Unfinished Festival
Culture Inspirational

UNFINISHED 2019: The Experience


Pure energy that traveled from all over the world and got mixed with the local flavor of Bucharest…

A cocktail of raw emotions, pure electrifying ideas that roll amongst this vibrant community that the festival gathered…

Openness and laughter, stepping out of our comfort zone and building new connections and new bridges that strengthen our journey…

When I first heard about the festival “Unfinished”, my mind drifted to that core belief that we are “unfinished”. Our journeys have just begun and they will always be in a complex rhythm, taking all sorts of shapes, recording fragments of life and taking ideas to the next level.

I do believe in the collective mind and I saw these days the power of a crowd. I felt the energy of a crowd that sings and dances together. I felt the energy of a strong community that is being formed. I felt the love of this crowd and saw how our invisible bridges just fell apart, leaving space to our dazzling personalities to expand.

What the Unfinished team achieved beautifully is the new structure of a festival that offers a completely different experience.

Part talks, part art, part festival and part undefined, it created a whole new space where interviews, workshops, talks and performances offered us a brand new way of engaging and deeply feeling the #unfinished19 experience.

The Surprise

The surprise of the festival was Esther Perel, the renown psychotherapist and bestselling author, who is brilliantly insightful when it comes to any type of modern relationship.

It was a pleasure to hear her in an one on one interview with Jack Saul, psychotherapist & director of the International Trauma Studies Program, talking about the power of theater and drama in healing and the way engaging the audience, offering it the role of creative collaborator affects profoundly the process.

Esther Perel and Jack Saul
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

The interview offered insights into the art installation by Jack Saul, Moral Injuries of War, that bluntly speaks about the devastating time soldiers go through during and after war, carrying an immense burden on their shoulders – a deep trauma that can be so hardly fixed.

We brought happiness down from the heavens. For most of history, happiness was for the afterlife. You suffered well on earth and if you did a good job, you could hope for a better next turn. This thing – about bringing happiness down, having talks about happiness, thinking that it is not just an option, but a right and a mandate – that is a completely new conception of life and at what, therefore, we think we can expect from relationships.

Esther Perel
Esther Perel
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

Insightful, real, daring and so positive and fun – the energy of Esther is contagious and I could definitely listen to her for hours. But not only her vibrant way of communicating stroke me, but also her profound understanding of the way the world works and how easily and clear she conveys it.

You can watch the full LIVE Ask Me Anything session on UNFINISHED Facebook Page.

Meeting A Legend

The next big surprise was meeting the legend of photography Brigitte Lacombe, who has worked with numerous film stars like Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. Her work was published in Vanity Fair, Glamour, The New Yorker, The New York Times and so many more. It was a true honor to be photographed by her in a unique private session offered to a selected number of people.

Ian Daly, Brigitte Lacombe and Susan Sellers
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

Her relaxed attitude, French charm and close attention to detail makes you feel different – raw and naked, yet confident. She really looks at you… and a beautiful honest, vulnerable moment is born.

The Here Now Magazine made by Brigitte Lacombe & Susan Sellers

Brigitte Lacombe and Susan Sellers, founder & creative director of 2×4, worked together during the festival days to create a very unique magazine, born on the spot, where portraits and selected moments from the festival were featured.

The HereNow Magazine, fresh off the press was released in the final day of the festival, being beautiful, pure and raw, a reflection of the UNFINISHED.

Culture is fluid and contagious.

Jurgis Didžiulis

The Power of Music

One of the best things at UNFINISHED is that you discover new creative people from all over the world, not only in the participants, but also in the speakers that fully inspire you in these magical 4 days.

Jurgis Didžiulis is one of them. Motivational musician and transformational troubadour, Jurgis caught my attention at his very first talk in day 1. Upgrading humanity was the theme and how we together have the power to change or influence mindsets, sharing our ideas and mingling our energies on the vibrant waves of music.

Jurgis Didžiulis
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

I was going to understand much better this concept and see the way we change as a group in his workshop on creating music together, which what we did. Starting with a relatively low level of energy, after almost 2 hours of dancing together, singing, improvising, being the master of the choir and throwing ourselves into the unknown, not only that we bounded, but we were all genuinely happy and uplifted.

Creating music together
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

We were changed. We were real. We felt safe. Jurgis offered us the space where we could manifest our true beautiful selves and that made us connect in an instant. I am sure that is a feeling that we will al crave from now on and we will try to bring into our daily lives.

Thought-provoking Talks

Diverse and challenging, all talks brought profound value to the festival and its community. There were so many mind-blowing ideas told and I will name just a few that really stuck with me.

Moran Cerf
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

Moran Cerf is the neuroscientist who contributed at the renown TV series Limitless, in solving the scientific parts of the scripts. Screenwriters usually need the help of scientists and experts to create a believing story, especially in such a twisted and complicated plot that revolves around the true powers of our brain and our capacities.

The work at something fictional, made him think even further, what if it is actually possible? What if the brain can be taught to think differently, to have completely new thoughts that go beyond our current reality and it turns out that it is actually possible. I highly recommend you follow him and his talks to learn more.

Hearing the stories of Rukmini Callimachi was a journey itself. Three-times Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times foreign corespondent, Rukmini was born in Romania and left when she was very young to Switzerland and later to the United States. From a freelance journalist in India to working for the New York Times, documenting Islamic extremism, Rukmini has told so many powerful stories and in the last years has spent time speaking with terrorists in encrypted rooms or prisons.

Rukmini Callimachi
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

If this person was telling the truth, we have met alone with a murderer, in a hotel room, late at night. People often ask me: “Why do you do this? Why do you take these risks? I’m here to tell you that I was in that hotel room, because I firmly believe in speaking to the enemy. I believe in listening to them, which is different from believing them. I believe in trying to understand them, which is different than giving them a platform. And I do this in the interest of reporting the most accurate version of events. In short, I do this in the interest of TRUTH.

Rukmini Callimachi

Truth is something that we all seek for. We are looking for meaningful, truthful emotions, moments and people. I believe the festival is about this truth and everyone present brought one way or another their version, their truth, their rawness, their unfinished story…

Angélica Dass, photographed by UNFINISHED & sneak peek of her Humanæ Project

There were so many other amazing speakers that were a part of this year’s festival, like Angélica Dass, the award-winning photographer, creator of the Humanæ Project, in which she explores the diverse beauty of human colors. Manolo Lopez, a brilliant chef and social entrepreneur from Puerto Rico, speaks about his roots and culture through his food combined with storytelling. Logan Ury, the famous dating coach and author was also present with great insights on the modern dating and its complexity.

Luca Zamoc
Photography: UNFINISHED (Facebook page)

Italian artist, Luca Zamoc is the third year present in the UNFINISHED festival that reached its 4th year now. He will create a mural in Bucharest after the festival, that he discussed about with the community. In his workshop, he brainstormed ideas, wanting to find out what are the most important symbols for the people in Bucharest and what are the stories that reflect our local flavor? I cannot wait to see his work and I am sure that you all feel the same.

The Community

Finding your tribe is not always easy and I feel that I have found it in the UNFINISHED community. Beautiful, open-minded, heartwarming people from all over the world, with high aspirations, exciting passions and dreams that can and will shape a better future for us all! The power of such a community is endless and we, my friends, can build a new world!

Thank you so much, UNFINISHED team, for making this a reality and offering the best space at The National Museum of Art, in Bucharest, where we could feel free, safe and we could express ourselves truly! Thank you for bringing so many amazing speakers from all over the world, who brightened up our world! Thank you for the absolute magic that you have all created!

The journey is UNFINISHED. Out future is UNFINISHED and I am so eager to see what it will bring next… Looking forward to seeing you all next year! Create and inspire until then!

Follow the UNFINISHED journey on Facebook, Instagram & their website

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