural Projects and Education Dept., The Bucharest Municipality Museum

ellieradu@yahoo.com

 

 

Real and Imagined Spaces: New York in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence - Andreea COSMA

ABSTRACT

Edith Wharton uses New York City in The Age of Innocence (1920) to create a multi- dimensional setting and a metaphorical space that enriches the narrative and provides insight into the complexities of the Gilded Age society. This paper is divided into two sections: the first, titled, “The Real Space,” which describes the Gilded Age era in New York and the second section, “The Imagined Space,” which follows places and spaces in Wharton’s cartography, that turn the city into a character and the built environment into a unique map. These urban spaces play a significant role in the lives of the characters, particularly Newland Archer and Ellen Olenska, as they represent places, relationships, and possibilities that exist in the characters’ minds, often in contrast to the constraints of the society and social norms of the Gilded Age.

 

Keywords: New York City, literary cartography, social norm, Edith Wharton

 

Andreea COSMA

Ovidius University Constanţa

 

No Escape from New York: Youth Subcultural Hellscapes in Larry Clark’s Kids and Todd Phillips’ Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies - Florian Andrei VLAD

ABSTRACT

The article explores the controversial, sometimes squalid beauty of New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, and the way in which these decades, fascinating, yet frowned upon by the establishment, generated a fertile subcultural bohemia in music, visual arts, films; it also explores how it has become an iconic period for filmmakers in the 1990s and beyond.

Keywords: New York City, urban decay, HIV, experimental art, film, Todd Philips, subcultures, ethos.

 

Florian Andrei VLAD

Ovidius University, Constanța

af_vlad@yahoo.com

American Nothingness-Space and Identity in Alex Dimitrov’s Poetry - Mădălina STOICA

ABSTRACT

Modern poetry shows that spatial representations are crucial for the aesthetic experience, going beyond just mapping locations. The study of spatial representation in poetry is a specific practice within literary criticism. It explores various types of spaces, such as emotional, political, and identity spaces, to understand the complexity of language’s connection to the physical world, also known as landguage or langscaping. In this article, I will analyze the case of Alex Dimitrov, a first-generation immigrant to the United States, and how his poetry portrays space. Using theories from authors like Henri Lefebvre, Edward W. Soja, and Robert T. Tally Jr., I want to study how empirical and imagined spaces interact in the mental map of New York, as found in Dimitrov’s poetry.

Keywords: Alex Dimitrov, poetry, New York, literary cartography, space, identity, literary mapping

 

Mădălina STOICA

madalina.stoica@365.univ-ovidius.ro

 

New York – a Digital Narrative - Max TZINMAN

ABSTRACT

Mona Momescu

“The City”, the “Big Apple”, or the frightening “Gotham”, “The City So Nice

They Named It Twice”, and above all, “The City that Never Sleeps” is a concert ofimages, smells, of its perfect geometry of avenues and crossing streets; it is also a visual contrasting symphony of wide avenues and winding and windy narrow alleys with a counterpoint of perfect sunsets in July; the majestic Hudson and the Atlantic Ocean, the wild beaches at Far Rockaway, the swerving humanity of all races, languages, and cultures, all of these make New York the ultimate metropolis and the whole World. New York is 5th Avenue, the unmistakable smell of fresh and of day-old bagels, the watered down coffee that everyone hates but everyone keeps on drinking; it is the aristocratic ritual of concerts at Carnegie Hall, and the pain and sorrow of the humanity crammed in poor neighborhoods, people who rarely experience the iconic New York, that is Manhattan. New York has also been, recently, the center of weaponized disappointments of social groups, ethnic groups, of a humanity that brought their “tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, as Irving Berlin wrote, to a promised land. Thus, the city and the world reinvent themselves, the new reality redesigns maps, hierarchies, colors and sounds.

Max Tzinman, an architect by training, and a well-established visual artist and gallerist “writes” the never-ending story of New York and writes “to New York” and to the world a long, affectionate digital art story.

To him, the City is everything: the old Babylon, and the pure, perfect world before we sinned into modernity; it is Central Park protected by a feminine deity. In his vision, New York is solitude, emptiness, beauty and contemplation that all make the human soul soar into the sky, sitting on the ledge of a skyscraper. New York is the real global world, although the earth globe seems, in his work, more of a holiday adornment for the tower that pierces through the sky. Tzinman’s New York is the epitome of happiness and loneliness, a unique place that carries the burden of its many names, many faces, and infinite narratives.

Max TZINMAN

maxt222@gmail.com http://www.theflyingcannibal.com/

A New York of Their Own: A Romanian Sacred Space in the City - Mona MOMESCU

ABSTRACT

Based on an archive unexplored so far, namely that of the St.Dumitru Romanian Orthodox Church in Manhattan (Romanian Orthodox Parish “St. Dumitru”), the paper reflects on the complicated history of the Romanian-American community shaped its modern identity, and its relations to New York City, the official, other communities, and with the “old country” (Romania), within a decade (1939-1949).

It also examines how the new identity of the community was supported by the Romanian-American sacred space, and how this became a matrix of language and culture preservation and transformation, of political and social consciousness, and of post-WW II engagement with ethnic and political injustice.

Keywords: Romanian-Americans, New York City, sacred space, D. Gusti, V. Hațegan, space/time mapping, identity.

Mona MOMESCU

Ovidius University Constanta

mona_momescu@yahoo.com

Walking an AlterNative Path: Notes on an Exhibition - Cornelia VLAICU

ABSTRACT

In October 2021 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York launched an exhibition themed Native New York. Designed to offer visitors an immersive experience of the histories and world views of Indigenous nations native to what is known today as the state of New York and New York City, the exhibition maps the area as a Native home, highlights Indigenous people’s contributions to the building of America, and reclaims continued presence. My article explores how the exhibition’s curators and contributors build a counter-story to the myth of the “vanishing Indian” and blends references to poems by contemporary Native American writers into this exhibition review of sorts to emphasize how Indigenous artists seek to decolonize America as text and artifact.

Keywords: Indigenous, New York, map, “survivance,” counter-narrative

Cornelia VLAICU

corneliavlaicu@yahoo.com

 

Mapping Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Ankara: A Case Study - Alina IFTIMIE,

ABSTRACT

Ankara, the capital of the Republic of Türkiye, is a vibrant city that reflects the rich tapestry of cultural diversity present in the country. As an epicentre of economic, political, and social activity, the city of Ankara has attracted people from various backgrounds, contributing to its multicultural fabric. The city acts as a magnet, attracting people from diverse backgrounds who bring with them their traditions, languages, and customs. This has created a rich and dynamic cultural fabric, showcasing the coexistence of different ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups. While Ankara has undoubtedly embraced cultural diversity, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges that may arise. There is an ongoing endeavour to ensure equal opportunities and social integration for all residents, regardless of their cultural background. It requires fostering an inclusive environment where dialogue, understanding and respect are promoted.

The motivation for writing such an article is to show that cultural diversity is a vital and valuable element of Ankara that deserves to be explored, appreciated and protected. This provides an important step in promoting social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and building a more harmonious society. This article aims to provide a case study on the mapping of cultural diversity in contemporary Ankara, exploring the ways in which the communities that coexist within the city shape its cultural landscape.

Keywords: cultures, diversity, Ankara, migration, interculturalism.

Alina Iftime,

Romanian Language Institute, Bucharest, Romania /

Ankara University, Türkiye alinaiftime@yahoo.com

Biodiversity in Anthropological Research: The Francisc Joseph Rainer Theory - Adrian MAJURU

ABSTRACT

This article is dedicated to Francisc J.Rainer and to the innovations he brought in anthropological research. Francisc Rainer was born in 1874, and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in 1903; he was a professor of anatomy and embryology at the Faculty of Medicine in Iaşi/Jassy (1913-1920), and then at the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest (1920- 1940). His deep interest in the anatomy, embryology and anthropology of the Romanians resulted in extensive research on the population of a number of villages in the Carpathian Mountains, on craniology of the Romanians, on the anthropology of Romanian students and on blood groups in Romania; he participated in field research in the Carpathians, 1927(Drăguş), 1928(Nereju) and 1932 (Fundul Moldovei) within the sociological project as “the science of nation”, coordinated by Dimitrie Gusti.

Keywords: Francisc J.Rainer, anthropology, craniology, ethnic diversity.

 

Adrian MAJURU

Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism – Bucharest

Faculty of Urbanism adimajuru@gmail.com

 

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.21 (2023)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.21 (2023) - CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Physiognomy in motion. Cultural traits & professional changes

THEMATIC DOSSIER

Physiognomies in movement. Cultural traits & occupational changes

The generation of 1850 in two female portraits. A case study.

Facial reconstruction of historical figures. The case of Michael the Brave

Physiognomies of the cult of personality, from the dictatorship of Carol II to that of Nicolae Ceauşescu

SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

The miner’s profile in the transition to a post-industrial society – socio- economic and affective implications of a particular type of shrinkage

Population Policies of India

ANTHROPOLOGY OF LANDSCAPE

The recovery of the industrial areas. The functional conversion potential of abandoned industrial areas, in Romania

Shrinking cities. A specific phenomenon of urban dynamics

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Interior-intimity-affinity. In private residences of Belle Époque Buchares

BOOK REVIEWS

At Home. A Short History of Private Life. Review

INTRODUCTION - Physiognomy in motion. Cultural traits & professional changes - Adrian MAJURU

The human face is like a personal museum that also belongs to the city it inhabits. The way we look in childhood and adulthood reflects, beyond ontogeny and other cultural determinations, the space we inhabit; in other words, our personal “museum” rearranges its “exhibits” according to “visitors” (history and ideologies), but also to the constant activity of “redecoration” (changes in the urban space around us).

There are communicating vessels between generations, made out of soul traits and, implicitly of physiognomy, specific to certain professions with a wider field of manifestation: soldiers, merchants-investors, doctors, lawyers, pedagogues. In old age, the entire human expression, and especially the visage, expresses each of us, it says something about us, about our biography.

I started this site between 2011-2012, during an anthropology research internship at the University of Vienna, coordinated by Prof. Kahl Thede. My work was focused on the museum heritage anthropological value, particularly of the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, on which occasion I began to note a series of similarities between human faces portrayed several centuries apart. There is a hidden detail of common physiognomy within the professions developed in urban Europe.

In the end, each and everyone of us is a museum bearing, on the one hand, today’s expression -which is different from yesterday’s or tomorrow’s expressions, or even that which we assume in an hour- and on the other hand, everything we have stored in memory: moments, events, people we met along the years, etc. (all selected according to a criteria above our understanding), which we are pleased to meet again, to evoke and relive, or to hide well, keeping them nonetheless, for reasons difficult to explain.

I want to say that a face, the whole appearance memorizes, over time, more or less discreetly, some features, according to the criteria of a sculptor, of an artist who aims to express something through creation. Because some signs, traces of events, circumstances, are traces of our own history that must not be lost.

Somehow we reach senescence wearing a kind of mask that is not really a mask, because it doesn’t hide but expresses us, it is like an essential piece from a personal museum.

This mechanism of preserving traces of something that was and no longer is, but deserves to be kept and which I call a personal museum, seems to be a natural process.

 

In various ways, for different periods of time, short, long or permanent, the cultural agent continuously shapes the material clothing with which we were endowed at birth. In other words, alongside the external informational factors there is also the factor of information; the man informs himself consciously or subconsciously, within the limits of the resources in which he was born, in accordance with his own condition and the circumstances in which he lives (historical time). The above examples are outward observations about the fact that an urban society retains a series of common, specific peculiarities determined by profession and social settings. Of course, considering there are no radical changes that reverse social roles, as was the case of Eastern Europe after 1948.

But, in living arduously at accelerated speeds and in making choices as diverse as possible, we forget about the most interesting moment in life, when we start asking ourselves the question: how do we age?

How one ages is a choice made ealy in life. Meticulousness, sense of humor, self-irony do not emerge when observing chronologies, but from the beginning of the ages.

The recurrence of difficulties in community life is caused by indifference to the daily happenings and the dismissal of any projected comfort in the near future. That is why, today we witness so many of our elders collapse into endless resignation or embrace a dissimulated joy, to fool the boredom of a linearly consumed life and dissolve into everyday banality.

But how do we age? Does it lead to a devaluation of career and privacy?

Obviously, physiognomy lays somewhere in the area of interpersonal communication, as a non-verbal element involved in communication. Concerns, tastes, way of thinking are behavioral repertoires, which shape the physiognomy.

First and foremost, physiognomy has a genetic component, but nonetheless, human morphology also undergoes changes depending on the inhabited social environment.

Physiognomy in motion. Cultural traits & professional changes thematic dossier aims to capture the changes in comfort or discomfort, tolerance or intolerance, balance or imbalance, the social, cultural, professional and daily behavioral changes, which manifest almost imperceptibly on a historical scale on our visage, differently from the natural course of the ages.

Physiognomies in movement. Cultural traits & occupational changes - Adrian MAJURU

ABSTRACT

Human nature, culture, is inextricably associated with biological nature, with the biological, in a way that makes them inseparable. Neither can be ignored, neither is above the other, and neither can be put aside except for reasons pertaining to a research strategy. There is a network of relations between the cultural and the biological, a dense and complex system of relationships. This system of relations has not yet been fully revealed.

It is an honourable challenge for modern-day anthropology to highlight, even partially, this system that gives human meaning to our species.

The urban environment has its particularities, various factors that can stimulate or block the uninterrupted process of human becoming, or even reverse the direction of the process. A comparison can be made with the rural environment.

Somewhere in the area of inter-human communication, physiognomy is also featured, as a non-verbal element involved in communication. The face is the mirror of the soul. If the soul is in pain, in complete resignation, in the vicinity of joy or serenity, all these feelings are communicated to others via the features of the face. We communicate with the soul. The question that might be asked, even on a historical scale, is: What happens to our faces from one historical period to another?

Keywords: physiognomy, urban anthropology, culture, biology, profession

Adrian Majuru

The Bucharest Municipality Museum/Manager adimajuru@gmail.com

 

The generation of 1850 in two female portraits. A case study - Adrian MAJURU, Ana ARȘINCA

ABSTRACT

This project aims to bring to the fore two societies that are far apart (in both distance and culture), but which have a lot in common. Two different cultural spaces, two different territories, two painters who had never met, two ladies who had only social status in common. Given all these aspects, the idea of this study is to highlight the striking similarities by comparing the two portraits set in the context of late 19th century urban culture in Europe.

Keywords:Mişu Popp, Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, Amalia de Llano y Dotres

Adrian Majuru – The Bucharest Municipality Museum/Manager adimajuru@gmail.com

Ana Arsinca – The Bucharest Municipality Museum/Museographer arsinca_ana@yahoo.com

Facial reconstruction of historical figures. The case of Michael the Brave - Octavian BUGA

ABSTRACT

Post-mortem facial reconstruction is a technique that uses anatomical knowledge of the human skull to flesh out the face of a deceased individual. Forensic artists work with law enforcement to identify victims of crime when skeletonized remains are found. Archaeologists use the same technique to learn what a person who lived and died long before photographs may have looked like.

The skull of Michael the Brave (1558-1601), ruler of Romanian principalities in 1600, was photographed around 1918-1920, and the Manchester three-dimensional data were used for peg anthropological analysis. Based on these new technologies, a physical model of the skull was obtained and used for facial reconstruction according to forensic art methods. Finally, the reconstructed face was compared with contemporary portraits of Michael the Brave (like Aegidus Sadeler or Domenicos Custos portraits)

Keywords: facial reconstruction, forensic art, historical figures, Michael the Brave

Octavian BUDA Prof. Dr., Chair for the History of Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest  octavian.buda@umfcd.ro

Physiognomies of the cult of personality, from the dictatorship of Carol II to that of Nicolae Ceaușescu - Cosmin NĂSUI

ABSTRACT

The need for a cult of personality was justified as a projection and symbolic exertion of the power of dictatorial regimes, irrespective of their particular alignment to extremist right or left-wing ideologies. The present study showcases several historical examples of the creation of personality cult iconographies for the leaders of the modern Romanian state (1939-1989), from those of the royal Carlist dictatorship to those of the later Communist Party.

