Two very different types of artistic expressions that I have seen in Romania recently have provoked my reaction to write this post. The first one is part of a broader and very interesting artistic project “Project 1990” curated by the visual artist Ioana Ciocan. The project has started by imagining different types of artistic interventions which are presented on the now empty pedestal of the former Lenin statue in Bucharest as a signal of the communist heritage and/or postcommunist problems. The latest intervention is called “the Romanian dream” (by artists Matei Arnăutu, Andrei Ciubotaru, Florin Brătescu & Iosif Oprescu) and sought to materialize, by creating an object that represents the Romanian dream, the conclusions of a discussion launched on an open forum available at: The result was the creation of a suitcase with all sorts of objects emerging from it. The idea behind this being, as I read it, that Romanians all want to leave their country.
The second example comes from popular culture and it is the latest song released by a Romanian band, Vunk. The song is called “I want a country as outside ( One must know that Romanians continue to refer to other countries as “outside” as a direct reminiscence of the communist period when this had a significance, as Romanians were not allowed to travel freely. The title of this song, as well as the conclusion of the artistic project quoted above are symptoms of what seems to have become a Romanian obsession at least as it translates in public discourse and mass-media discourse. There seems to be an omnipresent double question: when are you leaving the country? why aren’t you? This seems to me to be an attitude that cannot produce any positive results on the needed reform, not only of the state and its institutions, but of the positioning of citizens in relation to the latter as well as to each other. Always looking to other spaces, political cultures and national experiences not as possible solutions providers but as escape-places is not a plausible solution.