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The blessed who dwell by the garbage dump (english subtitles)

de Veioza Arte  |  21 septembrie, 2012

Update: No improvement has been made to the fate of the dozens of families that the municipality translocated in December 2010 from the Coastei street to the Pata Rât landfill, at the outskirts of the city of Cluj. Despite this situation, after the protests and the campaigns of the local NGOs, the local authorities seem to show more sympathy for the people of Pata Rât, who are subjected to marginalization and social exclusion. These protests have shown that the community at Pata Rât is the biggest landfill ghetto in the European space. 2.000 people live in improper conditions at Pata Rât ( the families on Coastei Street), but also in the so-called Dallas (the oldest community in the area) and on Cantonului Street and in another micro-community living right near the garbage dump.  At the present moment, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), together with the municipality of Cluj are developing a six-month project in order to identify various solutions for the social integration of the people living at Pata Rât (living environment, working opportunities and decent education). We hope this project to be a good start for conceiving more efficient and more inclusive public policies, not just another opportunity for the municipality to access European funds, which would be used for serving political interests.  In the meanwhile, the locals have adjusted to their situation after they were translocated from a residential area: they have built other houses behind the modular buildings and they have extended some others, but they also hope that the recent interest the municipality has shown for their fate to reduce this ghetto step by step, by moving out some of the families living here.  (Adi Dohotaru, membru al Grupului de Lucru al Organizațiilor Civice (http://gloc.ro/)

On December 2010, 76 families (mostly Roma) on the Coastei Street in Cluj-Napoca – an area with a high economic potential – were translocated to 40 living apartments in 10 modular buildings, set near the Pata Rât landfill.  There are two other Roma communities currently living at Pata Rât: one of them, which is called Dallas, is a few meters away from the one that was brought in two years ago, and the other – on Cantonului Street -, is situated near the rail road. The rooms the families on Coastei Street received in Pata Rât have a surface of 13-14 square meters (each single room hosts up to 10 people), they have no hot water, no kitchen and the bathroom is shared by four such rooms.  On the land on the Coastei Street, from where these families were displaced, a campus for the Faculty of Theology and some other Church buildings are being built, and they are to be finished in 2014. The municipality in Cluj-Napoca exchanged this lot for a park which was under the ownership of the Romanian Orthodox Church. In May 2011, Mihaela Michailov and Farid Fairuz attended a ceremony of consecration for the building block of the future Theology Campus on  Coastei Street, but also the protest of the people who had been evacuated. In October, all the artists involved in this project did a series of interviews with people connected to the Pata Rât situation. These interviews are the starting point for the The blessed who dwell by the garbage dump (Preafericiții de la groapa de gunoi) film and will also serve as working material for future social-artistic projects. The documentary is part of the subRahova-Pata Rât project, initiated by the Solitude Project Cultural Organization, financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund and created in collaboration with the National Dance Center Bucharest, Veioza Arte and Colectiv A Association. Project team: Farid Fairuz, Mihaela Michailov, Tania Cucoreanu, Katia Pascariu, Madalina Dan.

(english translation Andra Matzal)

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