Keywords: CArol II, Ceaușescu, personality

Cosmin Năsui Historian, art critic and manager at modernism.ro  cosmin@cosminnasui.com

 

The miner’s profile in the transition to a post- industrial society – socio-economic and affective implications of a particular type of shrinkage - Ioana-Natalia MĂGUREANU

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, a lot of attention is directed towards the development of medium and large cities in Romania, as they are being considered major elements of potential in terms of social, economic and natural capital. They represent the key pillars able to ensure the much- coveted territorial cohesion, so hard to achieve in a country where many cities are still facing socio-economic decline. In this context, however, many Romanian cities are left behind – the small cities, with a few tens of thousands of inhabitants, whose label is very often that of shrinking cities. These ghost towns define a considerable part of the Romanian urbanized space and are (mostly) characterized by high migration rates, high unemployment, poor offer in terms of economic activities and leisure opportunities – and implicitly hopelessness, pessimism and a lack of urban vitality…in a nutshell, a negative dynamic in most respects. A sound example in this regard is represented by the former coal mining cities in Jiu Valley, whose activity decreased considerably after the fall of the communist regime (4 out of the 15 mines are still functional1) and whose inhabitants suddenly passed in the 90s from the status of „heroes of labor” (Udisteanu et al, 2019) to that of „mass manipulators” and aggressors representing the political will of the times (associated with the three mining raids in 1990, 1991 and 1999). Furthermore, in the post-industrial era, the miner seems to have lost completely his practical and symbolic significance in the society, being suspended somewhere between the memory of the glorious and secure past and the uncertain future. The current article presents the socio-economic and affective implications that the sudden and brutal end of the mining activity brought in the Jiu Valley, focusing mainly on the deep, inalienable connections created between the workers and the mines, but also between miners themselves, as well as on the spatial and social factors that contributed to the occurrence of these bounds.

Keywords:monoindustrial, mining, Jiu Valley, shrinkage, social

Ioana-Natalia Măgureanu PhDc. Ioana-Natalia Măgureanu, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, RO, natalia.onesciuc13@gmail.com

Population Policies of India - Bekir Yüksel HOŞ, Dr. Öğr. Üys, Bekir Yüksel HOŞ

ABSTRACT

It is thought that there is 7.9 billion people on earth as of 2022. The two main countries holding this population stock are China, closely followed by India, which is expected to surpass China in the near future. In India, which is the subject of this study, five different cities were visited in 2013 and so the discrepancies between the statistical data and the situations shown by the land itself were analyzed on-site. In addition, members of the society from very different religions were interviewed, the situation of people from different castes, who constitute the dominant religious group, the Hindu faith, was analyzed on the spot, and an idea was obtained about the participation in the state and local administrations in terms of their population. The case of India has not been sufficiently studied in the literature to include examples of its population policy, management of a large population, control of the population, societies, and democracies not being dominated by a group of particular people of a region. In this study, these will be revealed and the effects of population policies on the development and administration of the country will be examined.

Keywords:India, Population, Population Policy, Political Geography

Bekir Yüksel HOŞ Dr. Öğr. Üys, Bekir Yüksel HOŞ, Trakya Üniversitesi, Balkan Araştırma Enstitüsü, Edirne, yukselhos@gmail.com

The recovery of the industrial areas. The functional conversion potential of abandoned industrial areas, in Romania - Vlad DOBRESCU

ABSTRACT

In the context of globalization, the distinctive elements that can add character and value to an area, are becoming more and more vital. The reuse of industrial heritage plays an extremely important part in the identity consolidation struggle.

The objective of this study is to highlight the functional conversion potential of the declining industrial areas in Romania. This will be achieved through the understanding of their ascension and decline, and the impact they had both on the cities and on their people, and through some relevant case studies. Matadero Madrid, the site of a former slaughterhouse in Spain, The Ark, a building from the old Bucharest Customs and The Water Tower of the Romanian Drapery, also in Bucharest.

This study presents some important aspects, which should be considered for the correct reuse of the built heritage, and proposes possible solutions for the problems that stand in the way of quality urban renewal in Romania.

Keywords urban renewal, functional conversion, industrial heritage, culture

Vlad Dobrescu University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu” Bucharest, Faculty of Urbanism  vladut.dobrescu@yahoo.com

 

Shrinking cities. A specific phenomenon of urban dynamics - Alexandra-Georgeta BELDIMAN

ABSTRACT

Shrinking cities – ville rétrécissante (shrunken city) ou ville en déclin (city in decline) “URBAN CONTRACTION is the result of a complex overlap of factors, describing a phenomenon that manifests itself quantitatively and qualitatively within a city or parts of it.” I.P. Constantinescu There are four types of contractions observable in a territory. The socio-cultural contraction that mainly refers to the closure of urban facilities such as theaters, cinemas, gyms, cultural houses, social hostels. Physical shrinkage can be observed through the deterioration of historic buildings, abandoned spaces, ruin or demolition more often than new construction. The economic contraction is manifested by the lack of jobs, falling real estate values, and the demographic contraction is based on the global indicator, which counts the population declines in a certain period. The “shrinking” phenomenon does not take into account “how big is the affected urban space”, but focuses on the intuitive perception of the space – how it is seen, how it is lived, what it can be used for. He is a negative phenomenon for the gradual and silent destruction of the city, because over time the particular order of each city disappears. The phenomenon of “shrinking” cannot be confused with the phenomenon of “sprawl”, because it is a slower but sure process that asserts itself, in particular, through the decline of areas with increased vulnerability. The phenomenon, in its embryonic state, starts from the center of the urban territory and extends to the maximum limit of the same territory, progressively decreasing the number of inhabitants due to the lack of activities that generate labor. The restoration, reinvention and revival of the former industrial cities of socialist Romania have their own life cycles. The process of restoring a former depopulated socialist industrial center stretches over a long period, there is a permanent need for perspective studies through which development scenarios for a “future smart city” are drawn, so that the municipality can use its resources intelligently with the aim to fade from the “shrinkage” effects. Amid the current crises, there have been regions directly affected by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, such as Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine, Succeva, Victoria, Giurgiu in Romania resulting in reports of population decline and infrastructure damage due to ongoing hostilities. The current conflict led to the displacement of the population from Ukraine to Romanian cities, with many residents having to seek refuge in other neighboring countries. This population movement produced a decline in the urban population. The impact of the conflict on the overall stability and security of the regions discouraged investment and hindered economic growth, contributing to the shrinking of cities in the long term. Regarding the connection between the pandemics and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it is worth noting that although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected both Ukraine and Russia being considered a global health crisis, it is not directly related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict per se. However, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, combined with the ongoing conflict, has exacerbated the challenges facing cities in northern Romania. In order to determine the deeper understanding of urban dynamics and the shrinking of cities in Romania, especially in cities located near the border with the Ukrainian population in the context of simultaneous crises, strategies and policies were identified to blunt the negative effects in cities.

Keywords: new normal; urban resilience; war-resilience; urban sustainability; healthy cities

Alexandra-Georgeta Beldiman doctoral student, Doctoral School of Urban Planning, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania

Interior-Intimity-Affinity. In private residences of Belle Époque Bucharest - Alexandra-Andreea RUSU

ABSTRACT

In anthropological research, the concept of home has received several meanings, from a simple framework for the development of various social relationships (e.g., kinship)

– a way to order society – to a symbol of distinct cultural beliefs. Recent studies advance a distinction between house (or household) and home, where the house suggests the material forms, mirroring the dominant norms of society, and the home is defined by the subjective aspects that influence the formation of the individual, comprising feelings of rootedness, safety and worth.

Observing this new approach, my research analyzes a complex and multifaceted cultural setting, namely the interior of the house, from three perspectives: the material culture (interior), the sociability (intimity), and the lifestyle modernization (affinity).

Accompanying the phenomenon of family values exaltation and national identity affirmation, the sumptuous examples of elite residences, that set the atmosphere of Belle Époque Bucharest, were vehicles through which their owners displayed their education, values, and aspirations. Through design and rules of sociability, the ideal framework of family life, in perfect symmetry with the national project, was developed. Every stage of construction, from the exterior to the interior design, had to guarantee not only the embodiment of exquisite taste but also the physical, mental, and moral health of the citizens, the goal being the improvement of human nature, implicitly of society. As men’s work moves into public space, we witness the construction of another dimension of the private house. The house becomes a home, a place of refuge, balancing the increasing anonymity and rationality of the outside world.

Furthermore, the interior space reflected a world in rapid transformation, a liminal time in which the traditional order that determined hierarchy, loyalty, and social control no longer worked but a new order was yet to be established. An atmosphere of tension, of values clashing, is established, which will culminate with the outbreak of the First World War.

Keywords: material culture, sociability, lifestyle, conflicting moral, synergy

Alexandra-Andreea Rusu The Bucharest Municipality Museum rusu.alexandra.andreea@gmail.com

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.20 (2022)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.20 (2023) - CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

Researching ethnic markets in the modern urban space – Andreea PASCARU

THEMATIC DOSSIER

Markets, ethnic cultures, and minority languages: Constructing semiotic landscapes of diversity – Giustina SELVELLI

Can markets be ethnic? The Ottoman bedestens (fabric bazaars) throughout history – Thede KAHL

Valea Cascadelor: Constructing and negotiating identities in a Bucharest flea market – Alexandra RUSU

Across the counter relations: sociability in the farmersʼ markets of Bistrița and Năsăud – Florin DUMITRESCU

Bucharest’s markets as places for selling products and ʽexperiencesʼ during the religious and folk holidays of the year –Dorina DRAGNEA (ONICA)

Xanthi’s bazaar: historical approach and ethnographic experience of a local market and its culture – Aikaterini MARKOU

Hucksters’ polyglossia: “hostanys”, “pems” and “fribourgers”: an incursion into vendors’ discourse in multilingual markets – Cora SAURER-CHIOREANU

The work and commercial networks of Bulgarian and Albanian rag and bone traders in the open-air rag and bone market in Athens today – Georgios KOUZAS

Identity, otherness and commerce in times past Bucharest „The Flea Market” – Alexandra RUSU

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY

Property trajectories in socialism: The Bulgarian case – Evgenia KRASTEVA-BLAGOEVA

 

ANTHROPOLOGY OF LANDSCAPE

Urban ecological semiotics: evidence from Novi Sad and Sofia – Martin

 

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 

Coronavirus and challenges to refugees’ resilience in Weimar, Germany – Ruweida ALJABALI & Frank ECKARDT

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Rural snapshots. A review of “Culese din rural”, edited by Valer Simion Cosma and Emanuel Modoc – Maria CHIOREAN

A review of “The Making of Mămăligă: Transimperial Recipes for a Romanian National Dish” by Alex Drace-Francis (English) – Cosmin DRAGOMIR

INTRODUCTION - Researching ethnic markets in the modern urban space – Andreea PASCARU

An abundance of fish, the voices of bouzouki players, and the feeling of an underground world permeate the senses while strolling through such markets as we read about them in novels and booklets of old Athens, Salonica and other urban legendary centres covered in nostalgic biographies. This was indeed how Modiano, the largest indoor market of Thessaloniki – whose history is closely linked to the Jewish community of the city – appeared on a typical summer evening a few years ago. Not far from its historical building (once a synagogue), lies the open-air Kapani Market (in the Ottoman period known as Un Kapan meaning flour bazaar in Turkish). The latter presents a richness in local and oriental spices, from which as a tourist one should never walk away without a small package of boukovo, grounded chilli flakes said to be originating from the region with the same name in present-day North Macedonia. Strolling through the food markets of the Balkans, there seems to be nothing more inevitable than mixing one’s curiosity with the knowledge of this region’s historical past, an imperative indeed, when we find ourselves encouraged by tourist guides to go “shopping like a local”. Through the eyes of strangers, these exotic places reveal themselves gathering the natives’ full palette of authentic gastronomic and national or regional preferences immersing in delightful smells, textures, and flavours, while their local souvenirs may be autochtonous or imported from around the world. No wonder that back in the 19th century Émile Zola referred to markets, in his novel of the same name, as “The Belly of Paris” (orig. Le ventre de Paris, 1873), set in and around Les Halles, the enormous, busy central market of the French capital.

While everything could be considered ethnic for the tourist, the question that arises for us today is: what is really “ethnic” from a local’s point of view when referring to ethnic markets and their products? What does “ethnic” mean in today’s increasingly multicultural and simultaneously globalized cities? How are ethnic elements commercialized and used in the management of such places and how are they being used as a brand? Are vendors targeting a specific “ethnic clientele”? If so, is the clientele or the sales strategy changing over time?

Ethnic bazaars1 are, opposite to what the interest in the topic may indicate, mostly hidden and unrevealed places, kept humble from the tourists’ eyes on a first look. The association with “ethnic” is not related solely to individual products, but can refer to entire markets. Many urban weekly markets are perceived as “ethnic”, either (a) because the products on offer are predominantly made by a certain ethnic group, or (b) because the vendors belong to an ethnic group, or (c) because the clientele is predominantly made up of representatives of one ethnic group. Even in the era of globalization, they continue to be associated with ethnic groups, although with assimilation and acculturation, the importance of ethnicity may have become obsolete and no longer plays any role in some of them. While some parts of the world, including the Balkan peninsula, have been mostly known for their conflicts and tumultuous history, – which every country has narrated/portrayed/depicted according to its interests and its canons of writing –, ethnic groups living in the cities have merely been seen as separate entities with their specific dynamics. But it is worth mentioning, that throughout history, their role in enriching, spreading and disseminating goods and practical knowledge of handcrafting and even economic skills was a crucial one.

It is the realisation of this anthropological and historical meaning that built the foundation for the selection of this symposium’s papers, while the background of each expert in gathering empirical data, the in situ observations – both participatory and non-participatory – sets the cornerstone for the outcomes presented in the following pages. In the symposium we aimed at exploring methodological and theoretical issues and present studies of different urban “ethnic markets” based on current research projects on their dynamics and diversity. The focus has shifted principally to the Balkan region, but other parts of the world known for their multicultural societies are represented as well.

Zooming in on the characteristics of such markets, questions have explored the impact of ethnic labelling on the dominant language of the market through (a) interaction between buyers and sellers (b) the labelling of shops and goods and (c) the clientele that vendors target when it comes to sales strategies developing over time. From a sociolinguistic point of view, generous information has been brought to our attention through the focus on the multilingual discourse of vendors on markets from Switzerland, Mexico, the region of Transylvania, the capital of Romania and cities from Greece, Syria and the countries of the Caucasus, leading us to essential inquiries: what do markets of different functionalities, cultural backgrounds, formation and mixture, such as the ones in Oaxaca Valley – that various indigenous groups are still calling “home” after hundreds of years – and Istanbul’s Kapalı Çarşı (the “Covered Market”), have in common and what differentiates them? Taking a closer look, we realize how they are historically embedded into the societal consciousness of the people and we get answers to questions that we have never fathomed: the strategies involved in selling and buying, which are characterized by more or less the same dimensions of human needs around the world. Their contribution to fostering craft production and supporting and handing down old and partially endangered professions is not to be overlooked. Most of them are regional in scope, but universal in use. They come to feed human needs, whether we speak of social, cultural, or even intellectual ones. They are well-defined puzzles with their own rules and dynamics, led by strict hierarchical distinctions between their actors. They come in to serve the needs of a town and its temporary guests, the town’s hinterlands (see the Xanthi Bazaar in Eastern Trace) or a whole region.

Some markets are labelled as “ethnic” because they sell ethnic/indigenous products, such as the “La Cancha”, a Quechuan market in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the specific Berber markets of Inezgane near Agadir (Morocco) or the “Uyghur bazaars” in Ürümqi and Kashgar (China) that are dominated by Uyghurs. China’s oppressive minority policies have tried to make this ethnic element unpopular. Specific Uyghur products have almost disappeared today, but the markets are still known as Uyghur markets. The market in the Mellah district of Marrakesh (Morocco) was known as the “Jewish Market” and continues to be known as such, despite today’s Arab dominance. For centuries, the vegetable markets of Bucharest were dominated by Bulgarian vendors, to whom Romanians usually referred to as Serbs. Due to their predominantly Romanian clientele, Bulgarian markets has almost completely disappeared in the Romanian capital. The Stara Čaršija in the old town of Skopje (Northern Macedonia), which is frequented almost exclusively by Albanians, is hardly used by Christian residents to this day. Migration is shaping the emergence of ethnic neighbourhoods in many cities and their markets around the world, e.g. the numerous China Towns in Nagasaki, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Calcutta or Amsterdam. Over the years, these market centres have been subject to processes of assimilation and gentrification, but in many places, they have been able to retain ethnic specifics. In cities like Paris, Berlin, London or Vienna, “Turkish” or “Arab” markets have emerged showing corresponding phenomena of cultural contact. As the dynamics change over time, markets, like other public spaces, are not static. They are born, raised, nurtured with change and often very flexible.

