Arts Lab 5.0: Violeta Roca, Spain - Month 1

This month I have done so many things that it is difficult for me to remember and put in order everything I have experienced.  To begin with, we went to different craft fairs and I loved seeing the different products from Romania, the traditional dances and songs... Then we organized the folkloric festival, which was a very intense experience of meeting many local people, organizing many activities and feel very surrounded by cultural traditions.  After the festival we had a few days to rest and discovered the city of Iași at the gallery night, where we could see local art.  Last week we started the first artistic residency in a school that was a bit complicated, but even so we were able to carry out the workshops so I am happy with the experience, and we have also carried out the first caravan in Piatra Neamț which has been a very different and interesting experience, especially the archaeological visit to Cucuteni.

I don't think I've had any big problems or many real problems.  At first, especially, it was difficult for me to adapt and get used to the idea of the new place and colleagues since I arrived after a few days of very intense moments in my country and my mind was constantly thinking about everything that had happened.  So it helped me to have a few quieter days when I arrived to rest a little.  After a few days my phone broke and I suffered a little because I had just arrived in this new country and I couldn't communicate with anyone, I felt insecure until after a few days I was able to solve it after a lot of stress

At the Folcloristica festival we did the first workshop and I was surprised by how well it went with the children, even so it was difficult for me to connect with them directly due to the language barrier (I had a translator who spoke Spanish and they do not understand this language).  I didn't like the residence at school very much on the first day because I saw that the few students who were there were just there to not go to class or do anything, in addition there was a big language barrier since they didn't speak any English so communication it was not fluid.  But from the second day onward, the dynamic changed completely since the students who participated were others, more motivated and interested in the activity.

For sure I’ve learned a lot about Romanian folclore and typical food, and dances. I have also been practicing a lot of English and French. When I arrived and started this project I had in my mind the idea of having a space where I could develop my personal art interacting with artists from different countries.  But now I understand that it is more of a space where you can experiment, try and make mistakes.  Learn through practice and learn about other art perspectives.

More than learning this month has been an inspiration for project ideas that I would like to develop in the future and to continue experimenting and developing art techniques in this project here in Romania.
The activities have been very intense, so it has not been difficult to feel part of the project and the new environment.  You learn everything by practicing and without fear of making mistakes, since it is part of the learning process.

I am loving living with 12 people in the same house and working together, it is something that I have discovered and that was one of my concerns before coming here, since I have lived alone for the last year.  But the reality is that I love living in community.

Although there are people with whom I feel more comfortable and welcomed, in general I get along well with everyone and I like the environment that we have created between us, I am intrigued to continue getting to know more parts of people and connect with more people.

Violeta Roca is from Spain, and she is participating in a six-month volunteering program within Arts Lab 5.0, a project co-funded by the European Union through the European Solidarity Corps.


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