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The small big Bucharest

Published July, 2010
by Easterndaze

Even though Bucharest is among the larger East European cities with a population of around 2 million, the underground culture scene seems fairly small and interconnected. We witnessed one such moment of intersection when we met Anamaria Pravicencu, a prolific cultural evangelist who organizes the experimental listening sessions Sambata Sonora. We got introduced to her by Mihaela from Rokolectiv on the first day of our stay. After spending eight years in Paris (Bucharest itself often used to be dubbed the “Paris of the East”), she returned to the Romanian capital slightly perplexed by the East European reality. Where there’s void, things are easier to nurture. She then set up the Sambata Sonora sessions together with her partner as well as running the only comic book shop in Romania. When asked for local music recommendations, she swiftly responded “Sillyconductor”, who also played a show at her session and whose name kept popping up throughout our conversations with the lovely local people. Sillyconductor and/or Rochite, a sound afficionado who apart from sonic endeavours also writes journalistic pieces about Bucharest wild life…

While talking to Anamaria at the cosy Café Lente, she introduced us to her friend, the photographer Oana Lohan, the author of one of Anamaria’s shop bestsellers entitled Bucuresti Proaspat. In the book – a memento to Bucharest as they once knew it – she redrew the photographs taken of Bucharest’s disappearing sites and signs which face imminent gentrification and/or consequent destruction.

Bucuresti Proaspat by Oana Lohan from easterndaze on Vimeo.