They develop along with the rhythms, the pressures and dynamics of the world surrounding them, and they flow like rivers while rarely drying out. Nevertheless, their meanings are not always as valued as it may seem thus far. The Hala Mare (an outstanding meat hall on Bucharest’s Unirii Square) fell victim to the regime when demolished by the communists in 1986. In its place, numerous tall block buildings were raised towards the sky, while the later-constructed Flower Market (Rom. Piața de Flori), seems to have been the paying tribute for the architectural historical loss.

Last but not least, in markets that survive over time and regimes it all comes down to the main social pillars, namely the sellers (often also vendors themselves). What often strikes us is their tenacity and the resilience shown along the years by practising the same profession for long periods of time or even their whole life. Their devotion, perspicacity and hard work often pay off with more trust and respect from the clientele’s side.

Economic matters, the dominance of best price –, best quality practices, and the markets’ frenetic ambience may sometimes resemble the frantic stock exchange atmosphere on Wall Street. Though it rarely gets that anarchistic, “they are in fact” feasts of unimaginable dimensions. They attract while engaging all our senses with their colours, smells, and textures while their soundtracks (the sellers’ speech) play out in elaborate rituals. Investigating them does not only require openness and curiosity but may also be a matter for a strong stomach and not the task of a delicate state of being. Ethnic or not, their survival also depends on the constraints of climate change, devastating changes in global economies, or natural disasters having a direct impact on them as seen in the last few years during the recently subdued viral pandemics.

This journal’s edition, named by the conference held in autumn 2022, shows an interdisciplinary approach, imbued with anthropological, cultural-historical, ethnograhic and linguistic views. Through the broader basis of empirical research presented here we wish to also address both advantages and disadvantages of what being and acting as a minority means in this context. We wish to stress what the implications are on social, economic, and linguistic levels and they are ought to be taken into account when analysing the background, structures, dynamics, and evolution of these historical places and their meaning on global and regional levels. The works included here are meant to encourage more comparative and cross- cultural dialogue around the topic while enhancing and generating new approaches to studying modern market organization. This volume intends to raise awareness of, and stress the role and significance of the ways that scientists can investigate market exchange and how they can develop in modern societies. Therefore, it includes papers that review ideas of how these systems develop and change as part of the urban settings from various branches of theory. Additionally, works related to urban ecological semiotics, and subjects related to medical and psychological anthropology from the Balkans come together to complement the approach in this journal edition in a renewed plea for more inter-disciplinary pursuits in a space so rich in human, goods and cultural patterns.

1 From the Persian رازاب bāzār‚ ‘market‘.

Andreea PASCARU PhD Student, University of Jena Researcher, Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage Commission, Vienna andreea.pascaru@oeaw.ac.at

Markets, ethnic cultures, and minority languages: constructing semiotic landscapes of diversity - Giustina SELVELLI

ABSTRACT

This article deals with minority and indigenous cultures (and their respective languages) as meaningful markers of diversity sustaining complex dynamics of identity and relationalities in different contexts of open-air markets or bazaars in multicultural spaces of the vast Southeast European area and Mexico. The research is based on extensive autoethnographic practices, autobiographical experiences, and fieldwork in the bazaars and markets in several Balkan cities (Belgrade, Sofia, Novi Sad, Gjirokastër), Turkey (Nusaybin), Armenia (Yerevan) and Mexico (Mexico City, Valle de Bravo, and Oaxaca). Following a sociolinguistic and anthropological approach, I will analyse the ‘ethnic’ elements in these social environments as part of a complex process that constructs ‘semiotic landscapes’ of diversity. I will also highlight their capacity to express models of resistance to the logic of the nation-state and patterns of cultural homogenisation and emphasise their value for research on multicultural societies and minority cultures.

Keywords: semiotic landscapes, linguistic landscapes, minority languages, multilingualism, bazaars, open-air markets, Balkans, Mexico

Giustina SELVELLI Independent Researcher giustina.selvelli@gmail.com

 

Can markets be ethnic? The Ottoman bedestens (fabric bazaars) throughout history - Thede KAHL

ABSTRACT

The Ottoman Empire was very heterogeneous in terms of the religious denominations, languages and educational backgrounds of its inhabitants: the coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews was conflictual and characterised by oppression by the Muslim ruling class. In trade, however, it became apparent that common economic interests led to mutual dependencies and even well-functioning, multiethnic symbioses. Typical places of such coexistence were the bedestens – Ottoman fabric bazaars, which spread to southeastern Europe as the Ottoman Empire expanded from the 14th century onward. After the fall of the empire, the bedestens were treated very differently in the nation-states. Especially in the Christian-dominated states of southeastern Europe, Ottoman cultural heritage was held in low esteem; many buildings perceived as “Turkish” were left to decay or fell into disrepair. The article describes the multi-ethnic coexistence in bedestens and presents the “nationalisation” and change of use of some of the bedestens preserved today.

 

Keywords: Balkans, bazaar, ethnic markets, Ottoman architecture, Janissaries, textile production

Thede KAHL Professor of South Slavonic and Southeast European Studies Friedrich Schiller University, Jena thede.kahl@uni-jena.de

Valea Cascadelor: constructing and negotiating identities in a Bucharest flea market - Alexandra RUSU

ABSTRACT

The proposed study approaches the subject of marginal urban transactional spaces as places of construction and negotiation of identities. Also, the research can be inscribed in a broader direction of anthropological discourse, in which markets are nodes of complex social processes that facilitate economic transactions but extend beyond them. Specific markets, such as flea markets in urban areas, are embedded in the fabric of the community, “organised around the complex, multistranded relationships that intertwine gender, ethnicity, class and kinship, as well as economic role” (Bestor, 2001, 9228). The flea market, situated in the broader cultural milieu of social values and norms, becoming an arena where various people or groups interact and negotiate identities. “Valea Cascadelor” flea market is an open-air market. This organism adapts to the seasons and holidays. Those interested can buy anything from antiques to cheap substitutes for symbols of social status or everyday objects recovered and reintroduced into the exchange circuit of goods. Diversity defines the range of things and actors, people from all social and professional backgrounds or different ethnicities. This improvised museum of material culture is built by the people who frequent it and by the objects traded, which in turn help to construct the identity of those involved. As a case study, the research presents the history of a small fine art collection (graphics and paintings) composed of artworks bought exclusively from the “Valea Cascadelor” flea market. The interview captures the development of the collection over ten years, the contextual artwork analysis, the evolution of a unique profile-the flea market art collector- (Italian citizen, resident in Romania for 12 years) and the transactional behaviour observation involving identity negotiation on both sides.

Keywords: identity, negotiation, ethnicity, flea market, collection

Alexandra RUSU Curator at Filipescu-Cesianu House, Bucharest Municipality Museum rusu.alexandra.andreea@gmail.com

Across the counter relations: sociability in the farmersʼ markets of Bistrița and Năsăud - Florin DUMITRESCU

ABSTRACT

Based on ethnographic research into the markets in Bistrița and Năsăud and of the work conditions on rural farms, I managed to write an article on economic anthropology to be included in complex society studies. This is meant to demonstrate that the market (agro-market or the fair-market), far from being an essentially commercial area governed by strictly economic parameters (utilitarian ones), is a complex societal institution which extends the Maussian relations (based on reciprocity and mutual assistance) in the village framework, in conjunction with the spirit of sociability and civic-deliberative freedom typical of the urban area; it connects individuals and aggregates networks of easy-going practices; it continues, even if in desacralised forms, certain cultural traditions of a festive-carnivalesque type, focused on topoi as well as on primordial elements, such as nature, abundance, land toiling, etc. This study also tries to follow up on the diachronic evolution of markets in the two cities in a sustainable symbiotic relation with the rural hinterland.

Keywords: farmersʼ market, householding, reciprocity, mutual aid, sociability, third places

Florin DUMITRESCU University of Transylvania, Braşov florin.dumitrescu@unitbv.ro

 

Bucharest’s markets as places for selling products and ʽexperiencesʼ during the religious and folk holidays of the year - Dorina DRAGNEA (ONICA)

ABSTRACT

The article analyses the variety of items sold on the market during the religious and folk holidays of the year. The field research consists of formal and informal markets in Bucharest, where direct and participant observation, and extended discussions with vendors and buyers, Romanians and Roma, were carried out. The content perspective of the investigation is oriented on reflecting the material items purchased and the consumer experiences, cognitions, and cultural behaviours of the individuals acting in such contexts. The objects of ritual, ceremonial, social, and folk utility express the identity of the individuals and their attempts and ways of the tradition and heritage discovering, of the seller-buyers’ rapports and trading strategies used, and the mechanisms of experiencing collective feelings and attitudes.

Keywords: identity, market offers, cognitions, trading tactics, traditions, ethnicity.

Dorina DRAGNEA (ONICA) National Institute of Heritage, Bucharest, Romania dorinaonica@yahoo.com

Xanthi’s bazaar: historical approach and ethnographic experience of a local market and its culture - Aikaterini MARKOU

ABSTRACT

The paper aims to present a socio-economic and cultural event, the bazaar of Xanthi, the operation of which is linked to various local identities and the glocalized processes that permeate the world of the bazaar. Initially, an attempt is made to examine the bazaar’s evolution within Xanthi’s changing urban space from the end of the 19th century to the present day. We will also focus on the multitude of relationships that connect different types of people with their products, conserving a traditional multiethnic atmosphere in interaction with the consumerism of the current global context. A bazaar is a place of extreme mobility of people, identities and goods. It is where people, goods, different languages, and ethnic and religious identities intersect to create a dynamic mosaic which reconciles the heterogeneity of needs and interests. In economic terms, the bazaar is a market with low- priced products where the value of products changes depending on the cultural context of the communicative exchanges. Furthermore, the bazaar is a performance scene where multilingual speakers transform the place into a linguistic laboratory and a significant cultural capital of the region. This paper is based on historical photographic material and field research with long participant observation in the bazaar, where the centrality of the city shifts to every Saturday.

Keywords: Thrace, bazaar, materialities, value, haggling, multiethnicity, multilingualism

Aikaterini MARKOU AssociateProfessor, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini amarkou@he.duth.gr

Hucksters’ polyglossia: “hostanys”, “pems” and “fribourgers”: an incursion into vendors’ discourse in multilingual markets - Cora SAURER-CHIOREANU

ABSTRACT

The seller’s adjustment to the buyer or the buyer’s friendly attempt to haggle with the seller in different languages could help optimise a transaction. Communities with traditional market vendors, such as the Hoștăzeni, the Pems, the Swabians and the Fribourgers provide a touch of local colour to the markets in their respective cities. For the local world, they still symbolise a world of goods and production that is starting to disappear. The ethnic fairs and markets’ changes in form, volume and the target audience can hasten their disappearance. The above is the case with Christmas markets, which, unfortunately, are almost identical in many of the towns that host them. What makes multilingual markets different? The appeal to the consumer, and the inter-relationships built up over time. In the markets, the customer for the buyer, the client is the absolute target. Very often, the customer becomes interested in visiting the place as a socio-linguistic interaction corner. We all go to the market to talk to each other; we all go to the supermarkets to quickly buy goods. This richness lies in the discourse of the vendors, in the way they adjust their language and non-verbal skills.

This study is devoted to similar discourses in multilingual markets and some contradictory ones, where multilingualism joins polyglossia. It also looks for the differences and similarities in how these acts of language ensure the existence of the markets, thus influencing their evolution and the presence of customers by applying certain linguistic and sales performances.

Keywords: polyglossia, peasant markets, Pems, Swabians, Fribourgers, Hoştăzeni

Cora SAURER-CHIOREANU Berne, Switzerland Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca cornelia.saurer@gmail.com

 

The work and commercial networks of Bulgarian and Albanian rag and bone traders in the open-air rag and bone market in Athens today - Georgios KOUZAS

ABSTRACT

When most people hear of rag and bone traders, they think of socially and economically marginalised individuals. However, this is a highly distorted picture owed to the media. Rag and bone men began their activities in Athens towards the end of the 1960s. In the early 1990s, they founded a professional body, Hermes, which in 2015 included some 750 members. With the onset of the financial crisis of 2010, several migrants and refugees became resorted to taking up this occupation. As a means of dealing with the insecurity of employment, they turned to gather metal items they found in the streets. In this study, I will focus on the commercial networks of Bulgarian and Albanian rag and bone traders who are active in Athens’s open-air rag and bone market today. They are far from being a marginal group; migrant rag and bone traders make up what is a professional body, with extensive commercial networks in Greece and the Balkans that facilitate the transport of objects, particularly items of folk art, such as carpets, dishes or pieces of wooden furniture, to toony countries in the Balkans and eastern Europe. Most rag and bone traders are involved in collecting metal items, either iron or copper, or old furniture pieces.

Keywords: bazaar, rag and bone traders, Bulgarians, Albanians, commercial networks

Georgios KOUZAS National and Kapodistrian University of Athens gkouzas@phil.uoa.gr

Identity, otherness and commerce in times past Bucharest: „The Flea Market”- Alexandra RUSU

ABSTRACT

“The flea market” was a place intended for the old furniture trade, but also other items that today we generically call second-hand goods, which appeared on the Bucharest trade map in the second half of the 19th century. It was erected in a disadvantaged area, densely populated, marked by the Jewish singularity. For more than half a century (1876-1930), the activity in the flea market, coordinated exclusively by Jewish merchants, had an undeniable role in the capital’s economy. Regarding its image, it was painted in the context of new socio-political realities in the Old Kingdom of Romania, such as the awakening of nationalistic feelings and xenophobia, especially antisemitism. In the last decades of the 19th century, the “Jewish Question” became an intellectual problem with an essential political stake, the emancipation of the Jews being in an irreconcilable position with Romanian nationalism. The anti-Semitic discourse used by the political, intellectual, and cultural elite presented the Jews as unassimilable, anti-national elements that could undermine the Romanian character. Examples from the periphery of life, including the Jewish merchants in Lazăr Street and the “Flea market”, constitute the extreme otherness and a potential danger to the nation’s body, thus emphasizing the opposing nature discourse and favoring an ideology of excluding Jews from Romanian culture and society. The research aims to capture the flea market atmosphere and the image of the Jewish community nearby, as reflected in the writings of some personalities (politicians, historians, prose writers, journalists) of times past Bucharest. The perspectives exhibit a wide range of observations, from objective ones, in contrast to the circulated stereotypes, to subjective ones, filtered through emotions, all pieces of the collective mind’s mosaic. Examples in the press oscillate between fin-de-siècle anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism of the early 20th century, infused with scientific claims, all using the flea market as a symbol of inadequacy for an entire ethnic community.

Keywords: identity, otherness, commerce, nationalism, antisemitism

Alexandra RUSU Curator at Filipescu-Cesianu House. Bucharest Municipality Museum rusu.alexandra.andreea@gmail.com

Property trajectories in socialism: The Bulgarian case - Evgenia KRASTEVA-BLAGOEVA

ABSTRACT

The text presents and analyses the traumatic history of forcible ownership deprivation of the so-called “former people “conducted by the communist Bulgarian rulers. Urban properties, houses and industrial sites were nationalised or partially taken “in the name of the people“; village landowners were forced to give their land to cooperatives. The state policy of “squeezing the city population” ensured homes for thousands of people coming from the countryside. Through in-depth interviews and biographical methods, the victims’ emotions are reconstructed; their ways of coping with trauma and this specific type of personal crisis are shown. Effects on individual identity formation are also traced. The second part of the text examines changes in objects and possessions that occurred after forcible appropriation. Following Appadurai’s concept of the social life of things, the biographical trajectories of these objects and the physical transformations they underwent due to the forcible transfer from their original owners – city dwellers to the former villagers- new urban settlers, members of the Communist party are analysed.

