Tell me about yourself: a bit about your personal story, how you got to where you are now.
At college I studied political science. I took the opportunity to work in IT and IT distribution…where you could make a lot of money in Romania. Then I became a video game distributor for Nintendo. I did that for 10 years, but then the market crashed and Nintendo moved out of the country. So I was out of business, without a job. But it was actually good, as I wanted something new in my life. I spent 6 months tying to figure out what I wanted to do. I looked into alternative tourism, which no one was doing in Bucharest
. So I thought: why not me? One thing led to another.
My idea was about developing alternative tourism in Bucharest
. A lot of urban alternative tours are based on street-art. But the problem is that in Bucharest there are not so much street-art to show to tourists… like Berlin
for example. So I thought, why not combine the two things and take both tasks on. Use my resources to first improve Bucharest, paint street art for example, so tourists have something to see. So we started the Street Art project.
We invite local artists, but also some internationals. It is going slower than I expected though… not because of money, but because city authorities or owners of the buildings themselves are not being collaborative. In Romania street art is still considered vandalism. So we’re fighting this mentality. I do believe we will succeed.
For example now in July, we’re starting a new project to paint the wall of the University of Architecture
. The whole point is to make the city colorful.
Another thing to note is that tourism can also have a negative effect on a city. Barcelona
for example has a big problem with this. We have 5% of the amount of tourists that Barcelona has, so we have time to prepare. Let’s already set up a system that can deal with tourism when it grows. So when it happens, the damage is not so high. We should be happy that we have time to plan and time to set up. We can learn from cities like Berlin and Barcelona, so that we can be smarter.
Doru Raduta (© by Interesting Times Bureau)