Romania - Where I Am From
Project info

I must thank Simina Badica, a fellow Romanian and scholar, whose essay 'Historicizing the Absence: The Missing Photographic Documents of Romanian Late Communism' helped me realize the fundamental importance for this project. After reading her brilliant foray, and maybe the only foray, into the realm of visual arts, I realized there is minimal dialogue to be had over the topic of photography. That begs for a change. My cameras are ready.

As a former Eastern European Communist country, Romania has known vast suffering and constant subjugation, where deep feelings of exile and loss found little to no relief in the arts, that supreme force that takes the dust off our everyday existence, as Picasso would say. The arts were dead during the Communist regime, and remained under severe scrutiny ever since. My initial intention was to mine and build upon a collective memory much like Stephen Shore's work in the 1970s here in the USA, a collective memory reflected in all surrounding landscapes. Alas, our collective memory is built upon anything but photography.

An agile Romanian sportswoman with a humanistic bent, trained first in Architecture then Italian Literature and Philosophy at UCBerkeley, with no purpose in sight besides taking a hearty bite out of life. Having dabbled in commercial photography shortly after graduating college, living felt incomplete still. In 2012, after a short stint in Florence as a photography student, the big break happened regarding my life's journey: all ties came to a knot at the mystical age of 29. Since then it didn't take long to want to aspire towards mastery in a field that is ever challenging, universally engaging, politically and socially charged ad infinitum - fine art photography it was. All of that for this - if curiosity about understanding one's personal myth is the secret to enjoying this earthly existence, well then, I am now the happiest human alive. Because Romania is my home, and home is mythical, Romania has become my personal myth. I regard photographing my country as honoring the land that gave birth to me, honoring its past and hopefully redirecting its future towards a more engaged, emphatic future.

With your help, with my community’s help, a major shift in an entire country’s consciousness will be possible, a shift regarding the arts, history, and the validity of photography as historical artifact. Once finished and delivered in book form, this very project will serve as conceptual platform for an equally important project: visibility for the LGBT community in Romania. Think of yourself as being part of something larger than life that will kick-start change for thousands of people for ever. I am committed body and soul to achieving this goal, and I need your help, today. Anything helps. And if you can spread the word, even better <3