Arts Lab Report: Experiencing Romania and its culture

May have been a month really full of new activities and encounters! The measures to be maintained in respect of the quarantine became softer, so I finally had the opportunity to travel a bit and also to visit the center of Iaşi. 

This month started with the on arrival training that we were supposed to do in Bucharest. Unfortunately we had to carry it out online but it was interesting for the methodologies adopted that kept it dynamic even if we were all the time in front of a PC. The training lasted 10 days and we learnt something about the culture of Romania and volunteering in a project. It has also been a good way to learn new methods for working online with other people, but above all it allowed us to get to know the other volunteers in the country and to share experiences about ourselves and the activities we are realizing. By talking with the other volunteers we discovered how everyone was in a similar situation during the quarantine and we also make contact on order to organise a future meeting.

During the second week of the month, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, we all went  on a trip to Cucuteni, a small village a few km far from Târgu Frumos. It was very interesting to get to know about its ancient culture and to explore the place. There we also met Ionela, a poet and artist who works with ceramic, her works are inspired to the colors and symbols of the culture of Cucuteni.

During the third week I dedicated to write and test a workshop related to the Photo Voice method, it was interesting to learn about new methodologies to teach and share experiences through photography and images. It was also useful to have the possibility to practice it, in order to receive a feedback and to improve myself, while waiting to be able to carry it out with the community. I also enjoyed a lot to attend the workshops created by the other volunteers, they were a source of inspiration for the dynamics and methods used.

Finally I dedicated myself to carry out a photographic project related to the Jewish cemetery located here in Târgu Frumos. It is a place rich of history but unfortunately it is now in a state of almost total abandonment; graves are covered by plants and no one is really cleaning the space. I went there twice and got to know the caretaker of the place who shows me a book that reports the names of some of the victims buried there, both in the single and common graves. She explained that no one from the Jewish community is still living in Târgu Frumos but that annually people from Iaşi and even Israel are visiting the place.

During the month we also carry on with the mentoring and the Romanian classes were we learnt some more verbs and ways to communicate. I can finally say that this month has been much different from the previous and that thanks to the training and by travelling a little. 

Now I know a bit more about the culture of Romania!

Written by Eliana Colzani

Eliana is European volunteer for 8 months, in Arts Lab 2.0 project,  funded by European Solidarity Corps, with the support of European Union.


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