contemporary Romanian documentary photography
OPENING Saturday 3 October 2015, 5 – 7 p.m. by Wim van Sinderen, senior curator at The Hague Museum of Photography.

In close collaboration with initiators/curators Corina Burlacu and Bianca-Olivia Niţă of EASTWARDS, De Nieuwe Regentes Theatre, Laura Pana of migrationlab and Oriana van der Sande of Three Circles, and as part of the Spotlight: Romania mini festival, GEMAK shows an extensive group exhibition of contemporary Romanian documentary photography focusing on themes like migration and social perception.
A side program consisting of documentaries, the unique migrationlab event ‘Welcome to the living room’ and the workshop Culture Matters on 15, 22 & 29 October and 5 November 2015 will provide opportunities for inspiring interactions between the old and new citizens of the city of The Hague.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Wim van Sinderen, senior curator at The Hague Museum of Photography, in the presence of the promising young Romanian photographer Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi, one of the participants in the exhibition.

Participating photographers and documentary makers:
Petrut Calinescu, Cristian Munteanu, Andrei Baciu, Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi, Vasile Dorolti, Ioana Carlig and Marin Raica, Hajdu Tamas, Mona Nicoara, and Anca Hirţe.
Curators SPOTLIGHT: Romania: Bianca-Olivia Niţă (photography) and Corina Burlacu (film)

The curators on SPOTLIGHT: ROMANIA:

In recent years, Romanian documentary photography has become part of the emerging wave of powerful Eastern European photography. In general these photos focus on subjects and issues happening outside of the city; in particular they focus on the special, powerful and unique stories that are part of Romania’s ‘fiber’ and need to be told.

As a Romanian living in The Netherlands for over 7 years, Bianca-Olivia Niţă made her selection from a slightly nostalgic point of view, but mostly from the perspective of someone who has inside knowledge, but is also still able to observe the country from an objective distance. Bianca: “Each of the selected series tells a different story and has a different feel. And unavoidably each series contains details that may appeal to past stereotypes and to a sense of archaism that Romania has long tried to conceal. To make others understand these stories, the simplifications through which Romania is often perceived should not be swept under the carpet; on the contrary, they need to be incorporated in all their complexity to form a complete picture that exposes them for what they really are. It’s about time we do that and stop presenting this limited, on-sided view of Romania.”

The exhibition will have a special focus on migration with two of the series focusing on the impact of migration on Romanians abroad, from all walks of life. This focus opens up a debat about shifts in perception experienced by those leaving the country and about existing stereotypes about Romanians. These issues will be addressed during two accompanying workshops organized in GEMAK.

photo: Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi