By mapping the daily activities, places, and routes, we found that in the absence of a house, a network of extended living is continuously developed to make up for this protected perimeter, and provides spaces for shelter, sleep, food, bathing, laundry. Through a series of local deals that undermine the market economy and consist of people, places, things, and rules, survival situations are constructed to make sense of living on the street.
Engaged in perpetual situations of survival, the homeless are not able to follow the daily routines of the majority. They occupy and recuperate the spaces needed for their substandard living situation, redefining the social and spatial environment through alternative practices that undermine the market economy and centralized political decisions that ignore their existence. For survival, they use informal networks of help and exchange, gathering around ad-hoc communities that have their own series of situations, rules, places, territories, and practices that make sense of living in the street.
These actors and their informal networks describe a different city than the one of the middle class, as their practices and places are chosen and developed through intuition, testing, permission, and tolerance. Due to their lack of representation, the preoccupation of municipal administration for providing spatial amenities for these underprivileged groups is insufficient and programs of prevention and social reintegration remain unclear.
In search of an operative means of documentation, we focus on a series of key issues: rules, risk, living, exchange and habits of resilience particularly described: the personal file, the cartography, the inventory, the site, the images.
* Bucharest Dossier gathers, studies and formulates street life instances as found in the present city.
Phase: Ongoing research
Location: Bucharest, Romania