Elke Uitentuis and Wouter
sell & cash
While we hitchhiked to Transylvania, we were astonished about the increasing influence of capitalism and multinationals in Eastern Europe. Almost all the bars, restaurants and mini markets are provided with Coca Cola advertisement. Huge billboards covering old communists flats, newly built hypermarkets and non-stop signs on almost all the shops. This new ‘freedom’ is contrasting the poverty, the communistic architecture and the inefficient infrastructure. Especially in Romania the contrasts are huge.
In Sangeorgiu de Mures we realized an intervention that emphasized the contrast between the booming foreign supermarkets and possible disappearance of the traditional local food production. It’s still very common to produce your own food in Romania. A lot of people have their own vegetable garden and make their own preservations and products. This knowledge is threatened by the industrialisation and globalisation of the food production. On longer terms it will be impossible for the small local farmers to compete with the large-scale production of the big western companies. We wanted to promote the local food production as if it was embraced by the Selgros (the huge supermarket within the village). We made a stand in Selgros-style, using the typography and the colours of their logo. We displayed local homemade food and invited people to taste their own unique products. Most of the people in Romania are very ambitious and eager to improve the economic situation in their country. They are proud and happy when a big foreign supermarket is built in their village; it means jobs and cheap food.
Our suggestion was to combine the two worlds. Most people were confused when they saw the local products displayed in a Selgros stand. We talked with them about the value of the local products and consumed them. A lot of people were very enthusiastic about our initiative. They felt proud because we emphasized the uniqueness of their knowledge.