Don’t Take Them for Granted – an art installation dedicated to medical staff and all those in the pandemic’s front line – George Enescu Square, Bucharest (video)
Don’t Take Them for Granted, presented online at the UNFINISHED festival, becomes a large-scale public installation and will be open to the public from October 9 to 23, 2020, in George Enescu Square in Bucharest.
Don’t Take Them for Granted is a public project initiated by the UNFINISHED community that includes images and texts captured by artists Cristian Movilă and Capucine Gros, between March and August 2020.
The photographs and writings document over 70 hours documenting the fight against COVID-19, captured right in the heart of the intensive care units of Bucharest’s main public hospitals: Institutul Național de Boli Infecțioase "Prof. Dr. Matei Balș" Hospital, Spitalul Militar ROL 2, and Spitalul Universitar de Urgență. With a voice-over by actor Benedict Cumberbatch and two additional short films presented by artist Alfredo Jaar, the project is a collective call to recognize the labor of this global pandemic’s frontline workers and, most specifically, the Romanian healthcare staff, otherwise invisible in the public space.
As the artists explained, “in a social context that has a very hierarchical view of the medical world, Don’t Take Them for Granted focuses especially on the enormous routine effort hidden under the layers of our medical system. Too often eclipsed behind the doctors is an army of labor-intensive work (nurses, porters, assistants, cleaners, interns, technicians, clerks, couriers, guards…) who, in this time of violent need, deserve much more than being taken for granted. In the words of Cristian Movilă, “we chose to set up the installation in a public square to bring the reality behind the medical gates in the middle of society and to encourage people to have this conversation and realize that, only by taking care of each other, can we get over this.”
Beyond this critical gesture, Don’t Take Them for Granted also aims to tie very human and relatable bonds between the medical staff and the rest of society. Countering the severe isolation forced by this crisis, this project connects people using the strongest and most direct kinds of bonds: family relationships. Capucine Gros details that “remembering that we are all somebody’s child, for instance, is a very simple and accessible idea, yet, on a deeper level, it makes us envision each other as a network of invisible dependencies, rather than as a single person. In this kind of emergency, we desperately need such a level of community awareness and empathy.”
The installation will be open to the public for two weeks, starting on October 9, 2020, in George Enescu Square in Bucharest, and the screenings will take place from 11:00 AM until midnight every day. Access is free, but the installation can be visited only under safe-distancing conditions imposed by COVID-19. The project can also be seen on the website www.notforgranted.org.
Don’t Take Them for Granted was made possible thanks to the partners Superbet Foundation, Kaufland, Mastercard, Raiffeisen Bank, and with the support of the Bucharest City Hall, the Ministry of National Defense, and ARCUB.
Don't Take Them for Granted, 2020
Photographs Cristian Movilă
Texts Capucine Gros
Voice Benedict Cumberbatch Photo
editing Judith Levitt Photo
post-processing Vlad Bălăceanu
Graphic design Radu Manelici
Art direction: Yassa Khan
Video editing Andrei Bălășoiu / Avanpost
Sound editing Marius Leftărache / Avanpost
Animation Andreea Nedeleu / Avanpost
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