Keywords: socialism, property, nationalisation, objects, trauma, emotions, identity

Evgenia KRASTEVA-BLAGOEVA New Bulgarian University, Sofia evgenia_blagoeva@hotmail.com

Urban ecological semiotics: evidence from Novi Sad and Sofia - Martin HENZELMANN

ABSTRACT

In this article, I highlight the relevance of contemporary urban ecological semiotics. In this context, I demonstrate the significance of the green colour in interaction with language elements in two cities of South-Eastern Europe: Novi Sad in Serbia and Sofia in Bulgaria. Starting with a general part, I present the symbolic power of the colouronym “green” in the context of natural phenomena. Then I introduce the research tradition of Semiotic Landscapes, on which the study is based in terms of methodology. The theory of Semiotic Landscapes questions the interaction of language, visual, and other impressions. I evaluate six concrete examples which combine shades of green with language use. Analysing these examples, I show the meaning of the colour “green” in the respective context, and I discuss this against the background of urban reality. Finally, I summarise the findings and argue that using green colour in combination with linguistic units is primarily associated with positive qualities in both urban centres.

Keywords: semiotic landscapes, green city, Novi Sad, Sofia, language in public space

Martin HENZELMANN Institute for Slavic Studies, University of Greifswald martin.henzelmann@uni-jena.de

Coronavirus and challenges to refugees’ resilience in Weimar, Germany - Ruweida ALJABALI, Frank ECKARDT

ABSTRACT

Corona came and hit the world while it’s already been undergoing several other challenges and problems to its resilience and sustainability. These global North and South crises have heavily affected people experiencing poverty and refugees. This research investigates the challenges to refugees’ resilience in Weimar, Germany. To conceptualise these challenges, we conducted 12 interviews with refugees and another 4 with relief workers in Weimar, Germany, between June-August 2020. The displaced reported many challenges: language and integration, bureaucracy, health and personnel, housing and refugee status, and social support obstacles. As these challenges are interrelated, their impacts on each individual and family have been different, and thus the level of refugees’ resilience has varied.

Keywords: refugees, coronavirus, resilience, social resilience, Germany, Weimar.

Ruweida ALJABALI Bauhaus University Weimar ruweida.akram.aljabali@uni-weimar.de

Frank ECKARDT Bauhaus University Weimar frank.eckardt@uni-weimar.de

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.19 (2022)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.19 (2022) - CONTENTS

EDITORIAL

Maps of the future: predictive cartography, Adrian Majuru

THEMATIC DOSSIER

Verum morphosis or the birth of Subjective Reality (Hyperreality), Ferencz Bakos

The future as an « agreeable fiction », Adrian Majuru

How can architecture cure loneliness?, Lapca Bogdan

 

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY

Informal living – the concept of informal living –, Dumitrescu Ana Bogdana Water Shortage, Cristina Bianca Togoe

 

SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Residential mobility of young people, Simina Rădoi

Reintroducing disadvantaged districts into the urban fabric, Alexandra Lungu

 

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 

From the ubiquity of „misery” to selective waste collection A brief geography of Bucharest hygiene and sanitation, Alexandra-Andreea Rusu

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Noreena Hertz, Secolul singurătății. O pledoarie pentru relațiile interumane, Bucureşti, Humanitas, 2021, Alexandra-Andreea Rusu

EDITORIAL - Maps of the future: predictive cartography - Dr. Adrian MAJURU

Romania lacks a ‘map of the future’. And this mapping of the future is entirely up to the human factor. It represents a continued investment in the human factor. As Spiru Haret used to say, “The way school looks today, is the way the country will look tomorrow”. During the last thirty years of freedom of opinion and attitude, there have been and still are very few positive steps backed up by constructive arguments, with clear milestones and stages to be followed.1

Reconnecting with reality is made possible by investing in people because excellence and competence do not depend on the size of the country but on its education system. It needs to change. The second clear option for reconnecting with reality is to re-skill the workforce.

The profession must become the critical mass of political decision- making: career performance precedes political office. To this must be added the confidence gained within active generations, by real leaders, who can then exercise the decision-making function by delegating the vote and the political decision. The latter becomes honorary rather than remunerated and the decision-making levers can acquire more social and professional value for the generations that follow.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is a pragmatic reality: that the 21st century will be marked by those who know best how to make the most of science, how to anticipate and use a minimum of resources to achieve maximum results.

The present is at least questionable from the perspective of Romania catching up with the differences in civilization, professionalism and technology over a generation, even comparing to close neighbours such as the Czech Republic, Poland or Slovenia.

The starting point for today’s young people, teenagers or students, is not at all positive and the state’s recovery will have to be made via unconditional support for professional skills and civic and moral integrity. Schools will have to “prepare students for this purpose. Educated in this way, not all will become elites, but all will become a nation. Respect for values is cultivated, starting in school, when you learn to respect others for what they can do and learn to be respected by others for what you can do”.2

The children or grandchildren of some of us will be between 20 and 30 years old. Others will pass that threshold. First of all, they will wake up in a world with a shrinking demographic, especially in terms of the working population. At the age of senescence, in another 20 or 30 years’ time, they will discover that their country will probably have 16.9 million inhabitants (according to UNDP data) or 15.5 million inhabitants (based on INS data). Then, senescence will pose a real problem in terms of maintenance and costs, and our children of today, the elderly of the future, will represent 5.1 million compared to only 3.2 million today.

Our children today, as they become adults, will differ from us primarily because they will not have the memory of the Cold War, the regression of everyday life within a tyranny or the memory of the victory of the “free world” and, as a result, they will have different ideological and political voting sensibilities as well as a different relationship with the state. The world they are preparing to enter will be (and already is) dominated by invisible enemies, unimaginable to us 40 or 50 years ago, as it is the specificity of a “terrorist, infiltrated, fanatical and global” everyday life that can “justify from their point of view the renunciation of certain birth rights, such as the right to privacy”.

Why is investment in technology, knowledge, innovation, education and advanced tech needed now? Because, in the case of the young generations Y and Z, “with the massive use of mobile and digital technologies, their brain capacities seem to increase”, i.e. “they seem to have the ability to process information more easily at the same time, and not sequentially. This would make them better suited to complex multi-tasking activities”.3

Changes will occur rapidly and synchronicity will mean variety above all. The impact will be devastating for societies unprepared for this leap and will thus become secondary exploitation options for winners, either for resources or for cheap labour. As indeed our country currently stands.

The theme of this 19th issue of RAU is Maps of the future: predictive cartography and aims to become a space for opinions about the future, regardless of the themes addressed or the perspectives described. It is a theme open to any professional dynamic, which can be represented by a predictable mapping of the future destined for a profession or a social or cultural phenomenon.

1 – Among the critical approaches to Romanian society and its elites, we mention the following works: Sorin Adam Matei, Boierii minții. Romanian intellectuals between prestige groups and the free market of ideas, Compania, 2004; Adrian Gavrilescu, Noii precupeți. Public intellectuals in Romania after 1989, Compania, 2006; Andrei Marga, Governing and Governance (A Turn of Democracy?), Compania, 2013

2- Mircea Platon, Deșcolarizarea României. Scopurile, cartitele și arhitecții reformei învățământului românesc, Ideea Europeană, Bucharest, 2020, p.5.

3 – “(…) the media frequently talks about the transformation of young people under 30: it seems that they will indeed be the first specimens of new stages in human evolution”, and, as a result, “those who govern must understand how the thinking, visions and representations of their descendants are constructed in order to accompany them in their progress and avoid intergenerational ruptures”

Verum morphosis or the birth of Subjective Reality (Hyperreality) - Ferencz BAKOS

ABSTRACT

With the pandemic, the world is going through a watershed event that calls into question the very system of human beliefs and values. In this context, the imbalances and shortcomings of society only heighten the tension and accelerate the processes of impending change. Man is changing, human behaviour is changing, the city is changing. We are witnessing a third revolution in the development of humanity, after the agrarian and industrial revolutions. This time we are talking about the technological revolution and the changes it brings are certain to be profound, even irreversible.

This article discusses some of the emerging and possible consequences of one of these new technologies, AR (Augmented Reality), for architecture and urbanism in the context of augmented space. It brings into question the paradigm change in spatial design with new developments in AR, and introduce AR as a theoretical and practical tool for architects in which to understand current and future changes in the occupation and construction of the city.

 

Key words: reality, objective reality, human, evolution, senses, augmentation, augmented reality, city, subjectiv reality, hyperreality.

Ferencz BAKOS

Faculty of Architecture of the University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu” gratuated in Planning Master of urban and design planning

E-mail: ferencz.bakos@gmail.com

The future as an « agreeable fiction » - Dr. Adrian MAJURU

Romania lacks a “map of the future”. And this mapping of the future is a matter for the human factor alone. It is the continued investment in the human factor. As Spiru Haret used to say in his time, “How the school looks today, the country will look tomorrow”. In the last thirty years of freedom of opinion and attitude, there have been and still are very few positive steps backed up by constructive arguments, with clear milestones and stages to be followed.

The reconnection to reality is built by investing in people because excellence and competence do not depend on the size of the country, but on its education system. It needs to change. The second clear option for reconnecting to reality is to re-skill the workforce.

Dr. Adrian MAJURU

Museum of Bucharest

adimajuru@gmail.com

How can architecture cure loneliness? - Bogdan LAPCA

ABSTRACT

This article examines the impact of loneliness on our mental health and show show architecture can be the solution to this imminent danger. It shows how today’s life is different from the past and in what direction everyday life is heading as a result of globalization. It recognizes the role that urban planners and architects play in influencing mental health and what are the solutions by which the effects of loneliness can be eliminated. In an attempt to solve the problems of loneliness in the urban environment, four different approaches are presented that can play an important role in reducing the effects of loneliness.

 

Key words: loneliness, architecture, mental health, design

Bogdan LAPCA

Faculty of Architecture of the University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu”

gratuated in Planning Master of urban and design planning

E-mail: bogdanlapca@yahoo.com

Informal living – the concept of informal living – Ana Bogdana DUMITRESCU

ABSTRACT

The scale of the informal housing phenomenon in Romania is fueled by the lack of a legislative framework (Romania is the only country in the European Union that conditions property identity). Lack of data and interest in this topic exacerbates the problems associated with this type of settlement (lack of housing, social exclusion, lack of access to public infrastructure, lack of social benefits, overcrowding, reduced quality of life, illiteracy, hygiene and health issues, etc.). Thus, the phenomenon is growing and endangers the safety and health of the resident population.

The phenomenon of informal living in Romania is a topic addressed recently, there are very few studies on this topic. The present paper has as justification the understanding of the subject, of the catalysts and of the importance of improving the propagation of the phenomenon by referring to a case study from Romania.

 

Key words: overcrowding, social exclusion, scale of the phenomenon, scale, catalysts, undefined topics, regulations, marginalization

Ana Bogdana DUMITRESCU

The University of Arhitecture and Urban Planning “Ion Mincu” – Bucharest

Discipline: Anthropology Urban Faculty of Urbanism – Cycle II

Master Urban Management for Competitive Cities

Residential mobility of young people - Simina RĂDOI

ABSTRACT

The transition to adulthood is a time marked with changes. Residential change is one of the most important among them. What are the implications of residential mobility in this crucial period of life? Access to affordable housing is a challenge in itself, regardless of age, and it is even more challenging among young people, as affordable housing that meets their needs is crucial for the proper development of a family physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

Key words: residential mobility, affordable housing, young people

Simina RĂDOI

University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu” Master of Urban Design, Faculty of Urbanism

E-mail: simina.radoi@yahoo.com

Reintroducing disadvantaged districts into the urban fabric - Alexandra LUNGU

ABSTRACT

Along with the increasing urbanization of cities, urban development management has been hampered, or in a best-case scenario, limited. In metropolises, without efficient management of built spaces and town area, things can get out of hand easily. This is the case for disadvantaged districts, also called “ghettos” or notorious neighborhoods. What does this mean for cities and how can these districts be reintroduced in the city when, right now, they represent a barrier, a border inside the city? The Danish government has started in 2004 a series of initiatives to solve the “problem areas” situation. The complete strategy was published in 2010, called “The Danish Ghetto Strategy”, a document created in order to regulate disadvantaged areas, its purpose being diminishing the socio-economic differences between living areas. The Danish Initiatives can have a favorable result in further developing methods, policies, and strategies for increasing the quality of living areas, the shared perspective on notorious neighborhoods, improving the urban image, and the social repercussions of living in such a neighborhood. This article will focus on the successful case of Rosenhøj district in Denmark and how this strategy model can be applied in Romania.

 

Key words: urbanization, management, ghetto, Denmark, strategy

Alexandra LUNGU, Student

Faculty of Architecture of the University of Architecture and Urbanism “Ion Mincu”. Urban Planner, Urban Management

E-mail: alexandra.alex.1997@gmail.com

From the ubiquity of „misery” to selective waste collection A brief geography of Bucharest hygiene and sanitation - Alexandra-Andreea RUSU

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, waste, understood as ecological and utilitarian waste, resulting from the manufacturing process, and from using goods or utilities, is not perceived as a critical challenge, an urgent socio-ecological problem for Bucharest administrators and most of its inhabitants. Hidden or exposed, waste talks about the contrast between European aspiration and the reality of indifference. The present research meets the imperative of awareness, by studying Bucharest sanitation conditions in the past 300 years, a historical and anthropological approach. Only by identifying recurring difficulties in managing public hygiene, observing successful projects developed by several administrations or by understanding the mechanism that changed habits, we can formulate solutions for a more responsible Bucharest. We notice how, a solid legislative basis, the determination of some actors (doctors, politicians), dwellers aid to eradicate or to establish public hygiene practices, gradually isolated the sight of waste and misery outside the city, in dedicated spaces. The next step on Bucharest future map is to raise awareness on waste ubiquity, even if hidden from our senses, a reality that requires the „collective spirit” activation to reduce the effects of pollution.

 

Keywords: hygiene, sanitation, health law, industrial hygiene, centre- periphery, selective waste collection

Alexandra-Andreea RUSU

Curator. Filipescu-Cesianu House. Bucharest Municipality Museum

E-mail: rusu.alexandra.andreea@gmail.com

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.18 (2022)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.18 (2022) - CONTENTS

EDITORIAL – George Cristian Curca

An anthropological perspective on the latest respiratory pandemics: our future response

INTRODUCTION     –    Modernization,    urbanization    and    medicalization in Romania by the end of the 19th century and the Interwar period, Octavian Buda

THEMATIC DOSSIER

Professor Cantacuzino: Pasteurian and Romanian Patron of the Arts, Steluţa Boroghină, Octavian Buda

Tuberculosis – a social disease of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. History and evolution, Ionuţ-Alexandru Banu

“Invalids of the Great War. Medical assistance, moral guidance and vocational education” Mădălina-Ioana Manolache

Secluded body – liberated body – Sequences of female body emancipation in Old Kingdom Romania, Alexandra Rusu

Fighting the Shame: Physicians, Priests, and Venereal Diseases in Romania, 1853-1874, Lidia Trăuşan-Matu, Octavian Buda

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY

Văcăreşti area – The memory of a “place” of urban, historical, social and symbolic – community pressures, Atena-Ioana GârjoabăCerasella Crăciun

Micro-events in the public space – The art of street performances, Monica-Gabriela Amuza

SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

The disappearance of an urban breed: Bucharest cinemas, Antonia Panaitescu 

Balcony and intimacy. A research of urban anthropology on the balconies of Bucharest, Horia Bârloiu, Mocanu Sînziana

MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Is pole dance an empowering sport or a matter of female objectification? Critical perspectives on pole sport, sexuality and art expression, Adela-Cătălina Marian

REVIEWS

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, Alexandra Rusu

Matei Eugen Stoean, Ctitorii ale oamenilor liberi. Arhitectura bisericilor de zid ale românilor din zonele de graniță dintre Oltenia, Muntenia și Transilvania (1700-1850) [Foundations of free people. Stone architecture of liminal churches between Oltenia, Wallachia and Transylvania, 1700-1850], with a preface by Hanna Derer, Bucharest: ACS Publishing House, 2021, 396 p., with illustrations [in Romanian], Simona Drăgan

EDITORIAL - Public Spaces: Places of the City, Places of Memory- Cătălin D. CONSTANTIN - University of Bucharest, PhD in Philology, PhD in Architecture

A city can be read just as one reads a book. The ‘letters’ in this book are the buildings, the street plans, the marks left on constructions over time, the ways in which people walk around and navigate the city, how vehicles move about in the urban space. Cities are a mixture of people and buildings, and the relationship between the community and the built environment is more complicated than it might initially appear. People make buildings, and, over time, these constructions and the spaces between them form cities. Over time, cities acquire their own identities. They decisively influence the ways of being, acting, and thinking of the people who inhabit them. The relationship between a community and its spaces features multiple and stratified nuances, which are not always immediately apparent.

