Litoral Archives, a unique research project on the Black Sea

25 July 2022

A multidisciplinary group of experts and artists, in collaboration with international specialists in the field of archival digitization, management and artistic promotion, has started an intensive research project in the Black Sea, with the aim of creating the first museum of the Romanian coast. Anthropologists, biologists and philosophers, along with representatives of the Higher Schools of Arts or Sciences from Bucharest, Cluj, Iashi and Arad join their efforts in a research aimed at knowing and promoting the Romanian coast.The project, led by Raluca Oancea – curator and theorist specialized in the field of art archives, professor of aesthetics and new media at UNARTE – is implemented in cooperation with cultural institutes and diplomatic representations of Romania and has the support of local art collectors and regional cultural organizations. The team is evaluating long-term development opportunities, so that in the medium term, the virtual museum – which will be established in the next two years – has a physical counterpart in reality. The search began, in mid-July, from the city of Eforie Sud, the oldest resort on the Romanian coast, formerly known as Carmen Silva, which was born at the end of the nineteenth century, on the initiative of Ioan I. , descendant of an important Moldavian family. Doctor of Laws, Movili was in turn the attorney general and judge, chief justice of the Galati Court, and deputy and governor of Pricilla County. With the support of some skilled architects of the time, he designed an urban plan designed to ensure the continuous development of a spa center, relevant at the European level.The resort had hotels, public gardens, parks, restaurants, and even a water casino and theater that had been in operation since 1920. Of promise in those days, I still remember the few elegant homes lost in the steep slope, or perhaps the silhouette – now carelessly modified – of a hotel “Popovici”, built between 1903 and 1906, is one of the majestic buildings of the time, evoked by Mircea Eliade or Camille Petrescu.Ioan Movilă opened his enterprise on September 20, 1899, under the name Movilă Resort – Techirghiol. However, time will gradually erase the memory of this legend. The Băilor Movilă Building, built in 1902, was demolished during the socialist period, creating a dangerous precedent. Then, in the city, dozens of interwar houses were demolished one by one, and others were architecturally defaced, losing their identity. The past three decades have cast an oppressive and oppressive silence on the small resort on the Black Sea, where even the summer festivities and consumer luxury, held in the neighboring settlements, can no longer excel.The partners of this project, cultural institutes and diplomatic representations such as – the Polish Institute, the Czech Center, the Liszt Institute – the Hungarian Cultural Centre, the Swedish Embassy and the Yunus Emre Constanta Cultural Center – will launch their own explorations in the countries of origin, trying to identify photographs or other important elements to describe the stays that Various people from Europe spent it on the Romanian coast during the communist or post-communist period. This material will be digitized and uploaded to the project website in order to achieve strategic links between communities of different nations at the continental level, at a time when unity is essential. The first step towards creating this archive is to identify and digitize a large number of collections, containing photographs, postcards, objects and documentary materials relating to sunbathing, air, mud, and artefacts retrieved from personal, local or institutional collections. Equally important is the inventory of information that has been preserved regarding the old resort customs and stories. Collections belonging to individuals, groups or organizations from the Romanian coastal region will be numbered and uploaded to the Internet.The purpose of the project
Consolidating the cultural ecosystem of the Romanian coast and redefining it as a strategic area with economic, multicultural, touristic and geopolitical values, through an archive of photos, audio recordings and objects that will map the development of the region from the end of the 19th century. Century until the communist and post-communist eras and will serve as a cultural and educational tool intended for the general public and as a focal point for the local community of collectors and cultural organizations with national and international specialists in the field of digitization, management and artistic promotion of the archives.

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