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Unfinished festival 2019 – Food for thought

The Unfinished festival is one of the most fascinating and complex contemporary events organized in Bucharest, Romania. I can say that Unfinished is not even a festival, but an experience and a community. It is the second year that I am participating in this event. So, I want to share with you what I liked the most during the 4 days of the event, and what this whole experience had to offer.

These are the different activities that you can choose from, during the 4 days of the festival: talks, art expositions, visual and audio installations, parties, concerts, meditations, yoga, and dance. So, I can say that Unfinished is an experience of the mind, soul, heart, and senses.

How can you register for the Unfinished festival?

The registration method is quite unusual. 🙂 Because you can’t buy a ticket, but you have to apply online. So, you will spend around 1 hour of your time completing an online questionnaire. The organizers have a team reading the applications and approving the ones that best fit the concept of the event. “What does this mean exactly?” you may ask.

Well, I think that the team is targeting people with a certain set of personal values that align perfectly with the concept of the event. Based on my own personal observation, some of these values are curiosity, community, empathy, courage, innovation, action, change.

What I liked the most about this year’s edition?

This year Romanias exposition was one of my favorites experiences.

This was a photography exposition, depicting Romania and Romanians through the eyes of several different artists :

  • Bieke Depoorter,
  • Thomas Dworzak,
  • Paolo Pellegrin,
  • Alec Soth,
  • Newsha Tavakolian,
  • Cristian Movila

You could easily observe that each artist had his own style. You could see different approaches and different aspects of Romanians’ culture and life through their lenses. Most important though, the photographies carried emotion. Of course, for me, being a Romanian, this was even more personal, as I could easily identify scenes of my life, my childhood, my neighborhood. Even a small detail in the picture brought me memories.

Next to the photos, there were short writings that invited the mind of the viewer to wonder and create the story behind the picture. It’s incredible how the imagination starts working while reading and watching art.

I found this exposition to be extremely powerful. This is because it was showing Romania and Romanians with the good and the bad, the young and old, and most important of all, with the drive for freedom that motivated our predecessors to fight against communism.

There are no adjustments to make it look in a certain way. So, there is only pure, raw and maybe uncomfortable reality.

It is true, today we can see different realities in the same country, different layers. So, there isn’t only one Romania, there are many, hence the name of the exposition: “Romanias”.

I loved this quote from Alex Soth’s description of this project: “Every house has rooms”

Amalie hangs the map of  Romania on the wall.

“All children live in blocks or flats or in houses”, says Amalie.

“Every house has rooms. All the houses together make one big house. This big house is our country.”, “The Passport”, Herta Müller

Next, I invite you to look at some pictures I took at the exposition. These are the images that inspired me the most. This is because some of them took me back in time, while I was just a little girl, still living under the communist regime. I was 7 years old when Ceausescu’s dictatorship was finally over. And it’s incredible how some images stay in your memory for such a long time.

Thoughts after the event. How this experience changed me?

Well, first of all, I discovered some amazing inspiring people among the speakers. I must recognize I’ve never heard of them before the event. Unfinished usually gathers different personalities, from various industries, from all over the world. So, after this event, I find myself to be enriched with more knowledge and inspiration.

Second, I realized that a whole community has been born and being part of it makes me feel like I found my tribe. We kept in contact also after the event, sharing ideas and even collaborating. I think this can develop in some interesting professional projects and even friendships 🙂 This is different from the networking you usually do while attending an event. Why? Because people from the community are willing to help each other, meet, discuss ideas, and create projects together without having a monetary purpose in mind. So I must admit that I am really curious to see how all of this will develop.

Third, I realized that time is indeed our most precious currency. Time is something we will never get back. It is so important to spend it wisely and in the company of good people. How most of us got into the point to exchange our precious time for a monthly paycheck, doing something that we may not even like, or in traffic, or arguing with each other, is something that’s still persisting in my mind. Being conscious of the correct value of time made me appreciate more each day, each morning I wake up and I have no real reason to be sad.

So, take the time 🙂 to listen and watch the video below. It summarizes pretty well the Romanias you will find today, in the area between the Carpathian Mountains, Black Sea, and the Danube river. Romania is the geographical space that lies right at the border between the West and the East sides of this world.

The passing of time may be irreversible, but our happiness depends mostly on our everyday choices.

I want to say a big “Thank you” to the Eidos Foundation for making the effort to organize this event. You did a great job and I am grateful that I got to be part of the Unfinished experience also in 2019.

There are no epilogues. This story stays Unfinished

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