In The City Assembled, Spiro Kostoff affirms that even though public space is a somewhat unclear concept, as it is often difficult to draw a clear line between public and private, these two aspects of urban life underline the relevance of the idea of public space. We cross the city to meet friends and acquaintances, S. Kostof states, on a park bench, in a square, in front of a cathedral. But everyone, he adds, can choose when and how they arrive, thus exposing themselves to unexpected situations along the way, meeting anyone and encountering the gestures of strangers. Public space is, first and foremost, a stage for daily life, as much for the familiar as for the unusual. Our freedom to act or to remain inactive is intrinsically linked to the existence of public spaces as territories of everyday life.

On the other hand, public spaces can also be stages for rituals. They host a wide variety of community activities – from concerts and festivals to religious ceremonies, historical and political celebrations, and even, in older times, public executions. Thus, public spaces carry the marks of a city’s memory. The ways in which these spaces are conceived, structured, embellished with monuments, capable of glorifying moments or characters belonging to the place’s history, all contribute to the ritualistic character of public spaces.

A reality with a fluid geometry, a public space is witness to continuities and ruptures, to the history of architectural fashions, trends and archetypes, while also comprising the volatile images of the societies that created or experienced it during particular periods. As in Honoré de Balzac’s novels, foregoing the separation of territorial descriptions from descriptions of the communities that shaped them, the memory of places is, in fact, the memory of those who have engaged with those spaces. And the landmarks of this memory are monumental, perceived as links between generations, as instruments prompting an influx of memories and artefacts attempting to resist the perishability of things. The columns, statues and arches of antiquity are now often replaced with other types of structures intended to make absence present, to bring the fragments of yesterday into today.

Public spaces give birth to a plethora of interpretations from a range of fields, from history, architecture and urbanism, from sociology and urban anthropology, to philosophy, politics, geocriticism and communication studies.

Memory, S. Freud wrote in Civilisation and Its Discontents, is structured like a city. The example he proposed was Rome, because it has physically maintained the layers of its developments through time. One century after Freud, we can reverse the terms of his comparison. A city is like a memory that carries the multiple layers of its previous incarnations, and public spaces shine a discrete spotlight on these superimposed urban lives.

The above excerpts were taken from the call for contributions to the 6th International Conference of Urban Anthropology. I wrote these lines1 at the end of 2019, when my friend, the historian Adrian Majuru, director of the Museum of Bucharest, suggested that I choose the theme for this edition, and entrusted me with its coordination. At that point, I could not have imagined that public spaces across the world would soon become empty, completely redefining their status; that squares and cities would be overtaken by a virus which, although present, still seemed very far away; that private spaces would become prisons for many, and that public spaces would become inaccessible, generating tension and fear. When the virus spread to Europe and countries shut down overnight, I was less frightened and more bewildered by the virus, terrified, even, by the rapid suppression of people’s banal and essential rights to move freely through public space, to travel between free countries. In March 2020, when a state of emergency was declared in Romania, and access to public spaces was restricted, I felt this moment of border closure more intensely, because I had a ticket to go to Rome to install an exhibition there about urban squares.

Suddenly, the subject of the conference had become strangely topical, but the conference could no longer take place, at least not as I had planned it. In order to inclusively and spatially illustrate the interdisciplinarity of the theme, the conference was to have taken place in November 2020, in parallel locations at the Suțu Palace, the Faculty of Letters and the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism. Of course, it was postponed, and I decided not to organize the presentations online. Even in April 2021, our second suggested date, it was not possible to organize the event in situ. The conference had been planned in partnership with the University of Valladolid, one of the oldest academic institutions in Spain and in the world. And from Valladolid—the city of the famous Controversy of 1550, which has major significance for the history of anthropology and human rights—we expected more participants, consisting of a small Spanish team coordinated by the anthropologist Mercedes Cano Herrera, who, kind as ever, had begun to study Romanian especially for this conference. However, in April 2021, trips to and from Spain would have required two weeks of isolation.

This issue of the Journal of Urban Anthropology is a signal to the general public and to the conference registrants – over 100 of them – that the conference will take place in situ, safely, as soon as possible. The volume comprises, with one exception, articles that the contributors had planned to present during the conference. Some of the topics have been updated to reflect what has happened and what is currently happening in public spaces. In the journal, they compose the thematic corpus, but they can also be found in the Social Anthropology and Urban Anthropology sections, to preserve the usual structure of the Journal. The one exception is the extraordinary testimonial essay in the Health Anthropology column, written especially for the Journal of Urban Anthropology by Dr. Cristina Oprea, associate professor at the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacology, and primary physician at the Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Bucharest. Hers is an extremely interesting, personal and direct account of how the pandemic was experienced by a front-line doctor fighting against the virus. It is a story written by a battlefield hero.

1 The text of this call benefited from the very helpful suggestions of my colleague at the Faculty of Letters in Bucharest, Cristina Bogdan, Ph.D., member of the Scientific Committee and the Organizing Committee of the International Conference of Urban Anthropology; therefore it should not be understood exclusively as a “single-authored text”, although the first version belongs to me.

 

INTRODUCTION Modernization, urbanization and medicalization in Romania by the end of the 19th century and the Interwar period - Octavian Buda Chair History of Medicine/Carol Davila University Bucharest

The medical history in Eastern Europe in general and in Romania, in particular, has received little attention from historians. The history of this region, due to massive political shifts, brought new opportunities for national schools of medicine but also disrupted scientific networks following the European wars of the 19th century and in particular two World Wars. Medical knowledge, like the spread of diseases, does not respect borders; therefore, its history must capture all elements generating this spread, which includes the exchange, reception and implementation of medical ideas. Detailed regional studies, not restricted to national boundaries, are still required today to uncover the pathways and processes behind the construction of medical knowledge in modern societies. Medicalization is usually studied from sociology and history perspectives, which emphasise the role and power of professionals, patients, and social needs. It also analyses the consequences of the prevailing concepts of health and illness on the citizens. Once a condition is classified as medical, a medical model of disease and disability tends to be used in correspondence to a social model.

We discuss here about the formation and practices of “medicalization” in the modern Romanian society, in a European context by looking into the discourses of medical practices. By looking in detail at the Romanian case, such as dealing with society and medical assistance, venereal diseases, tuberculosis etc. our project seeks to contribute to a largely uncharted medical and social history based on concepts of medicalization and modernity through the complex interchanges between medicine, scientific discourse, law enforcement and social needs in modern Europe.

We focus on biographies of physicians involved in the process of Romania’s path into Western standards throughout the 19th century, and related medical narratives: Victor Babeş, Ion Cantacuzino, Mina Minovici, Ştefan Irimescu, Gheorghe Banu, etc. At the same time, by inventorying health policies through which the state operated in the healthcare of the Romanian territories, we can have a better view on medical prevention, invalidity and social support, anti-epidemic measures, and so on.

There is always a complex nature of the generation of medical knowledge and political and intellectual discourses. Following the Foucauldian emphasis on the dynamic character of the networks, they are structured on how medical knowledge is produced and negotiated in the public sphere. Creating new insights into the study of how scholarly paradigms, legislation, and institutional interactions, in general, do occur in different Romanian historical periods, through systematic research of a particular national context (as the Romanian case) as well as through engaging with new methodologies, the special issue tries to offer a fresh approach of the stimulating recent inquiries on important issues like medicalization, legislation, medical narratives, scientific modernity and social values in history.

Octavian Buda

Chair History of Medicine/Carol Davila University Bucharest/

octbuda@gmail.com

Professor Cantacuzino: Pasteurian and Romanian Patron of the Arts - Steluţa Boroghină & Octavian Buda, Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

ABSTRACT

A “Pasteurian” – initiator of the Romanian school of microbiology, author of the so- called “great Romanian experience” during an cholera epidemic in 1913, Ioan Cantacuzino (1863-1931) was also political personality with a historical role in making The Greater Romania after the post-war treaty of 1920. The next year, he initiated in Bucharest an Institute for vaccines and immunizing serum according, playing a major role in vaccination policies in Romania. An avid art collector, he interacted with art critics Henri Focillon, Louis- Eugène-Georges Hautecœur, Georges Opresco.

Steluţa Boroghină

Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

steluta_boroghina@yahoo.com

Octavian Buda

Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

octbuda@gmail.com

 

Key words: Microbiology, Medical modernization, Eastern Europe post 1918, Art collecting

 

Tuberculosis – a social disease of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. History and evolution. - Ionuţ-Alexandru Banu Museographer – Dr. Nicolae Minovici Museum of Folk Art/Bucharest

ABSTRACT

Through this paper I tried to approach from a historical and chronological point of view, one of the diseases of the last century. The study is structured to highlight both the concerns of the “Society for Tuberculosis Prophylaxis and Assistance of Poor Tuberculosis” and to recall the pioneering work in the field of pneumology from its inception until the creation of the “Clinical Institute of Physiology” in 1962.

The fight against tuberculosis or “the disease of the romantic century,” as it was called, was a social disease, “considered a bohemian suffering, attendant of love in an age when finding out that you have tuberculosis was tantamount to an early death sentence.”

If by the middle of the 19th century, 25% of deaths were caused by this disease, by the middle of the next century the number of deaths from this cause had decreased by up to 90%. With the changes in the public health system and the emmergence of the BCG vaccine (Calmette – Guérin bacillus vaccine) in 1921, the incidence of tuberculosis was reduced even before antibiotics were used. However, the disease remained a threat to public health, creating intense concern in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, being considered a social chronic disease of the poor.

Ionuţ-Alexandru Banu

Museographer – Dr. Nicolae Minovici Museum of Folk Art/Bucharest Municipality Museum/Urban Anthropology Department,

ionut3@hotmail.com

Ionuţ-Alexandru Banu is a graduate of the Faculty of History, Ethnology Department at Babes-Bolyai University, he is passionate about ethnology and urban anthropology, focusing his study on the activity of Dr. Nicolae Minovici and on the collection in the museum.

 

Key words: tuberculosis, social illness, BCG vaccine, social assistance, Mina Minovici.

“Invalids of the Great War. Medical assistance, moral guidance and vocational education” - Mădălina-Ioana Manolache, PhD candidate – UNArte Bucharest

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the methods of medical and professional assistance of Romanian invalids who participated in the Great War. The program designed by orthopedic doctor Ion Ghiulamila within the “Society of War Invalids” was based on the concept of work assistance. Thus, many disabled people were trained for various trades, including the making of traditional artifacts, which were later exhibited at fairs and exhibitions. The promises of the authorities regarding the financial aid of the war victims created the most inconveniences.

Mădălina-Ioana Manolache,

PhD candidate – UNArte Bucharest, museographer – Dr. Nicolae Minovici Museum of Folk Art

Urban Anthropology Department manolachemadalinaa@gmail.com

Manolache Mădălina-Ioana is a museographer at the “Nicolae Minovici” Museum in Bucharest and a PhD candidate at the National University of Arts (UNArte Bucharest), where she researches the atmosphere of the first half of the twentieth century regarding national culture, especially in the fields of collecting and applied arts.

Key words: Invalids of the Great War, work assistance, dr. Nicolae Minovici, nationalist discourse.

Secluded body – liberated body Sequences of female body emancipation in Old Kingdom Romania - Alexandra-Andreea Rusu Urban Anthropology Department

ABSTRACT

The present paper highlights some of the contrasts and inconsistencies accompanying women’s emancipation process in the Old Kingdom of Romania. In the second half of the 19th-century, Romanian society witnessed a paradigm shift best translated into the increasingly active role of women in society. It wasn’t a sudden change in women’s status but a gradual adaptation of the collective mind to new cultural contexts (political, social, economic, technological). Withal, the women’s emancipation movement can be understood as part of the modernization puzzle, “the best of all worlds,” requiring the full involvement of both sexes. Urban elite representatives, organized in feminist societies, campaigned for women’s civil and political rights, overcoming the official discourse centered on the “natural” differences between men and women. Another battle was fought to dismiss the socially constructed gender differences that destined men to public spaces and power roles while women remained cloistered in their homes. In other words, the Romanian society was willing to cultivate the woman only in her capacity as a mother (metaphorically, mother of the nation), wife, and good Christian, and less as a full-fledged citizen.

As Romanian society matures and culture increases, the “feminist cause” gains more consistency, advocating for legal and economic equality, followed by political rights. Also, by navigating the list of permissions and prohibitions, women found new ways to overcome the sexual division of roles.

Alexandra-Andreea Rusu

Urban Anthropology Department

rusu.alexandra.andreea@gmail.com

Alexandra Rusu graduated from the Doctoral School of the National University of Arts in Bucharest, obtaining a doctorate in Fine Arts and Decorative Arts. She is currently working as a curator at Casa Filipescu-Cesianu (Bucharest Municipality Museum), the first museum of urban anthropology in Romania. Her research focuses on dress history and anthropological perspectives on traditional weaving techniques. In her writings, she also addresses social history and urban anthropology issues, with Bucharest as a case study. She is (co-) author of several articles, collective contributions, e-books and is a member of the Union of Fine Artists in Romania (UFAR) respectively The Association of Dress Historians (UK).

Key words: women’s rights movement, feminism, biologic determinism, cultural determinism, conflicting morals, paradigm shift.

Fighting the Shame: Physicians, Priests, and Venereal Diseases in Romania, 1853-1874 - Lidia Trăişan-Matu & Octavian Buda - Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

ABSTRACT

Romanian Principalities, as in many other places around the world, before the state took the initiative to medicalize the population, the church was the one concerned with the fate of the sick and infirm, of helpless elders and orphans, the poor, widows and pilgrims. This fact is not accidental, considering that religious teachings sought to instill the virtue of compassion and emphasized the obligation of rich people to help the poor or needy. In addition, from the middle Ages until the end of the 18th century, the dominant disease and therapy mindset was religious.

Lidia Trăişan-Matu,

Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

lidiatrausan@gmail.com

Octavian Buda

Chair History of Medicine, Carol Davila University Bucharest

octbuda@gmail.com

Key words: venereal disease, medical modernization, eastern europe mid 19th century, religious debates

Văcărești area – The memory of a „place” of urban, historical, social and symbolic-community pressures - Atena-Ioana Gârjoabă &

ABSTRACT

The research will explore the evolution of the current Văcăreşti Protected Landscape and its surroundings in Bucharest, in terms of place memory, which has been an area of urban, historical, social, symbolic and community pressures since the communist era. The evolution of the Văcăreşti Monastery area, followed by the construction of the lake, led to the deepening of an already deep “wound”, visible in the urban morphotypology, producing a drama for the inhabitants of the area.

The analysis of the historical evolution of the urban fabric highlights all the pressures to which the area of the current park and its vicinity were subjected, but also all the constraints that those who built here later did not have, or did not take into account – from the demolition of the houses for the construction of the lake to the constructions that were recently made in the area. Although since 2015, the area has been declared a protected landscape through the sustained efforts of the association, volunteers and specialists, the pressure on the park continues today.

The paper aims to investigate how this area can become a real “development vector” today, from an urban-functional point of view, which could be its future evolution and how it can be (re) brought and preserved symbolically to its architectural-historical past, in the conscience of the community, at the level of the quasi-natural, anthropic and cultural landscape.

