ethnographies is an ongoing photography project which aims to create visual records of customs and folkloric manifestations around contemporary rural Romania, in the context of depopulation and increasing phenomenon of migration. The series focuses on practices which take place in various regions of the country (such as Maramureș, Oltenia, Vrancea, Transylvania or villages located near Bucharest area), throughout the calendar year.
I began documenting these customs during my first year of studying Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology and Folklore inside an academic context. I gradually realized that I was less interested in the past – as something that is gone forever and is impossible to relive – and more concerned about how the present is actually able to reiterate, re-contextualize and even to reinterpret the archaic.
Everything is subdued to change, in order to survive; it’s the case of tradition, as well. Communities will keep their customs as long as they will be useful to them. As communities age, their practices disappear, too. As I approached the theme of cultural identity, I became more aware of the cultural diversity of my own country, but also its ephemeral character.
Documenting these practices, I found myself inside a time which is neither then, nor now – a state of being located somewhere at the border between our modern anthropocentric view of the world and our ancestors’ cosmocentric perception of life.