Prin Bucurestiul Meu is a gorgeous Facebook page where photographer Dana Stefanescu shares her beautiful photographical stories from the capital of Romania. I started to notice her pictures as she seemed to captivate the same streets and places that are my own favourite streets in Bucharest. I got curious to get to know her – and her photographical journey – more.
Enjoy the interview with urban photographer Dana Stefanescu.
Who is Dana Stefanescu?
A woman, a mother, a dreamer. Seven years ago my life has changed forever, I decided to quit my career as a lawyer to dedicate myself to a fully creative journey. It was quite difficult as every escape from our comfort zone. I am an urban photographer completely in love with my city, my Bucharest. Now I am also Prin Bucurestiul Meu.
My city, my Bucharest has a mysterious force that inspired me to rebuild it with my images to the glory of the Little Paris, as our capital was named between the two world wars. So I started to take pictures of that imaginary Bucharest to recreate this puzzle of my dream city. It was just a hobby until January 2016 when one of my pictures with snowy Old Bucharest was shared on La Blouse Roumaine Facebook page, a community that connects Romanians around the world with the symbol of IA, the Romanian blouse. It has become viral in the next 24 hours with thousands of likes and shares. Now after one year and a half that picture has reached the entire world on Instagram, with almost 1 million of likes. This was the moment when I decided to take it seriously and open Prin Bucurestiul Meu and pages.
The recognition arrived very fast, last year I had my first Prin Bucurestiul Meu photography exhibition at Creart, The Creation, Art and Traditions centre of Bucharest.
If you would take a foreigner on a ’ First time to Bucharest Tour’ , where would you go and why ?
Stavropoleos Monastery, Caru cu Bere restaurant, The Romanian Atheneum, Golescu Street (actually this is my favorite street), Calea Victoriei. This is actually the Old Bucharest, my dream city. Every corner of Bucharest has a story to tell if you know how to look at it. And Prin Bucurestiul Meu tells this kind of stories.
What is the identity of Bucharest for you ?
A city of contrasts, between West and East, with an incredible magic force. Mircea Eliade’s fantastic novels are the best guide to a possible identity of Bucharest.
What value has Bucharest to offer to the world, in your view ?
Bucharest is a city where you can reinvent yourself. Beautiful multicultural city with own identity and great, friendly people. This are the main values, in my opinion.
What are your inspirations as a photographer ?
First is the light. I am chasing light all the time. Second – classical architecture. My main inspiration as a photographer comes from the golden era of Bucharest, before second world war, when Bucharest could compete with my other capital of the Europe.
What are your favourite places to have a coffee, a lunch , a dinner and just an evening drink in Bucharest ?
French Bakery on the Franklin street, Rembrandt cafe in the Old City, Salon Golescu for a coffee or a drink, Hanul lui Manuc or Caru cu Bere for a great romanian lunch or dinner. From April to November out, on the terraces of Old Town, you can find many nice quiet places to enjoy your coffee or a drink.
What is the soul of Romania about ?
For me the soul of Romania is in the mountains monasteries of Moldova. But also you can find it wherever a Romanian is still feeling like a Romanian. Where people are still wear romanian blouse, the IA. Where you hear Romanian songs, folklore, where Romanian celebrations are still taken place, where being Romanian is still taking pride of.
Photos used with the permission of Dana Stefanescu.