Atena-Ioana Gârjoabă

PhD Candidate – The Doctoral Programme in Urbanism, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania,

atena.garjoaba@gmail.com

Cerasella Crăciun

Full Proffesor, PhD, Architect, Urban and Landscape Planner, The Faculty of Urban Planning, “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and

Urbanism, Bucharest, Romania, cerasellacraciun@gmail.com

Key words: natural protected area, heritage, communism, cultural landscape, urban fabric, urban pressures, conservation

MICRO-EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC SPACE The art of street performances - drd.urb.peis. Monica-Gabriela Amuza The Doctoral School of Urban Planning . IOSUD – UAUIM

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this work is to investigate the significance of the public space as a stage for art performances and spontaneous street events. How do these events shape public spaces and how do they contribute to the urban life? Street performers have drawn large crowds for as long as public spaces have existed. They are known as “buskers” and they can be found all over the world. The streets are fundamentally unpredictable, and the presence of buskers can provide an unexpected experience for passers-by, breaking the monotony of everyday life. Buskers are able to turn a public space into their own stage, and they frequently attract both tourists and locals. They are not, however, universally liked. They constantly deal with the authorities, who are confronted with problems caused by mass tourism, damages to the public space, noise pollution etc. Buskers must follow regulations in order to generate quality content that improves the quality of the public space. What happens to these artists when humanity faces a pandemic that restricts interaction with the public space and demands social distancing? As a result, the goal of this work is to understand how these art performances shape public spaces and what challenges both performers and authorities face in creating quality urban spaces. The paper investigates the regulations on street performances in various cities, and the findings indicate that stringent guidelines hinder performers. However, as long as they are allowed to express their artistic freedom, street buskers can follow codes of conduct and, in the long run, contribute to a place’s identity.

 

Key words: public space, micro-events, street Art Performance, regulations, street buskers.

The disappearance of an urban breed: Bucharest cinemas - Antonia Panaitescu UAUIM, Facultaty of Urbanism

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the evolution of cinemas in Bucharest in order to understand the shrinking process that has been happening since 1989 to present day. The cinema is addressed as a place, as a deeply social urban space, taking into consideration its other connotations nonetheless, like the cinema as a refuge, as art or as entertainment. Therefore, the first part includes a brief history of cinema in Bucharest since the occurrence of cinema in Romanian territories, to present: emergence, expansion (interwar vs. communism) and decline (the fading of the cinema from within the city and moving in the malls). The second part of the text, the theoretical approach, lists and explains the potential advantages of classic cinema as part of the urban fabric, either centrally, peripherally or pericentrally located. Eventually, the third part encompasses a personal perspective on the extinction phenomenon of classic cinema, along with a proposal for future development.

Balcony and intimacy. A research of urban anthropology on the balconies of Bucharest - Horia Bârloiu & Mocanu Sînziana - Universitatea din Bucureşti, Facultatea de Sociologie şi Asistență Socială

ABSTRACT

This paper talks about the balcony, intimacy and self. These three words that seem to have nothing in common are related from an urban anthropological perspective. The balcony is either an inner or an outer annex of the house. Between the four walls of the house people in general feel sheltered, feel the privacy of their own home. This is how the balcony becomes the border between the city and home privacy. Like any other room of the dwelling and balcony is arranged. The way it is used can say a lot about the owner’s self. In this article we explore the use, mysticism and charm of the balcony as a refuge from urban viewers.

 

Key words: balconies, intimacy, self, urban anthropology, interior design, city.

Is pole dance an empowering sport or a matter 155 of female objectification? Critical perspectives on pole sport, sexuality and art expression - Adela-Cătălina Marian Copywriter and Intercultural Management Master’s student, UNESCO Chair, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

This paper explores the increasing popularity of pole dance as a leisure activity for women. Over the past few years, pole dance has become both a highly acclaimed and controversial form of exercise, with people debating its definition, whether it is a sport, an art, or an element of “raunch culture” where women portray a hyper-sexualized version of femininity. To understand whether pole dance is an empowering act or a matter of female objectification, the author conducted qualitative research involving three pole dance studios in Bucharest. The interviews comprised open-ended questions which allowed us to explore the “pole phenomenon” from an “insider’s” point of view. The participants were asked about their endeavors into the pole world, as well as the way this sport has impacted their overall lifestyle and self-esteem. Although pole dance is increasingly viewed as fitness or art-focused activity requiring great strength and flexibility, performers are nonetheless stigmatized as strippers or sex workers. This article analyzes pole dance through a variety of conceptual lenses: dance anthropology, embodiment, and gendered power.

Adela-Cătălina Marian has graduated from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Bucharest, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Romanian Language and Literature and Russian Language and Literature. She has continued her academic path with a Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Advertising at the University of New South Wales Australia. During her stay in Australia, she has developed a keen interest in acrobatics and contemporary dance. Therefore, her research focuses primarily on body and dance anthropology. She is currently enrolled in her second Master’s Degree in Intercultural Management at UNESCO Chair. Her writings regard pole dance and aerial arts as beneficial leisure activities for self-esteem. Pole dance, especially, had a negative reputation for a prolonged period of time, therefore, her goal is to demonstrate first of all, that this is a sport and a unique way of expressing one’s femininity, while providing an excellent body conditioning. Adela Marian is currently working for Bookzone Publishing as a copywriter, while attending semi- professional acrobatics classes.

Key words: pole dance, pole art, sexuality, embodiment, feminism, sport, dance anthropology, culture, gendered power.

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.17 (2021)

Journal of Urban Anthropology - Nr.17 (2021) - CONTENTS

EDITORIAL – Cătălin D. Constantin

  • Public Spaces: Places of the City, Places of Memory
  • Espacios públicos: lugares de la ciudad, lugares de la memoria
THEMATIC DOSSIER
  • Transformaciones temporales de los espacios públicos: urbanismo efímero y dialéctica social, Carlos Hugo Soria Cáceres
  • El espacio ritual de las cofradías de penitencia en Granada (España) durante el Antiguo Régimen. Un acercamiento desde la documentación de archivo, Francisco Javier Crespo Muñoz
  • Social Behavior and Municipal Public Parks in the 19th and Early 20th Century in Romania, Alexandru Mexi
  • Lenin in Antarctica. Public Space and Monumental Narrative at the Pole of Inaccessibility, Ciprian Tudor
  • Death of a Lifestyle: The Street Life of Bucharest’s Jewish Neighborhoods, Felicia Waldman
  • Lockdowns: the Hyperconnections of “Invisible Cities”, Alexandra Crăciun
URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY
  • Bucharest’s Central Square, Cezar Petre Buiumaci
SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY 
  • Understanding Moral Solidarity: Theoretical Directions For Future Debates On Romanian Civic Commitment, Adela Toplean
MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
  • In the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic. Testimony of a Doctor From the Front Lines, Cristiana Oprea
  • The Body, a Personal Project? The Commodification of Body Shape in the Context of Fitness Culture, Maria Theodora Majuru
BOOK REVIEWS
  • Cătălin D. Constantin, Orașe în rezumat. Piețe din Europa și istoriile lor: Peter Pan ART, Ion Mincu Universitary Publishing House, 2017, 512 p., with illustrations, Cristina Bogdan
  • Alex Mexi, Raluca Zaharia, Friedrich Rebhuhn și grădinile României, Bucharest: Arché Association, 2020, 144 p., with illustrations, Simona Drăgan
EDITORIAL - Public Spaces: Places of the City, Places of Memory- Cătălin D. CONSTANTIN - University of Bucharest, PhD in Philology, PhD in Architecture

A city can be read just as one reads a book. The ‘letters’ in this book are the buildings, the street plans, the marks left on constructions over time, the ways in which people walk around and navigate the city, how vehicles move about in the urban space. Cities are a mixture of people and buildings, and the relationship between the community and the built environment is more complicated than it might initially appear. People make buildings, and, over time, these constructions and the spaces between them form cities. Over time, cities acquire their own identities. They decisively influence the ways of being, acting, and thinking of the people who inhabit them. The relationship between a community and its spaces features multiple and stratified nuances, which are not always immediately apparent.

In The City Assembled, Spiro Kostoff affirms that even though public space is a somewhat unclear concept, as it is often difficult to draw a clear line between public and private, these two aspects of urban life underline the relevance of the idea of public space. We cross the city to meet friends and acquaintances, S. Kostof states, on a park bench, in a square, in front of a cathedral. But everyone, he adds, can choose when and how they arrive, thus exposing themselves to unexpected situations along the way, meeting anyone and encountering the gestures of strangers. Public space is, first and foremost, a stage for daily life, as much for the familiar as for the unusual. Our freedom to act or to remain inactive is intrinsically linked to the existence of public spaces as territories of everyday life.

On the other hand, public spaces can also be stages for rituals. They host a wide variety of community activities – from concerts and festivals to religious ceremonies, historical and political celebrations, and even, in older times, public executions. Thus, public spaces carry the marks of a city’s memory. The ways in which these spaces are conceived, structured, embellished with monuments, capable of glorifying moments or characters belonging to the place’s history, all contribute to the ritualistic character of public spaces.

A reality with a fluid geometry, a public space is witness to continuities and ruptures, to the history of architectural fashions, trends and archetypes, while also comprising the volatile images of the societies that created or experienced it during particular periods. As in Honoré de Balzac’s novels, foregoing the separation of territorial descriptions from descriptions of the communities that shaped them, the memory of places is, in fact, the memory of those who have engaged with those spaces. And the landmarks of this memory are monumental, perceived as links between generations, as instruments prompting an influx of memories and artefacts attempting to resist the perishability of things. The columns, statues and arches of antiquity are now often replaced with other types of structures intended to make absence present, to bring the fragments of yesterday into today.

Public spaces give birth to a plethora of interpretations from a range of fields, from history, architecture and urbanism, from sociology and urban anthropology, to philosophy, politics, geocriticism and communication studies.

Memory, S. Freud wrote in Civilisation and Its Discontents, is structured like a city. The example he proposed was Rome, because it has physically maintained the layers of its developments through time. One century after Freud, we can reverse the terms of his comparison. A city is like a memory that carries the multiple layers of its previous incarnations, and public spaces shine a discrete spotlight on these superimposed urban lives.

The above excerpts were taken from the call for contributions to the 6th International Conference of Urban Anthropology. I wrote these lines1 at the end of 2019, when my friend, the historian Adrian Majuru, director of the Museum of Bucharest, suggested that I choose the theme for this edition, and entrusted me with its coordination. At that point, I could not have imagined that public spaces across the world would soon become empty, completely redefining their status; that squares and cities would be overtaken by a virus which, although present, still seemed very far away; that private spaces would become prisons for many, and that public spaces would become inaccessible, generating tension and fear. When the virus spread to Europe and countries shut down overnight, I was less frightened and more bewildered by the virus, terrified, even, by the rapid suppression of people’s banal and essential rights to move freely through public space, to travel between free countries. In March 2020, when a state of emergency was declared in Romania, and access to public spaces was restricted, I felt this moment of border closure more intensely, because I had a ticket to go to Rome to install an exhibition there about urban squares.

Suddenly, the subject of the conference had become strangely topical, but the conference could no longer take place, at least not as I had planned it. In order to inclusively and spatially illustrate the interdisciplinarity of the theme, the conference was to have taken place in November 2020, in parallel locations at the Suțu Palace, the Faculty of Letters and the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism. Of course, it was postponed, and I decided not to organize the presentations online. Even in April 2021, our second suggested date, it was not possible to organize the event in situ. The conference had been planned in partnership with the University of Valladolid, one of the oldest academic institutions in Spain and in the world. And from Valladolid—the city of the famous Controversy of 1550, which has major significance for the history of anthropology and human rights—we expected more participants, consisting of a small Spanish team coordinated by the anthropologist Mercedes Cano Herrera, who, kind as ever, had begun to study Romanian especially for this conference. However, in April 2021, trips to and from Spain would have required two weeks of isolation.

This issue of the Journal of Urban Anthropology is a signal to the general public and to the conference registrants – over 100 of them – that the conference will take place in situ, safely, as soon as possible. The volume comprises, with one exception, articles that the contributors had planned to present during the conference. Some of the topics have been updated to reflect what has happened and what is currently happening in public spaces. In the journal, they compose the thematic corpus, but they can also be found in the Social Anthropology and Urban Anthropology sections, to preserve the usual structure of the Journal. The one exception is the extraordinary testimonial essay in the Health Anthropology column, written especially for the Journal of Urban Anthropology by Dr. Cristina Oprea, associate professor at the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacology, and primary physician at the Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Bucharest. Hers is an extremely interesting, personal and direct account of how the pandemic was experienced by a front-line doctor fighting against the virus. It is a story written by a battlefield hero.

1 The text of this call benefited from the very helpful suggestions of my colleague at the Faculty of Letters in Bucharest, Cristina Bogdan, Ph.D., member of the Scientific Committee and the Organizing Committee of the International Conference of Urban Anthropology; therefore it should not be understood exclusively as a “single-authored text”, although the first version belongs to me.

 

Transformaciones temporales de los espacios públicos: urbanismo efímero y dialéctica social - Carlos Hugo SORIA CÁCERES - Universidad de Burgos (España)

Abstract

El artículo expone y analiza, a partir de un enfoque histórico y geográfico, formas particularmente interesantes de urbanismo efímero, su vinculación con el espacio público y la organización social. Entendemos por urbanismo efímero aquellas estructuras destinadas al ocio situadas normalmente en las periferias de los núcleos de población – ferias, circos y grandes exposiciones-, así como la transformación temporal de este espacio en periodos festivos. La investigación parte de un análisis diacrónico en el que se incide en esta tipología de urbanismo como fuente de propaganda y entretenimiento. Se destacará, a su vez, cómo el objetivo funcional de este urbanismo efímero no es únicamente el entretenimiento inocente de la población, sino que bajo una premisa subyacente se buscan establecer herramientas y estructuras de poder y control social. Con ello se tratará de demostrar el papel del urbanismo y la configuración del espacio público en la formación ideológica de las sociedades occidentales

Palabras clave: urbanismo, espacio público, efímero, social, transformaciones, control

Carlos Hugo SORIA CÁCERES – Universidad de Burgos (España) Departamento de Historia, Geografía y Comunicación, Área de Geografía Humana

chsoria@ubu.es

El espacio ritual de las cofradías de penitencia en Granada (España) durante el Antiguo Régimen. Un acercamiento desde la documentación de archivo - Francisco Javier CRESPO MUÑOZ, Universidad de Valladolid

Abstract

Study of the ritual space occupied by the penitential brotherhoods of Granada (Spain) during the Old Regime. This analysis is performed using documents from different archives. In this way, it is intended to reflect how the choice for the brotherhoods of their essential ritual space in the convents and, within them, in the chapels remained for centuries (despite certain evolutions); this decision determined the crisis of Granada’s Holy Week in the 19th century.

Palabras clave: Granada (España). Cofradías de penitencia. Espacio ritual. Antiguo Régimen.

Francisco Javier CRESPO MUÑOZ Universidad de Valladolid

franciscojavier.crespo@uva.es

Social Behavior and Municipal Public Parks in the 19th and Early 20th Century in Romania - Alexandru MEXI, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

During the 19th and early 20th century more than 50 urban public parks have been designed and built all over the Old Kingdom of Romania. They were all envisioned and designed by foreign specialists, most of whom came from France, Germany and Austria. For some of the parks they had created we find archival documentation that contains maps, sketches and drawings and even lists of plants. For some we find more. We discover written descriptions and correspondence which show big differences in the way that gardeners, architects and landscape gardeners envisioned public parks to look like and how they hoped people will use them and how they actually did – some used the lawns as places for their goats and pigs to graze on, lakes to fish from, flower beds to cut from, alleys, small plazas and gazebos to use as spaces for improvised markets etc.

To this end, this paper aims to focus on the causes of these conflicts and to discuss about the impact that social behaviour had had on the process of designing and even redesigning municipal public parks in the 19th and early 20th century in Romanian cities north of the Danube and east of the Carpathians, on imposing visiting regulations in public parks and applying penalties to those who disregarded the rules, closing the parks during the night and patrolling them during daylight etc. The research is based on archival documentation (plans, pictures, written descriptions, legislation, newspaper articles and correspondence) as well as on recent studies on similar topics from Romania and abroad.

Keywords: garden history, municipal public parks, 19th century, social behaviour, Park Movement, Bucharest, Iaşi.

