#ColectivMemorial Maria Gheorghiu: We have to build something to admonish us when we act erratic

#ColectivMemorial Maria Gheorghiu: We have to build something to admonish us when we act erratic

Folk singer-songwriter Maria Gheorghiu, who wrote the song ”Niciodata uitarea” (Never Forgetting) in the aftermath of the Colectiv club fire, said in an interview to AGERPRES that a Colectiv memorial is needed “to admonish us when we act erratic “.

AGERPRES: How do you see the building of a Colectiv Memorial as a symbol against forgetting? Is it important to create such a Memorial?

Maria Gheorghiu: This is one of the ways in which we and the generations to come make sure what happened at Colectiv will not be repeated. The entire Romanian society should contribute to erecting a Colectiv memorial to make sure that each of us will remember the tragedy that happened there, with all its consequences that are more or less known.

AGERPRES: How do you imagine this Colectiv Memorial? Should it be built at the site of the tragedy or somewhere else?

Maria Gheorghiu: I am no visual artist, but I believe what comes out should be a symbol that can be miniaturised, multiplied and stored in a visible place in the homes of all Romanians, because that is the only way nobody will ever forget. I do not think the location is the most important thing, as is the emotional impact the memorial could have on each of us.

AGERPRES: Given the situation of the space where the Colectiv club was situated, who and in what degree should take care of designing and constructing a Colectiv Memorial, including finding of necessary financing: the Romanian state or the non-governmental organizations?

Maria Gheorghiu: Because many architecture students were among the fire victims, I guess it would be a wonderful gesture on the part of their colleagues, who are as young as they were, to suggest specific means of collection, to find financial resources, with support from the Government. In the end, this tragedy regards us all, as it was indeed a mass tragedy… Many things have changed in the Romanian society in the aftermath of the tragedy, at least at a consciousness level, so why would we not make the least effort to build something that will admonish us when we act erratic. The former slogan “A penny for the Athenaeum” could be redefined.

AGERPRES: What motto do you believe should define this Memorial?

Maria Gheorghiu: ”Never Forgetting “… That is the title of the song I wrote back in those fiery days, deeply moved and deeply angered that something like that happened. It is a simple song with a direct, raw impact to be sung in choir by all those of us “who no longer want to burn alive”… Here are the lines:

It’s ash and fire that took you all,
It’s love and longing that we’ll use to build
The hour when you burned alive
Shall never be forgotten.

Never forgetting
Say never to lies.
Let the call be heard
And their cry in the world’s sadness echo.

Let us build a Colectiv pyre
And by fire to fire the evil
Let the captive cry be heard
And rise up to God.

Let it be heard in the skies:
We are not a blind and deaf people,
We no longer want to burn alive
For much too long we’ve culpably kept silent.

What do you believe should be the most important lesson remembered after visiting the Colectiv Memorial?

Maria Gheorghiu: My answer is in the song. More…