For three days Matasari Street in Bucharest was closed to road traffic for the 6th edition of an unusual festival.
Having reached its sixth edition, the Women on Matasari
Festival this year entertained the people of Bucharest with projects, good
music, fashion shows, exhibitions, theatre performances, debates and an overall
is the head of the Beneva Association, the organiser of the festival. He gave
us more details about this year's edition:
"We had some 20,000 visitors during the three days of the
festival. As usual, opening the festival was a fashion show, this year
organised by Wilhelmina Arz, Bianca Popp and Alexandra Calafeteanu, jointly
with an association supporting the idea that people with disabilities and
beauty can go hand in hand. The association brought on stage a person in a
wheel chair wearing the dress that competed for the 2015 Miss World beauty
contest. Then we also had a lot of good music, theatre performances, artistic
events, street performances, concerts given by Akua Naru, Vita de Vie, Coma,
Moonlight Breakfast and many other young people with a rich musical experience.
The exhibition of hand-made objects, designer clothes and fashion consisted of
60 projects we had selected from a total of 400 enlisted projects. So there was
a bit of something to cater for all tastes."
Those who walked
alongside Matasari this late May could get a haircut right there, in the
street, buy cosmetic products, solar protection creams, garments and designer
clothes, or talk to representatives of associations such as Work at Home Mums,
Never Alone. A Friend for the Elderly, the Soul Workshop and animal protection
Anton Balint had
a green pavilion in the festival, exhibiting decorative glass objects encapsulating
a succulent plant on a small platform made of colourful stones. Anton Balint
has the details:
"It's the first time we are taking part in the festival,
and we were very happy to see so many activities and colours, we felt we
belonged here. I think the most important thing about this festival is that you
can get to know some really nice people, you can chat around, make friends and
make ourselves known".
is the coordinator of a volunteer association called Never Alone. A Friend for
the Elderly. She told us why the association had chosen to take part in the
"We came to the Women on
Matasari: Festival because it seems a good opportunity for people to find out
what the association is doing and the fact that they can get involved in
helping elderly people who are alone and isolated and to promote our campaign
The Grandma's Woolen Scarf launched at the ONGfest; we have lots of scarves
knitted by our grandmas - there are around 1000 grandmas in our association -
and together with our volunteers who have also learnt to knit, we make these
scarves and sell them for a donation of at least 80 lei so that we may carry
out as many activities inside the association as possible, from Christmas
dinners to holidays and trips."
Magda Coman, president of
association Open Your Heart and organiser of an event entitled Atypical Beauty,
took part for the first time in the Matasari Festival. She told us that the
people there had seemed very enthusiastic:
"Today we are promoting our association, which focuses on the image of
disabled people and the event we stage every year but in different cities
entitled Atypical Beauty; its next edition, the ninth, will be taking place in
Cluj on June 21st. I hope we'll enjoy support from the participants."
Hofmann Rudolf, a veterinarian, is the representative of the first clinic
for stray animals in Romania. He came to the festival with several strays,
which he had saved from the streets, in order to find owners for them:
"We came here to promote our activity and get support so that we may
give animals for adoption. We've already managed to find owners for two dogs
and two cats; we are very happy!"
Andrei Botescu, a representative of the Pegas bikes came to the festival
with the grand prize for the winner of the women's cross country race, which
was run entirely on high heels. The race took place on the first day of the
"There was a high-heel race during the Women on Matasari festival,
which this year focused on anti-discrimination. We offered a bike as a prize to
the winner of the race because we like to get involved in projects with a
positive social impact and we'll always support that. That is also a place
where many beautiful cultural activities are taking place."
Iulia Vacarean, the fastest
woman on high-heels said she was happy to win the race for the first time and
told us about the reasons why she had joined it:
"I took part in the race because I love to run and I took it as a
challenge, you know, the race on high-heels. As a rule I run a lot and it was
nice to have the support of fans during the race. Today I've been running on 10
centimetres high heels and ended the race way ahead the other competitors. Men
ran as well and it was a very nice show."
This year's edition of the festival is over, but the city spirit remains
as well as the belief that only together can we change urban life.