Alexandru MEXI, landscape arch. University of Bucharest, National Institute of Heritage

alx.mexi@gmail.com

Lenin in Antarctica - Public Space and Monumental Narrative at the Pole of Inaccessibility - Ciprian TUDOR, Politehnica University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

In 1958, a team of Soviet Antarctic researchers set up a research station close to the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. Less than a month later, the research team abandons the station but not before installing on its structure a golden bust of Lenin, made of plastic. Ever since, the place has been visited by other Soviet research teams, but also by American, British and Norwegian Antarctic explorers. In 2007, the research station had been completely buried under snow, while Lenin’s bust was fully visible and some “visitors” took some selfies with the “monument”.

At the intersection of the logic of politics and geopolitics (of marking the Soviet presence in Antarctica) with the logic of the monumental narrative, the 1958 act of the team of researchers puts into question – or even into predicament – the concept of “public monument” and points to the problematization of a potential public space that is both fictional and symbolically appropriated.

Keywords: Lenin, public space, public realm, Antarctica, anthropology

Ciprian TUDOR Politehnica University of Bucharest

ciprian.tudor@gmail.com

Death of a Lifestyle: The Street Life of Bucharest’s Jewish Neighborhoods - Felicia WALDMAN, Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

In the Jewish neighborhoods of Bucharest, public spaces were often used as places of both commercial and religious ritual. On the one hand, due to the legal restrictions allowing them access to a very limited number of professions, Jews were in general both craftsmen and merchants, selling their own products. They usually did that from small houses, where they would have a tiny store at the front and a cramped lodging at the back, but many were in fact even poorer than that (contrary to the usual stereotype) and were forced to sell their merchandise in the street, in famous places like Taica Lazăr, which led to the emergence of a genuine street lifestyle. On the other hand, many Jewish holidays and traditions were celebrated by default out in the street, together with the entire community, and not in the intimacy of one’s home, which was often too small. Therefore, several times a year ancient religious rituals were brought to life in these public spaces.

This study presents the two different types of ritual, “commercial” and “religious,” which filled the public spaces of the old Jewish neighborhoods of Bucharest until World War II, when this lifestyle was destroyed forever first by the Holocaust and then by communism. To this end it looks at literary descriptions, photographic images, newspaper articles, advertisements and archival material depicting the activities that took place on the “Jewish streets” for centuries, until they were brought up to an abrupt end in mid-20th century.

Keywords: Jewish rituals, Jewish trades, Jewish holidays, Taica Lazăr, Vacaresti- Dudesti, Purim celebration

Felicia WALDMAN – Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

fwaldman@gmail.com

Lockdowns: the Hyperconnections of “Invisible Cities” - Alexandra CRĂCIUN Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

The paper deals with the paradoxes of „proximity” – based on Michel Serres and Jean Baudrillard’s readings of the concept – in relation to a new definition of the urban space that has become contagious through the effects of the pandemic. The social distance compensated by the suspension of space and time intervals in the realm of digital media are the grids of a new reading of the urban landscapes. Argia, the “invisible city” of Italo Calvino is declined, in this context, as an avatar of the quarantined citadel suffocated by the proximity of digital hyperconnections.

Keywords: invisible cities, proximity, hyper-connection, contagion, Calvino

Alexandra CRĂCIUN – Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

alexandra.craciun@litere.unibuc.ro

Bucharest’s Central Square - Phd. Cezar Petre BUIUMACI The Bucharest Municipality Museum

ABSTRACT

The approach of this subject comes from the desire to clarify a unique situation, that of Bucharest, an atypically structured city, but at the same time one completely coagulated and coherent in its evolution. Medieval Bucharest is a small administrative unit, concentrated around the royal palace of Curtea Veche (The Old Court), a palace that, during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, is the center of the Bucharestian world. This small nucleus around the Royal Palace will gradually expand, creating a large commercial square in the adjacent space, the Bibescu Vodă Square, where the Union Hall will be later built. Small communities appear around this nucleus, which are organized mainly by types of occupations, over time becoming guilds and with the church at their center. Coagulated on common interests and having the character of a parish, the urban community of Bucharest is called the slum and has the characteristic that the church, an extremely important institution in the life of the slum, can be found in its middle. Much more numerous than the rural community, the slum is constantly growing and, as the church becomes too small, the slum folk will build another, thus forming a new community around the new formed church. By multiplying this process, we begin to explain the multitude of churches that can be found in the city center today, dense but small churches that met the needs of the community and which were, at the same time, the center of that community’s life. This is the matrix of Bucharest, in which the church is the center of community life and which is at the same time specific to this atypical, multinuclear city, a city which grows organically and continuously, extending horizontally from the political center of the royal palace, both in a concentric and a linear manner, along the access arteries to the city.

The establishment of the Royal Academy from Saint Sava at the end of the 17th century will create a new pole which, from this point forward, will make the city center swing back and forth between the Union Square and the space of the future university. At the end of the ninth decade of the 19th century, the first boulevard of Bucharest was drawn on the east-west axis, starting from the current Izvorul Rece (“cold spring”) Square and having a route that ended at Mihail Kogălniceanu Square. The city center will move here for more than half a century, the University Square thus being designed to be the city center.

King Charles II, a great lover of festivities of a propagandistic nature, will try to remodel the Royal Palace Square as part of the restoration project of the Palace, which had been partially destroyed by a fire back in 1927. The Royal Palace Square had an architecture specific to the nineteenth century having, at its center, in front of the Royal Palace, the building of the Carol I University Foundation, framed on both sides by two buildings of a similar architecture. The area reconfiguration project, as part of the reconstruction of the Royal Palace, involved a development spanning more than two decades, between 1930- 1950, the last of its stages being the demolition of all buildings in front of the Royal Palace, thus making room for a square of large enough dimensions to reach, in the east, the newly drawn Take Ionescu-Magheru-Brătianu boulevard.

Dissatisfied with the achievements of his predecessor, but also with the fact that a square had not been built to take over the role of meeting place, most meetings still taking place in the Royal Palace square, Nicolae Ceaușescu will use the 1977 earthquake as the pretext to built a new political-administrative center, which inevitably led to the political relocation of the city center, as had happened in the past.

Keywords: central square, public square, city center, urban evolution, multinuclear center

Phd. Cezar Petre BUIUMACI

The Bucharest Municipality Museum

petre.buiumaci@gmail.com

 

Understanding Moral Solidarity: Theoretical Directions For Future Debates On Romanian Civic Commitment - Adela TOPLEAN Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT 

In what theoretical framework could collective commitment be explained and analysed? What encouraged committed participation in recent Romanian social movements? In this paper I claim that certain moral forms of understanding civic life are preconditions for manifesting responsible, willed social actions. Minimal consensus of value is indispensable. Spontaneous solidarity is, of course, possible and probable, but often as an indicator of anomie. I suggest that in urban Romania recent protesting contexts (2015-2019) are far more complex than thought and may need a broader and denser set of theoretical frames. I will show that anomic societies become more vulnerable precisely in the areas where consensual values appear more prominently, and I will make an attempt to explain why. I will conclude that, although most of us assume that anomie breaks communality, it is not necessarily the communality that anomie breaks; what anomie destroys is the relevant shared knowledge on the situations people engage in, particularly, genuine consensus. When social and health crisis arise, the impact on already frail communities is tremendous at all levels asking for urgent anxiety buffers and firing up a new kind of sentimentalised consensus rooted in a mystical and mystifying Rousseauian General Will rather than in authentic solidarity.

Keywords: anomie; individualism; collectivism; consensus; trust bonds; corruption; theodicy; social philosophy

Adela TOPLEAN Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest

adela.toplean@litere.unibuc.ro

In the Fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic Testimony of a Doctor From the Front Lines - Cristiana OPREA
ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical staff were among the first to be thrust into the situation of beholding such a gravely contagious and unpredictable disease.This testimonial essay presents events that unfolded during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as experienced by one of its front-line physicians. The testimony combines narrative and subjective descriptions of the experiences and feelings of the author and of the hospitalized patients in her department, as well as aspects of the doctor-patient relationship and various other elements that emotionally impacted medical staff during this turbulent period that influenced (and still influences) our daily existence.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, front-line doctors, emotions, feelings, professional challenges

Cristiana OPREA Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Dr. Victor Babeş Clinical Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases,  Associate Professor at the Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest

cristiana_oprea@umfcd.ro

The Body, a Personal Project? - The Commodification of Body Shape in the Context of Fitness Culture - Maria Theodora MAJURU Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

The present research investigates processes of body commodification and how the capitalist system conditions cultural and social values to create new sources of profit. This phenomenon is analyzed in the context of fitness culture, approached from various perspectives. Finally, we will examine the long-term effects of body commodification, which can endanger future generations.

Keywords: capitalism, consumer society, individualism, fitness, body shape, social standards

Maria Theodora MAJURU, Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, University of Bucharest

maria.majuru@s.unibuc.ro

Legends’ Keepers, Collections and Football Collectors - Rareș Mușătoiu

Abstract

The history of football representation is far from being one of the most prominent research interests in the anthropology of sports. This paper examines how collectors of football objects become informal historians and create representational imagery of the club, in deep connection with structural changes that come along with economic transition from socialism to post-socialism. The context of the research is the East-European block, an area that is, to a certain extent, expelled from the global market of football. Using in-depth interviews and participant observation, this study aims to understand the context in which collectors put the objects in a complex network of social interaction that is constructed upon exchange, symbolic value and specific approaches towards commodification. The research induces firm reasoning to analyze how is value created through networks of collectors  and advocates for an interdisciplinary method in which anthropology of sports, symbolic economy, cultural studies, and the history of representation are vital in the understanding of the phenomenon. Taking into account the vast structure of football museums that is developing in Europe, bringing a global market in which the sphere of branding creates the essence of the club to the foreground, the way in which informal means of representation, in the shape of private collections, alters the club identity is extremely relevant to studies that have football in the vanguard.

Keywords: history of football, post-socialism, collectors of football objects, participant observation, social interaction.

Rareș Mușătoiu

Contemporary struggles between Wotan and the Princess from the Sleeping Forest - Lavinia Țânculescu-Popa

ABSTRACT

The work is constructed starting from how contemporary man from the great urban environment experiences rest nowadays, not only as an obligatory way of repose, but, especially, as an inner experience. The question which drives this paper is related to the extent to which the current man, busy and tired, sleeps (naturally) and / or rests (culturally) in the same determined and programmed way in which he works. The way in which the resting spaces, day or night, manage to offer him rest, the people around him tire or help him rest, the associations that the pillow, the mattress, the bed, in general, remain at the stage of concrete objects or acquire elements of inner space of the being in which man feels required to immerse himself in order to be reborn for next day’s work – all these are found in this work, carrying a single ambition: to capture how the Bucharest man relates nowadays to this part of his existence, theoretically spontaneous, practical, in some cases, bearing the painful repercussions of the will of “I”. The paper starts from the description  of rest and its pretexts (spatial and temporal) as they were transmitted in a series of works of the 20th century, mainly, but also eternal (such as the biblical word) and concretizes the current situation through a collection of interviews conducted in the field, in Bucharest, with women and men, at the beginning, towards the end or in their full professional life.

Keywords: rest and work, bed, natural nocturne rhythm, anthropology of health

Lavinia Țânculescu-Popa

Cuvinte cheie: odihnă şi muncă, pat, ritm natural nocturn, antropologia sănătății.

The Urban Anthropology Journal Nr.16 (2020)

The Urban Anthropology Journal - Nr.16 (2020) - CONTENTS

EDITORIAL – Cătălin D. Constantin

  • E un pod pe Neretva
  • A bridge on the Neretva
  • Le Pont sur la Neretva
  • Die Brücke über die Neretva

FILE – THE BALKANS

  • How do the Greeks smell? – Claudiu Sfirschi-Praised
  • A city (Kastoria), its churches and an iconographic theme that made a career in the Balkan world: the astonishment of Saint Sisoe – Cristina Bogdan
  • The Embroidered Portrait of a Horseman – Military Saint at the Monastery of Saint Stephenin Meteora: A Popular Post-Byzantinism – Vasso Rokou
  • About the shoe and other lexemes related to the traditional costume from the end of the 19th century on the territory of Bulgaria – Yavor Ivanov
  • Balkan patterns in the work of Andrić and Kadare. The historical mythopoetics of the two writers – Cristian Robu Corcan
  • Cultural anthropology in fiction. Ivan Stankov – Carmen Dărăbuș
  • Ignored and uncounted ethnicities in Greece. The case of Western Thrace – Yüksel Bekir Hoş
  • Aromanians – Romanians from the South Danube. History, identity, dialect – Nicolae Saramandu, Manuela Nevaci

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY

  • Oberliht – Radu Mircea Comşa
  • Life in interwar Bucharest in literary testimonies – Alina Partenie

SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

  • Legends Keepers, Collections and Football Colectors – Rareş Muşătoiu

ANTHROPOLOGY OF HEALTH

  • Contemporary struggles. Between Wotan and the Princess from the Sleeping Forest – Lavinia Ţânculescu-Popa

REVIEW

  • Andrei Răzvan Voinea, The ideal of living in Bucharest: the family with a house and a garden. The plots of the Communal Society for Cheap Housing – Bucharest (1908-1948) – Simona Drăgan
EDITORIAL - A bridge on the Neretva - Cătălin D. Constantin anthropologist, the University of Bucharest PhD in Philology PhD in Architecture

The photographs on the cover were chosen to illustrate the dossier theme for this issue of the Urban Anthropology Review – The Balkans – and portrays a historical place from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The two images are one century apart. The Mostar Bridge is shown in the photos, today a well-known monument. The city draws its name from this bridge, specifically from the two towers, mostari, that guard each end of the construction.

Stari most, the old bridge, as translated, is on the UNESCO world heritage list, while also being an exception through its inclusion, as the list usually features only original monuments. The bridge of today is not old, but a recently remade copy. It is true, the construction has stayed faithful to the original and initial construction techniques were utilized. Stari most was redone ten years after its original medieval version was destroyed. In 1993, during the conflicts within former Yugoslavia, Croatian paramilitary tanks fired on the bridge at least 60 times for 24 hours, until the bridge, proving very sturdy, finally collapsed. The old bridge was commissioned in 1557 by Suleiman the Magnificent and its construction was handed to Mimar Hayruddin, apprentice of the greatest Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan. Stari most is considered one of the most remarkable examples of Ottoman architecture in the Balkans, with a perfect 12-meter arch rising spectacularly, as an architectural continuation of natural rock above the blue-green waters of the Neretva. Legend has it that architect Hayruddin was obsessed during its design and construction that the bridge might collapse. He was so consumed by this that, when the moment of inauguration came, nine years after work on it first began, he was preparing himself to be sentenced to death. 427 years later, up to the day it was destroyed, the bridge was perfectly functional and not even the passing of time had left many indents on its surface. The Croatian general who ordered its destruction claimed he gave the order because of matters of military security, as the bridge was considered a strategic objective. The Court that found him guilty of several war crimes firmly rejected this argument, considering his actions grave and deliberate attempts to destroy cultural heritage, since the bridge had gained a profound symbolic value in the context of the war, uniting city neighborhoods where different ethnicities resided, where churches, catholic and orthodox, mosques and synagogues could be found.

The photo of the Mostar Bridge on the upper portion of the cover is a historical photograph. It is one of the first color photos taken in the Balkans, part of an astounding collection of photographic images, the first great archive of color photos in the history of mankind. Around 1908, Albert Kahn – a banker, among the wealthiest people on Earth, whose life remains mostly unknown – finds out about a freshly-patented photographic technique. It was called autochrome photography and represented, in a chronological sense, the first means to truly take photos in color, a system devised by the Lumière brothers. Albert Kahn travels to Japan, takes a few photos using this technique, initially very costly, and is impressed with the results. In the following years, he uses his vast personal wealth to finance a team of photographers who he sends across the world in order to create a color photo archive of the planet. For two decades, traveling across more than 20 European countries and 50 countries outside Europe, Kahn’s photographers take 72.000 cliché verres. From India, to Palestine, from northern Europe to the Balkans. There are images of the early 20th century world, one still little changed by the passing of the centuries, but which would forever change because of everything that was to follow, especially the two World Wars. This archive is not well-known and not researched enough, taking into account its visual and anthropological worth.

