Networking, civic involvement and community art workshops throughout the month of October as part of Om cu Om – Festival de Cartier (Neighbourhood Festival), an event dedicated to the local community in Bucharest neighbourhoods
Om cu Om – Festival de Cartier brings together residents from Buzești, Icoanei and Mântuleasa neighbourhoods
Om cu Om – Festival de Cartier (Neighbourhood Festival) will bring together people who live, work or study in the neighbourhoods of Buzești, Icoanei and Mântuleasa through networking, civic involvement and community art workshops that will take place every weekend in October. The mission of the event, now in its first year, is to cultivate civic spirit, combining fun and creative activities with the impetus to form a network of vicinity to revitalise the three neighbourhoods.
The project is co-funded by the Municipality of Bucharest through ARCUB, within the București Acasă 2023 Programme. For detailed information about the funding programme of the Municipality of Bucharest through ARCUB, please visit https://arcub.ro. The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of Bucharest City Council or ARCUB.
The idea of the festival was born out of a desire to form real communities, in a context where digital interactions are more prevalent than ever, to the detriment of physical socialisation. The festival is aimed at those who live, work or study near the locations, bringing the concept of community back to them through more direct and concrete experiences.
„Who doesn’t want to have a better day? One of the ways you can have a better day is to share your thoughts and ideas with other people. Personally, I have discovered that the easiest way to bring us together, even with new people, is through games, walks, art and culture,” said Monica Anastase, founder of the Om cu Om festival and president of the Tam-Tam Association.
Workshop facilitators, sociologists, anthropologists and artists, will create a guided space where residents can get to know their neighbours, discovering things they have in common and opportunities to create new projects and initiatives together. The event is aimed at adults and children over 10 years old, targeting families, the elderly and young people who will have the opportunity to truly discover the neighbourhoods they live in.
„We deserve better cities for both people and the environment. Change can start close to home by rethinking neighbourhood life and creating moments for healthy interactions with our neighbours,” says Diana Dobrin, a sociologist who facilitates and activates positive change frameworks in neighbourhoods and communities at The Association for Urban Transition and is a guide for the civic engagement workshop in Mântuleasa.
7-8 October: networking workshop at the three centres
- Buzești – Centrul EKA, 28 Horațiu Street
- Icoanei – Improteca Theatre, 9 Comănița Street
- Mântuleasa – Centrul Shakti, 7 Father Stăniloaie Street
Presentation of the team:
- Buzești – Anca and Matei Stănculescu (moderators; coach and psychotherapists), Andra Mitia Krysta (anthropologist), Denisa Popescu (visual artist, Antistatic), Vlad Benescu (performance artist, EKA)
- Icoanei – Andrei Bratu (moderator; actor), Raluca Boisteanu (sociologist), Bogdan Costea (actor), Lavinia Falcan (painter)
- Mântuleasa – Monica Anastase (moderator; actress), Diana Dobrin (sociologist), Alina Ușurelu (multivalent artist), Bela Zoltan (visual artist)
The workshop will include networking games coordinated by moderators: the newly launched game Om cu Om, with playful socializing questions that challenge the imagination.
14-15 October: civic engagement workshop at the three centres and in the neighbourhood
Guided walk through the neighbourhood on a route suggested by the moderator and sociologist. Participants will be encouraged to share observations, memories, stories about the places they pass through. Debrief at the centre, civic engagement workshop on how to turn observations into beneficial actions for housing.
21-22 October: community art workshop at the three centres
Guided by artists, participants create community art objects:
- Buzești: ceramic plates with designs drawn by participants, inspired by their relationship with „home” (guided by Denisa Popescu and Vlad Benescu).
- Icoanei: large-scale painting (mural guided by Lavinia Falcan) + happenings in public space (guided by Bogdan Costea)
- Mântuleasa: upcycling of found or home objects (Bela Zoltan) + photography/poetry/drawing inspired by places in the neighbourhood (Alina Ușurelu)
28-29 October: end of project, exhibition of art objects
- Buzești: Centrul EKA
- Icoanei: locations to be decided by participants
- Mântuleasa: treasure hunt with a map showing the partner places in the neighbourhood, where the objects created by the participants and their stories will be distributed
The project’s finale, on 28-29 October, is open to the general public, with no limit on participation. Participation is free of charge, with registration via this form or by calling 0757 228 813 (Buzești), 0727 554 875 (Icoanei), 0721 376 712 (Mântuleasa), also available via Whatsapp.
In the long term, the Om cu Om Festival wants to plant seeds of good neighbourliness and community in as many neighbourhoods in Bucharest and in the country as possible, for a healthier society. Anca and Matei Stănculescu (Centrul EKA) and Andrei Bratu (Improteca) will act as hosts for the new neighbourhood networks that will be formed.
After the event, participants will also have an online space, a Facebook group, where they can easily keep in touch. The Om cu Om game, which will be launched during the first workshop of the project, will soon be available in Cărturești libraries.
Raluca Boisteanu, sociologist and project coordinator at the Resource Centre for Public Participation, underlines the beneficial effect of spending time with people living in the same space.
„In my grassroots work I have often seen the power of community when people come together to give a new face to their neighbourhood/village/town. In a creative and artistic way inspirational murals have come to life, streetcar parties designed to bring neighbors together have been possible, gazebos for socializing have become a reality and trash collection spaces – trash art – have fulfilled their intended purpose. If you want to better connect to your neighborhood, get to know your neighbors’ skills and build lasting relationships we welcome you to join us for 4 weekends in October. We need you to bring life to the neighbourhood!” says Raluca Boisteanu.
Local partners: Prăjitoria Buimac, Simbio, Anca Poterașu Gallery, Salina cu Bulgări, 20 Grams Coffee Roasters, Alambik, Ginoteca, Grădinița Montessori Edu, Zori pe Dimineții, Shakespeare School, L’Amphitheatro, Robescu 14.
Om cu Om – Festival de Cartier (Neighbourhood Festival), now in its first year, aims to open up a guided space where locals have the opportunity to get to know each other through enjoyable, creative activities and form networks of vicinity, cultivating physical communities that support a healthy and civically engaged society.