M O N I C A   I O A N A   G U G U R A

  05 Monica Ioana Gugura   05 Songs

I have studied social work and graduated in 1995 from Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I began my social work career working as a generic social worker at Cluj County Council. In 2002 I moved to England and settled in Ipswich. Until 2008 I worked at as a social worker at Suffolk County Council, initially in a Children and Families / Care Management team and then in a Fostering Services team. I then moved into Workforce Development -training and consultancy-, and am still working for the same county council. I am also a Practice Educator for student social workers. In 2015 I have obtained my Masters of Arts in Advanced Social Work, at the University of East Anglia.

I chose Songs (Ala.Ni’s Darkness at Noon and Cherry Blossom) because:

There could be 1000 or more images to represent the word ‘Songs’, with all its stories, feelings and experiences. Covering all the space between the extremities of life, between good and bad, joy and misery, justice and injustice, social work has explored, experienced and why not, understood it all. Eclectic, pluralist and holistic, at times reduced to silence, like in Romania, during the communist times, other times criticised, judged, misjudged or praised – the western tradition of social work-, this is social work.

To represent ‘Songs’, I have chosen Ala.Ni’s Darkness at Noon & Cherry Blossom / A Take Away Show ( – please skip the advert, for which I apologise). The first song suggests the ambiguity of life and human relationships, with which social workers have to deal every day. The struggle to break free from love is sometimes as hard as the struggle to break free from abuse or addiction, and the liberation from these powerful realities is experienced differently by different people. In every success or ‘human victory’ there is also the reverse – the bad taste of victory, the possibility of relapse, the possibility of tomorrow’s failure and loss. Sometimes there remains a sense of guilt, a vague regret, the temptation to return. Like poets or artists, social workers know that the frontiers between past and present are fragile, and that the possibility of change, of an alternative future, is always close to people.

Why Cherry Blossom? Because social work is an optimistic profession, a young child at heart, that needs others to stay beside them, not for ever, just for a day’s work, that would be enough.


4 thoughts on “Songs”

  1. Hey – we’ve got five Objects! It’s interesting that three of them are music-related, and four of them relate directly to the senses. All of the Objects so far are very personal – I wonder if there are any Objects that will be chosen that will stand in a metaphorical relationship to social work? I was on the London underground yesterday and heard the ‘Mind The Gap’ refrain at each station and thought about ‘The Gap’ as a metaphorical Object for social work (the gap between ideals and reality; between what students learn and the realities of practice; between the public’s expectations of public services and the public’s willingness to resource them; etc, etc.) I took a photo of ‘the gap’ and spent some time reflecting on whether ‘a gap’ is an Object? I think the notion of an object is more interesting than I first realised …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ciao, the 40 objects could be the stations on the journey of social work. Between stations, the landscape changes according to the geography of metaphors, which cluster together, are separated by ‘gaps’, or are in creative tension with each other. This will create a sense of movement and perhaps the chapters of the history of social work (in 40 objects), will emerge like constellations or habitats (of metaphors). It would be great to create at some point a CD/DVD with the music, dynamic images (e.g. videos) people will be sending, to expand the ‘static objects’. This website could become at some point a good material for artists, film-makers or writers to use. I don’t know why Akiro Kurosawa’s film ‘Dreams

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Today I got angry. Politically angry, like never before. And I’m going to write my message to the Brexits, who deny the existence of a genuine European conscience, of a cultural and moral unity of Europe, and of course the need for a political and economic unity. They blame the Eurocrat mindset, the excessive EU regulations that restrict freedom, choice and which-they say- destroy our democratic values and a system based on social justice. The tyrant, evil Eurocrat, the only one on this planet who pockets cash and benefits of injust privileges….another enemy for Britain.
    Stop travelling, don’t visit Europe anymore, stay true to your feelings and rejections. Why do you go to Vienne and Prague and Italy? Do you not feel the European spirit there, the past which was influenced and very much built by a unity of conscience, with impact on culture, science and moral development? And if you love these cities, why don’t you love Europe and cannot identify with its citizens, who are still proud- the majority- of the things they have in common and which unite them? You take pride in being postive, with a positive thinking, but you are harsh in your judgements of European nations, not just of their present, but of their past (the evils, the mistakes of the past). If those in favour of Brexit say they love Prague, Budapest, Venice, etc, etc, they must have a hedonistic rapport with these places: they bring short-term pleasures, excitements, which are soon forgotten about upon return home, to work and business. Every choice and decision, even the most rational ones, are influenced by our emotions and feelings. So don’t tell me it is pragmatism, economic planning that drives the Brexits. It is ideology, it is disgust, superior attitudes towards European nations that cannot make good decisions, that stick to each other and to an idea of unity. It is the self-centred karma thrown upon a nation first by Henry the VIII, then by other forefathers. Henry who couldn’t stand his wife anymore and was consumed by passion for a woman and by the desire to have a son for his kingdom. So He shook himself and his people off from the rules and laws that were restrictive, ‘injust’. Very similar to the Brexit rhetoric, which of course is removed from any religious debate.
    You may not like and may not want to identify with anything to do with a united European conscience: the Roman Empire, the Christian Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the Rennaisence, the Period of Enlightment, the Reverberations of the French Revolution, the Habsburg Empire. What do you really love and care about: your money, your business, small communities, your families only? Why do you think so ‘small’, whilst the affluent class knows how to think ‘big’ for themselves?
    Don’t be too upset with me.


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