Minorities in visual culture – focus Romania
Exhibition and research project
Producer: PostModernism Museum Romania
La Poissonnerie Bruxelles, August 20 – October 4, 2016
Project financed by the Romanian Cultural Institute through CentenArt Program
Partners: European Confederation of Youth Clubs, Poissonnerie Brussels, Modernism.ro, Rizi Design
Curator: Cosmin Nasui
Partner representative: Rares Craiut
Project managers: Oana Nasui, Amalia Alexandru
The Museum of Bucharest, October 12 – November 10, 2016
For full agenda of itinerary (until 2020) or pitching a location, please contact oana.nasui at postmodernism.ro
The research exhibition ”Minorities in visual culture – focus Romania” is constructed by a team of curators and researchers and it will be first time exhibited in Brussels, with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute Bucharest. The exhibition and research project is to be travelled to other locations in Romania and EU in the following years.
The exhibition and research project ”Minorities in visual culture – focus Romania” develops in thematic topics and subthemes, some of them ideological views transformed in clichés: ”Exotic – major marginal element”, ”Minorities represented in major arts”, ”Inclusion through cosmopolitism and revolution”, ”Discrimination and polarization”.
Each thematic topic is represented within the exhibitional space through panels, banners, meshes, textile canvases, together with original art works, memorabilia and visual culture elements.
Post communism historiography studies reflect the need of better understanding the relations between the Romanians and different ethno-cultural communities living in the same geographical area. In some cases, historiography was ideologically used in favour of nationalism and xenophobia. These relations can be followed and found in visual culture produced both by ethnic minorities and by the majority.
Continuing with the formation of national European states, the concepts of ethnic national majorities, minorities, multiculturalism were staging different visual approaches from radical nationalist to tolerant recognition, following different trends of Romanization, inclusion, integration, positive discrimination, autonomy, discrimination and anti-Semitic behaviors.
The ethnic minorities have been defined in relation and in some cases in opposition with a majority of citizens of a young nation as Romania, fighting for centuries for their independence and state recognition.
”Minorities in visual culture – focus Romania” researches the continuous historical balance between the national myth and minorities contribution from 1918 Romania’s Great Union (”Marea Unire”), throughout the troubled historical road that lasted almost hundred years.
Language, religion, culture and heritage have been strong factors shaping the profound characteristics of both ethnical minorities and national majority, besides recognition, rights and obligations. The minorities have largely contributed to the multiculturalism and richness diversity of the cultural heritage.
Several ethnic minorities can be seen in different types or categories: transnational European minorities, national neighbor minorities and emigration minorities.
Transnational European minorities are the minorities that can be found in many other different European states. Jews, Gypsies and Chinese are the most common ones, followed by Ruthenians, Tatars, Lipovens.
National neighbour minorities are included in the territories of the present European states, which have dilated or contracted along the last 100 years of the history. Ethnic communities neighbouring border territories are usually well represented. Therefore, in Romania we can found the Germans, Turks, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Armenians or Russians.
Emigration minorities are the result of waves of emigration due to different historical contexts and political, economic and historical phenomena. Therefore, in Romania we would find representatives of Syrians and Arabs.
In many cases, it does not matter the size of the minority (in percent) but the history of the relationship between the majority and that minority community.
The research study and exhibition ”Minorities in visual culture, focus Romania” explores the rich dialogue that exists between visual representation on one hand and political and social context on the other.