British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is the voice of an art installation dedicated to Romanian doctors fighting the COVID-19 pandemic
Don’t Take Them for Granted, an art installation dedicated to medical staff and all those in the pandemic’s front line, will be exhibited for two weeks in Bucharest’s George Enescu Square.
The project is a collaboration between Romanian photographer Cristian Movila, Swiss artist Capucine Gros, and British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, famous for his roles in the TV series Sherlock and the Marvel block buster movie Dr. Strange. The installation was first presented online at the UNFINISHED festival.
“Don’t Take Them for Granted is a public project initiated by the UNFINISHED community that includes images and texts captured by artists Cristian Movilă and Capucine Gros, between March and August 2020. The photographs and writings document over 70 hours documenting the fight against COVID-19, captured right in the heart of the intensive care units of Bucharest’s main public hospitals: Institutul Național de Boli Infecțioase "Prof. Dr. Matei Balș" Hospital, Spitalul Militar ROL 2, and Spitalul Universitar de Urgență,” reads the project’s description.
The project is a collective call to recognize the labor of this global pandemic’s frontline workers and, most specifically, the Romanian healthcare staff, otherwise invisible in the public space.
“In a social context that has a very hierarchical view of the medical world, Don’t Take Them for Granted focuses especially on the enormous routine effort hidden under the layers of our medical system. Too often eclipsed behind the doctors is an army of labor-intensive work (nurses, porters, assistants, cleaners, interns, technicians, clerks, couriers, guards…) who, in this time of violent need, deserve much more than being taken for granted,” the artists said.
Don’t Take Them for Granted also aims to tie very human and relatable bonds between the medical staff and the rest of society and connect people using the strongest and most direct kinds of bonds: family relationships.
“Remembering that we are all somebody’s child, for instance, is a very simple and accessible idea, yet, on a deeper level, it makes us envision each other as a network of invisible dependencies, rather than as a single person. In this kind of emergency, we desperately need such a level of community awareness and empathy,” says Capucine Gros.
The installation will be open to the public for two weeks, starting on October 9, 2020, in George Enescu Square in Bucharest, and the screenings will take place from 11:00 AM until midnight every day. Access is free, but the installation can be visited only under safe-distancing conditions imposed by COVID-19. The project can also be seen on the website www.notforgranted.org.