In the Balkan territories, Kahn’s teams arrive shortly after the archive project had begun, around and during the first Balkan war, whose consequences were captured in photographs, in Macedonia and Thessaloniki.

The photo of Mostar Bridge is from 1912, the year of the first Balkan war. The Balkan wars changed the peninsula’s map, tracing borders in an area where, for centuries, there had been no borders and where, also for centuries, people of different ethnical background would constantly mix without significant issues. Moreover, the Balkan wars suddenly caught the attention of Europe, rapidly establishing a set of perceptions mostly negative, that the region still carries today.  It is around that period that     a superregional identity as well as the name of ‘Balkans’ begins to be constantly associated with the peninsula, initially without any negative connotations. Rapidly included in the European repertoire of insults at the time of the Balkan wars, the words ‘balkanism’ and ‘balkanisation’, despite a certain ‘stillness’, conceal behind them an ambiguous and rather complicated history, as Maria Todorova reveals in her very interesting book Imagining the Balkans (1997).

The fact that the first color photo of the Mostar Bridge was taken in the year of the first Balkan war is just a symbolic coincidence, when this superregional identity of the Balkans gains form in the eyes of Europe and of the world. At the time, the bridge was not a well-known landmark, and in no way a symbol of the Balkans, but it was old and beautiful. The second photograph featured on the cover was taken by me, using a drone, in 2016 – one century later. In appearance, the bridge is unchanged. The reconstruction is most convincing. If one wasn’t aware of the original’s destruction, the bridge from the first photo looks identical to the one in the second photo. But it is more than that. The bridge of the second image carries a symbolic baggage that the first, original bridge did not. The Mostar Bridge became, after its reconstruction, a metonymic image of the Balkans, often used as a visual symbol for the region, referring indirectly to all the Balkans mean in modern European imagination, including the ethnical mixture and the bloody wars. Despite these negative nuances, implicitly contained by its image, the Mostar Bridge is a beautiful emblem of the Balkans. Because it is an architectural jewel and because a bridge always unites. Its reconstruction has symbolically reconnected the diversity of the Balkan world.

The Balkans fascinate me, this is why I have proposed this theme for the dossier of the current issue of the Urban Anthropology Review. Intentionally, without any thematic narrowing-down, usually natural and welcome. I thus respected the definition of mosaic and mixture that the Balkans have in our imagination. In the pages of this issue, you will come across works from Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.  And the articles will take  you from Kastoria, with    its splendid post-byzantine churches, whose frescos are commented by Lecturer Cristina Bogdan, PhD, from the University of Bucharest, to Western Thrace, with an analysis dedicated to the minorities ‘hidden’ there, conducted by Professor Yüksel Bekir Hoş from the Institute of Balkan Studies and the Trakya University of Edirne. You will discover how the Greek smell from Claudiu Sfirschi-Lăudat’s article, an elite translator and President of the Greek Cultural Foundation of Romania. You will read about the medieval embroideries of Epirus in a work penned by Vasso Rokou, PhD, from the University of Ioannina, and about the footwear of the Bulgarian and Romanian traditional folk costumes in Bulgaria, in an article written (directly) in Romanian by Yavor Ivanov, from the St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. Nicolae Saramandu, PhD, and Manuela Nevaci, PhD, researchers at the “Iorgu Iordan – Alexandru Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics of the Romanian Academy present the dialect utilized by Aromanians. Carmen Dărăbuş, PhD, signs an article of literary anthropology on Bulgarian writer Ivan Stankov, bringing us to the Danube shores from the writer’s memories. Following in the footsteps of Andrić and Kadare, another article of literary anthropology, signed by Cristian Robu Corcan, PhD, also mentions a legendary bridge of the Balkans – the Bridge of Višegrad, across Drina River. All these articles connect, bridge the diverse worlds of the Balkans, which we inhabit without wanting to be Balkan.

How do the Greeks smell? Claudiu Sfirschi-Lăudat - Greek Cultural Foundation of Romania, translator

ABSTRACT

The image of “wandering words” advanced by Al. Graur in his 1978 dictionary urged us to set on a journey following scents, analysing the olfactory terminology in modern Greek language, in her direct rapport with the Romanian language. The linguistic analysis is followed by a literary illustration of the themes put into play by the olfactory in the novel Martor mi-e Dumnezeu [God is my Witness] by Makis Tsitas (Art Publishers, 2019).

Keywords: scent, vocabulary, Greece, literature, novel, mentalities.

Claudiu Sfirschi-Lăudat – Greek Cultural Foundation of Romania, translator

A city (Kastoria), its churches and an iconographic theme that made a career in the Balkan world: the astonishment of Saint Sisoe - Cristina Bogdan, University of Bucharest

ABSTRACT

The present study proposes the discovery of the city of Kastoria, in northern Greece, through the post-Byzantine religious buildings it preserves, looking at an iconographic theme – The Astonishment of St. Sisoes – which can become a common element of pictorial discourse in various parts of the Balkan world.

Keywords: Kastoria, religious iconography, post-byzantine churches, the Astonishment of St. Sisoes, Balkan Peninsula.

Cristina Bogdan – University of Bucharest

The Embroidered Portrait of a Horseman – Military Saint at the Monastery of Saint Stephen in Meteora: A Folk Style Post-Byzantinism - Vasso Rokou University of Ioannina

ABSTRACT

Part of a research on “Epirotic embroidery”, associated with the Epirotic Diaspora on 17th and 18th centuries around the western trade with central -oriental Europe, and with the Russian fur trade of Constantinople, the embroidery of a military saint as emperor cavalier on Taurus, instead of the horse, has two iconographic references: the imperial image of the equestrian military saint of the Moldavian art and the iconography of Alexander the Great of the Seljuk tradition.

Keywords: Alexander the Great, military saint, Stephan Kantakouzen, Moldavian art, Armenian art, Seljuk tradition.

Vasso Rokou – University of Ioannina

About the shoe and other lexemes related to the traditional costume from the end of the 19th century on the territory of Bulgaria - Yavor Ivanov St. Kliment Ohridski from Sofia

ABSTRACT

The article aims to present terms accompanying the clothing, a part of an archive, including an unexplored inventory of the traditional clothing of the population on the territory of Bulgaria from the end of the ΧΙΧ century.

Keywords: archive, balcanic, Bulgaria, Bulgarian, clothing, Romanian, Vestiarium.

Yavor Ivanov – Universitatea St. Kliment Ohridski din Sofia

Balkan patterns in the work of Andrić and Kadare, Mitopoetical history of the two writers - Cristian Robu Corcan - PhD in philology, writer, book editor

ABSTRACT

Andrić and Kadare portray the intimate image of the Balkans in their works. Their mytho-poetry metamorphoses all historical meanings into popular symbols. By re-creating myths, it brings history directly in relation to the peoples from which it comes. For Andrić, history is nothing but popular memory, for Kadare, a pathology specific to evil. For Andrić, ideology mixes reality and popular storytelling, shaping the Balkans into a scholarly mix of East and West. For Kadare, the only acceptable ideology is Albanianism. The first accurately describes the flow of time through the popular consciousness, the second deals with the wounds of death caused by a disease called “history”.

Keywords: Balkans, mytho-poetry, folklore, Orient, Occident, Maoism.

Cristian Robu Corcan – PhD in philology, writer, book editor

Cultural anthropology in the fiction of Ivan Stankov - Carmen Dărăbuș - University „St. Kliment Ohridski ”from Sofia Technical University of Cluj-Napoca
ABSTRACT

The work Cultural Anthropology in Fiction. Ivan Stankov analyses, in a postmodern key, the Danubian waters at the border between Romania and Bulgaria. The work Amintiri despre apă: re minor [Memories about water: D minor] is the first part of a trilogy that also includes Străzi şi vapoare: sol minor [Streets and ships: G minor] and Nume de zăpadă: la major [Name of snow: A major]. Only the first volume is translated into Romanian. The author, Ivan Stankov, spent his childhood in a village on the Danube, on Bulgarian territory; the river becomes a true character that conditions life and death. Through the technique of detail, of which he is master, he gives a hypertrophied dimension to reality. Literature proves to be a bearer of affective memory and, in this case, a repository of postmodern cultural anthropology.

Keywords: Bulgarian literature, border, reality/fiction.

Carmen Dărăbuș – University „St. Kliment Ohridski ”from Sofia Technical University of Cluj-Napoca

Ignored and uncounted ethnicities in Greece. The case of Western Thrace - Yüksel Bekir Hoș Trakya - University, Balkan Research Institute

ABSTRACT

The word “ethnicity” is etimologically derived from the Greek word “ethnos”, which means nation. The word “democracy” is Greek as well. However, when it comes to the democratic rights of an ethnic society, an equivalent of such a concept in today’s Greece doesn’t seem to exist. Because in Greece there are only the Greek ethnicity is officially recognized as living in the country. Jews and Armenians are also recognized minorities in Greece, but neither of these two communities would be enough to fill a town. Although Greece is a democratic country, however, when the issue is an ethnicity in Greece, it becomes difficult to deal with the dilemma “nationalism vs rights”. This is the reflex of many countries that were established as nation states after a long period of disappearance in history. This reflex can be explained as “never to disappear once again in history” which necessitates a disregard for ethnicities in the political and legal discourse in Greece. Among these ethnicities, the leading semi-recognized minority is the Turks of Western Thrace which is often accepted as a “Muslim Minority” by Greece. In addition, many societies such as Macedonian Slavs, Aromanians (Vlachs), Arvanites and Albanians, Gagauz and Urums and many other ethnic groups, continue to live in Greece and lose their culture and language day by day. It is still possible to distinguish these societies from one another in the field with the environment they live, along with their cultural differences. The scope  of this study is to underline ethnic diversity in the Western Thrace and its ethnicities. In addition to Turks and Greeks, many different ethnicities continue to exist in this place.  The first thing to be put forward in the field studies is not that Greece is a demon state, rather the reason that has led to such reflexes. In the light of principles of human and political geography, the main ethnicities in this small region will be examined along with the sub-regions they live in due to their characteristics. In addition to field studies on the area, literature studies were examined. Manipulative approaches as well as pro-national identifications and exaggerations are either shown as they are or ignored. Beside this, in this study will be mentioned the names of some minorities living in Greece that have not been mentioned earlier.

Keywords: Ethnic, Greece, Geography, Turks, Greeks, Urums, Gagauz

Yüksel Bekir Hoș Trakya – University, Balkan Research Institute

Aromanians - Romanians from the South Danube History, identity, dialect - Nicolae Saramandu, Manuela Nevaci

ABSTRACT
The Aromanians form several groups, differing from each other by linguistic peculiarities, to which are added specific elements concerning clothing, music, certain customs, as well as lifestyle and occupations. The most important groups are: the Pindeni, the Grămosteni, the Fărşeroţi, the Graboveni, to which are added a few smaller groups: the Aromanians of Beala de Suset deBeala de Jos (villages near Struga, Macedonia), the Aromanians of the localities of Mulovişte and Gopeş (next to Bitola, R. North Macedonia).

Among the Romanians of the South of the Danube, the Aromanians are the only ones to have kept until today the ethnic name, by being called Aromâni (Armâni, Rămăni, sg. Armân, Rămăn), designation which, like the dacoroum. Rumân (<lat. Romanus), highlights their Latin origin. The peoples among which live in the Balkan Peninsula call them, in general, Vlahi (Wallachians), a term which designates the entire Romanized population of the north and south of the Danube.

The separation of the Aromanian dialect from common Romanian is an important moment in the history of the Romanian language. Sextil Puşcariu underlines the unity formed by the dialects of the south of the Danube and by Daco-Romanian, defining common Romanian as “the language spoken by the ancestors of the Daco-Romanians, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians and Istroromanians of” today, before all contact between them is interrupted ”(Sextil Puşcariu, Etudes de linguistiqueroumaine, Cluj-Bucureşti, 1937.). All these groups of Romanians formed a relative unit and spoke the same language, relatively unitary. In the same sense Al. Rosetti defines the Romanian language by fixing the training space to the north and south of the Danube: “Romanian is Latin spoken without interruption in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, which included the provinces Danubian (Dacia, South Pannonia, Dardania, Upper and Lower Moesia), from the time of Latin penetration in these provinces to the present day ”(Rosetti 1986, 75). By its conservative elements, recognizable especially in the field of phonetics, Aromanian is very similar to common Romanian. The innovations that we see can be explained as well by the internal evolution of the dialect as by the influence exerted by the Balkan languages ​​on Aromanian.

Keywords: Aromanians, common Romanian, Romanians south of the Danube, dialects of southern Danube

Nicolae Saramandu, Manuela Nevaci

Oberliht - Radu Mircea Comșa

ABSTRACT

The “Oberlicht” [skylight] presents a unique argument – in four sequences – which justifies the ubiquity of an architectural detail in the modernist heritage of Romania, seemingly inexplicable compared to the international architecture of the time. Starting from an interest catalysed by a personal experience, the facade porthole becomes a sign of belonging not only for the Romanian interwar style, but also for the local aspirations of the period.

Keywords: interwar, Modernism, Marcel Iancu, Oberlicht.

Radu Mircea Comșa

Life in interbelic Bucharest in literary testimonies - Alina Partenie

ABSTRACT

This article starts by exploring the peculiarities of the daily life of various social classes in interwar Bucharest. By examining the literary works of that period, we identified elements that describe the capital of Romania from an architectural point of view, of human typologies, as well as of economic development. A significant detail is the antithesis between the bourgeoisie in the small centre of the city and the slums, an imitation of it in a much larger space.

Keywords: interwar, modernisation, architecture, slum, literature.

Alina Partenie

Legends’ Keepers, Collections and Football Collectors - Rareș Mușătoiu

Abstract

The history of football representation is far from being one of the most prominent research interests in the anthropology of sports. This paper examines how collectors of football objects become informal historians and create representational imagery of the club, in deep connection with structural changes that come along with economic transition from socialism to post-socialism. The context of the research is the East-European block, an area that is, to a certain extent, expelled from the global market of football. Using in-depth interviews and participant observation, this study aims to understand the context in which collectors put the objects in a complex network of social interaction that is constructed upon exchange, symbolic value and specific approaches towards commodification. The research induces firm reasoning to analyze how is value created through networks of collectors  and advocates for an interdisciplinary method in which anthropology of sports, symbolic economy, cultural studies, and the history of representation are vital in the understanding of the phenomenon. Taking into account the vast structure of football museums that is developing in Europe, bringing a global market in which the sphere of branding creates the essence of the club to the foreground, the way in which informal means of representation, in the shape of private collections, alters the club identity is extremely relevant to studies that have football in the vanguard.

Keywords: history of football, post-socialism, collectors of football objects, participant observation, social interaction.

Rareș Mușătoiu

Contemporary struggles between Wotan and the Princess from the Sleeping Forest - Lavinia Țânculescu-Popa

ABSTRACT

The work is constructed starting from how contemporary man from the great urban environment experiences rest nowadays, not only as an obligatory way of repose, but, especially, as an inner experience. The question which drives this paper is related to the extent to which the current man, busy and tired, sleeps (naturally) and / or rests (culturally) in the same determined and programmed way in which he works. The way in which the resting spaces, day or night, manage to offer him rest, the people around him tire or help him rest, the associations that the pillow, the mattress, the bed, in general, remain at the stage of concrete objects or acquire elements of inner space of the being in which man feels required to immerse himself in order to be reborn for next day’s work – all these are found in this work, carrying a single ambition: to capture how the Bucharest man relates nowadays to this part of his existence, theoretically spontaneous, practical, in some cases, bearing the painful repercussions of the will of “I”. The paper starts from the description  of rest and its pretexts (spatial and temporal) as they were transmitted in a series of works of the 20th century, mainly, but also eternal (such as the biblical word) and concretizes the current situation through a collection of interviews conducted in the field, in Bucharest, with women and men, at the beginning, towards the end or in their full professional life.

Keywords: rest and work, bed, natural nocturne rhythm, anthropology of health

Lavinia Țânculescu-Popa

Cuvinte cheie: odihnă şi muncă, pat, ritm natural nocturn, antropologia sănătății.

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