Accepted paper:

Old commercial center from Craiova, Romania - old houses, new mentalities - identity and memories


Gabriela Boangiu (C.S. Nicolaescu-Plopsor Socio-Human Research Institute Romanian Academy)

Paper short abstract:

The history of Craiova includes stories of ethnicities and old professions. The pictures and paintings of the time present the life of the main streets of Craiova, the cultural relations of the past and social practices. Today, new aesthetic valuations of the trade center are needed.

Paper long abstract:

The old history of Craiova includes stories from various ethnicities and old professions visible in the public space: Greek merchants, Jewish people, Macedonians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, shops, jewelry, silk, pharmacies, and restaurants. The pictures and paintings of those days present the life of the main streets of the city, the social-cultural relations of the past, social practices and symbolic representations of the past. Today, new aesthetic valorizations of the houses - historical monuments are necessary. In this context, an analysis of the current aesthetic discourse will be carried out.

The present study will have as its essential component the archiving of documents of oral history that highlight the narratives of urban public spaces, as well as an investigation of the social networks that promote the image of the old city and the current memories, conversations, answers among the citizens.

The study responds to the need to carry out contemporary research on the figurative representation of historic monuments in the communist and post-communist periods, following local, regional, national and international articulations, identifying the contemporary functionalities of the houses, the cultural importance of some the streets of the city, the aspects of identity that it has in the current period.

The unusual aspects of historic monument houses will be investigated as representing an identity nucleus, a new type of social cohesion. It will be analyzed the capacity of these material heritage elements to reveal collective socio-cultural and symbolical representations as well as the anthropological aspects of gazing to these restructured urban spaces.

panel D01
Streetscapes: affective encounters between People and Things