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Bucharest
Dan Perjovschi, Illustrator

By Dan Perjovschi

 Dan Perjovschi takes a selfie in a reflecting window; on the glass, two heads are drawn, underneath it says local and global © Dan Perjovschi
What would you say are symbols of your current situation or the current situation in your country?

Free to think. Forbidden to move. It is a slowdown shutdown sort of wake-up. We will never ever stop by will. We stop only by force. Global quarantine? Who would imagine? Borders closed inside Europe? European citizens forbidden to pass en route to their home country? Oh boy!…

It is the mistrust and uncertainty that are killing people. People in Latin countries used to hug and go out a lot and now they are forced to stay at home. Romania is now revealing all its infrastructure and organisational flaws… The picture is not fun.
The word home; black letters on white ground © Dan Perjovschi

What do you see as long-term consequences of the crisis?

NGOs will be hit hard. Independent art spaces, artist-run spaces will shut down. Lots of artists will be forced to seek jobs and there will be no jobs. Whether you work or not, you must pay the rent (for studios or exhibition spaces). And people simply do not have any money, as all activities have come to a halt and sponsors have decided to pour money into the health system.
 
But all tragedies are opportunities. We may find different ways to produce and display art… The relation with the public may become different… I have no idea how. Maybe we will travel less, spend less, invest more in education, develop small scale projects such as pop-up galleries. We may find new allies.
 
The Romanian art scene is frail as it is, with independent artists and radical artists always on the brink of disaster. This will be the final push. But if you really need to do art, you have to do it anyway, in any circumstances.  Maybe we will be more conceptual and less object-oriented.  Maybe we will disguise into something else.  Maybe we will finally take the "show" out of the exhibition project.
 
Maybe the gallery night will become the gallery day.
The word future in German, Zukunft; black letters on white backgrond © Dan Perjovschi

What gives you hope?

In my hometown in a day or two people organized into Va ajutam din Sibiu (We are helping you from Sibiu), a community that provides equipment for hospitals, helps deliver food for senior citizens, contacts people who live on their own etc. This phenomenon has spread to more than 10 cities… The creative industry has produced medical equipment overnight and given it out for free.

People and companies donate money, while the local hospital has received an expensive testing machine, as well as protective gear for doctors. Well… I am amazed and in awe of these guys. They are my hope.
Writing of hope; black letters on white background © Dan Perjovschi

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