Each person in Bucharest told me it was going to be hard to find a community space. I came across a few squats but none seemed to have a collective purpose. Many people did, however, reccommend Fabrica, a concert venue used like Aurora as a hub for alternative culture.
The space is built out of an alley and looks like a restaurant with a shopping mall feel.
It started with a concert venue and bar and slowly motocycle, ski and sport shops opened their doors. Now there is also a children’s daycare, antique shops, clothing shops, climbing gym, and two night clubs – it’s almost a mini adult Disney land.
Sitting in the courtyard, I am approached by the owner of a virtual reality store in the space. I invite him to sit down and we discuss Romania. He believes that there aren’t community spaces like the ones I am seeking here in Bucharest because there is a general distrust of people in this country. During communism, it was very common for neighbors to spy on neighbors and even now, the government is so corrupt that he believes most people are incapable of trusting one another. I ask if he trusts people and he says no. He mentions small religious village about 7 hours away that really does take care of each other but other than that he can think of nothing.
We discuss the similarities between our countries – how the media and religion are used to manipulate rural regions for political power. He sees the world quite pessimistic ally and doesn’t believe government has any capacity for empathy. He offers to buy me another drink but I decline and head off in search of a space.