The value of the net minimum annual wage in Romania is 16.152 RON.

The project uses this value as a measurement unit in order to explore, in a relative sense, Romanian society. What the images bring to the fore are consumption habits, the diversity of products and services available on the market, public spending, the value of natural resources and other types of spending. The photographs illustrate the different forms this sum embodies, whether it's food, clothing, arable land or drugs. The purpose is to create a visual atlas that illustrates and compares the needs, wishes, decisions and what Romanians can afford in this day and age.

 

Captions:

1. Leukocyte-Depleted RBC Concentrate in additive solution - 33 units, adult. Blood Transfusion Center, Bucharest

Blood cannot be manufactured. It can only be given through donation, a voluntary and unpaid act. Only 2% of the adults in Romania actively donate blood, while a person needs blood products every three seconds, on average. A processed unit of whole blood can save the lives of up to three patients.

Blood doesn't have a price, but it requires a cost that is sustained and regulated by the state. Blood transfusion is a strategic national safety priority and the value of different blood products is established through Order no. 1479./2014, by the Ministry of Health.

Immuno-hematological tests (blood group, Rh) are performed for each blood donation to ensure compatibility and further tested to detect potential pathogens that are transmitted through blood, viruses and bacteria. Each country establishes its blood testing scheme according to its epidemiological context. During summer months in Romania, for example, blood is tested for the presence of West Nile virus, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of certain mosquito species, which have emerged in recent years.

Testing, separation of blood into erythrocytes, platelets and plasma, its preservation and distribution involves expensive technologies and highly qualified medical personnel to obtain safe blood components, essential to the receiving patients.

 

2. Double 2 telepresence robot. Creative VR, Bucharest

Telepresence implies the use of technology in order to enable the user to remotely interact and observe the people and their surroundings.

Telepresence robots are a surrogate of the user, eliminating the need for travel by allowing for real time audio-video transmission, mobility and, depending on the robot, the possibility to physically interact with surroundings.

The use of telepresence robots in tactical ops, medicine, education, research or business at a wider scale is relatively recent. Researchers are still studying the effects and implications of their utilization. Some of the more positive aspects of this technology are reduced stress on built infrastructure, a lower carbon footprint, expansion of access to the labor market and time savings for all parties involved.

Double 2 is a telepresence robot built for remote work. Produced by Double Robotics between 2015 and 2019, it works only paired with an iPad. It is used exclusively indoors and is manually controlled by the user. The robot has a footprint of 25,4 cm x 22,8 cm, adjustable height between 119 and 150 cm, a weight of 6,8 kg, maximum speed of 2,57 km/h and it goes up ramps with a maximum inclination of 5%. The Li-Ion battery has an autonomy of 8 hours and it charges in 3 hours.

It is Wifi and 4G/LTE compatible, it has a 5 megapixels camera with a wide angle lens and ensures a video streaming quality of 720p, with AES 128-bit end-to-end encryption, without the possibility for recording or storing the streamed data.

Price: 14.800 RON for the Double 2 including a charging station and improved camera; 1.600 RON for iPad 9.7" (2018), recommended by the manufacturer for optimal performance.

 

3. Antiretroviral drugs (ARV). Different anti-HIV treatment schemes, required for 4 months

Treatment against HIV consists of combining several ARV drugs, with the aim of increasing the body's immunity and reducing the viral concentration to an undetectable level. Undetectable means non-transmissible, sexually or from mother to fetus. The life expectancy of people who have access to continuous ARV therapy is similar to that of HIV-negative people.

In Romania, there are 16,000 people living with HIV. The state offers free ARV treatment for 67% of them, 54% reaching viral suppression.

ARV treatment is not commercial and is only distributed to the pharmacies of infectious diseases hospitals. Although uninterrupted access to ARV therapy is essential for the fight against the virus, these drugs are often missing. Since 2010, an international network of donors and volunteers made up of doctors, NGOs, activists and patients initiated by Alina Dumitriu from Sens Positiv Association has been striving to ensure the continuity of the treatment scheme for as many people as possible in the context of drug shortages in the system.

 

4. Butternut pumpkin, 32 tons. Lungulețu, Dâmbovița

 

5. Cocaine, 36 grams

 

6. 6000 sqm arable land. Niculițel, Tulcea

Characteristics: Cambic chernozem (”black soil”), calcareous, slightly leached, on loess, slightly eroded, average hydraulic conductivity (2,5 mm/h), ph 7.1-8.4. Slightly sloped, arable. Located halfway between Gorgonel, Rotundu and Telincea lake system and E87 road. During 2017-2020 rapeseed, wheat, barley and rapeseed were cultivated in chronological order.

 

7. Deranj Blondă craft beers. 1082 artisanal lager, priced in the bar at 15ron/500ml/bottle. Ground Zero Bar & Restaurant, Bucharest

Characteristics: Kölsch type ale, 4.9% alcohol, with a sweet taste of malt, a light fruity flavour owing to the American hops and a slightly bitter taste.

Ingredients: water, malt, hops, yeast. Artisanal product, unpasteurised, unfiltered, without preservatives. Shelf life 6 months from date of bottling.

Brewed by Matache Beraru at Ground Zero microbrewery in approximately 400 hectolitres/year. Total volume of beer photographed amounts to 5.41 hl.

 

8. Clothes and footwear, geese. Bâldana, Dâmbovița

Generally speaking, the fixed price of these garments is difficult to establish due to the unconventional strategies that street-ware brands like Supreme or A Bathing APE (BAPE) practice, ensuring a cult status of their products. Through assuming a curatorial role in global urban culture, visionary collaborations, irreverence to the customer, limited stocks, erratic launching of collections in a very small number of stores worldwide that generate true pilgrimages, clothing apparel is valued at almost double their asking price as soon as they are bought; the price rises further on the secondary market. Perceived as authentic, these types of objects have acquired value as cultural objects and play an important role in the construction of contemporary urban identity.

 

Bape Silver Shark Reflect Zip Up Parka Jacket, size L, price: 3.850 RON Supreme x Comme des Garçons Morrissey T-shirt, size L, price: 3.200 RON Nike x Off White Air Shoes presto Black, size 42, price: 3.330 RON Supreme Box Logo Urban Camo (dyed) Hoodie, size L, price: 3.811 RON The "Romanian" geese (white ones) each cost 150 lei and the Toulouse goose 400 RON

 

The project was co-financed with a grant of AFCN and OAR 

 

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