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Haunting Photos From Bucharest’s Colectiv Memorial

On October 30 the Bucharest music venue Colectiv was destroyed by fire during a packed concert, tragically claiming the lives of 60 people and injuring upwards of 150. The tragedy catalyzed a spasm of public outrage in Romania, resulting in widespread demonstrations and the ultimate resignation of prime minister Victor Ponta’s government. While the tragic events at Colectiv brought latent dissatisfaction with endemic corruption to a head, the grief experienced by those directly affected quickly slipped from international headlines.

Valeriu Catalineanu is a Romanian photographer who lost seven friends at Colectiv. What follows is a gallery of images he shot, developed and collated in the wake of the fire:

“This project is not about the victims. It’s not about the absurd political games behind the scenes. These images are about us forgetting sad events all too fast and about how our mind tries to protect itself from the obvious: the fact that we can fade away in a second, the fact we can easily be forgotten. The chemicals I used in the film development process take a lot of time to burn the negative and make the image appear. The events that took place are similarly burned inside our minds and souls, leaving traces, shadows and large devoid areas.”

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If you wish to donate toward the families of the victims, you can do so by sending money to the Mereu Aproape Fundation mentioning “Colectiv”. The bank name is BRD GSG SMCC, the SWIFT code is BRDEROBU and the account number is RO 31 BRDE 450 SV 2376 153 4500. You can find more info here.

Published November 27, 2015.