Executive Chairperson of the Save the Children Romania organisation told AGERPRES in a recent interview that a Colectiv memorial should remind people of the need for a space where young people can create and enjoy arts.
AGERPRES: What do you think about the creation of a Colectiv Memorial, as a symbol against forgetting?
Gabriela Alexandrescu: It is an initiative that started from the need to do something in so tragic a circumstance in which each of us felt powerless. Save the Children is supporting the initiative which should remind us of what Colectiv signifies — the need for a space where young can create and enjoy arts, a space that has to be one of safety in order to continue to exist. Violation of rules, corruption, improper design of various spaces — schools, cubs, theatre halls, concert halls — can at any time lead to such tragedy and we could believe, under the pressure of fear, that closing them down would be a solution. A Colectiv memorial should keep alive in our memory the need for the young people to be together and express themselves creatively, as well as the responsibility of the state authorities to make sure that happens under the best circumstances.
AGERPRES: How do you envision this Colectiv Memorial? Should it be built at the site of the tragedy or elsewhere?
Gabriela Alexandrescu: Most probably, the scene of the tragedy has the most powerful emotional charge, which is a good premise for the initiative. A memorial, by definition, tells a story — there are young people who died there and their stories are impressive; perhaps, the memorial should not be limited to the story of the deaths of those young people. What made #Colectiv tragic, beyond the loss of human lives, were the wonderful life stories of each and every of the young people there — we are talking about a generation of smart, fulfilled young people that creates beauty and ideas, an elite that was absurdly and ridiculously called Satanist and shallow. The memorial should be about them, about the generation they represent, not just about their death.
AGERPRES: Given the situation of the space where Colectiv Club operated, who and to what extent should handle the design and building of a Colectiv Memorial, including finding the necessary financial resources: the Romanian state or the NGOs?
Gabriela Alexandrescu: I believe there should be cooperation between NGOs and state bodies. The financial responsibility will surely be incumbent on the Romanian Government. As for the project, the civil society will come up with ideas. Perhaps we should turn to them again, to the #Colectiv generation — that night, young people died for whom artistic expression was not just a need, but a creed, a profession — architects, musicians, photographers, etc. Their close friends, fellow professionals should get involved in the process, because they have the necessary skills and drive.
AGERPRES: What motto do you think should define this Memorial?
Gabriela Alexandrescu: It is hard to find the right words to incorporate all the nuances of the tragedy. They will probably be chosen as the memorial itself is being created.
AGERPRES: What do you think should be the most important lesson for those who visit the Colectiv Memorial?
Gabriela Alexandrescu: There are at least some of which we can think: responsibility, duty, civil solidarity, attitude and involvement (an exercise rather absent from the Romanian society), as well as a lesson that we hope will transcend this tragedy: young people need to meet and express themselves; it is what turns their generation into an engine for the entire society. More…