Everything I produce is aimed at combating homophobia, racism, xenophobia, patriarchy and caste

T-shirts, embroideries, pictures, texts, graphics, but above all the man behind them is the one who convinces you of it “Be really good.” And it’s not just a slogan. Daniel Groza He is a visual artist who directs his life and online presence on the principle of not harming anyone’s identity. Speak honestly and enthusiastically. You think sometimes he says stupid things, but that’s part of evolution and humanity.

He grew up in Constanta, studied in the USA and gathered various experiences from a degree in Italian literature and philosophy, ten years in the culinary world, an approach to photography and six years of earning a living as a taxi driver in New York. Many of them are documented on Instagram account Tweet embedwhich has been around since 2012 and has been transformed from ‘pot with Nightingale in pictures” On a page that is not only beautiful visually but also well organized. The posts represent Daniela’s interests and mission in a brave, sometimes poignant, sometimes funny way.

The growth of the community around the account empowered her and made her understand that she had a voice in Romania, and Instagram helped her discover a growing queer community that isn’t heard on traditional media channels.

More about the story, the dream and Change Daniela’s strategy, read below.

The man behind the account

I was born in Constanta in the year 83, I grew up in the Abator region with a difficult blood family and a select family (friends) who are as warm and interesting as possible. At the age of 16, my father took us to the United States, to Chicago – my sister and I left during high school with no doubt that our lives would be vastly different from that moment on. At the age of 18, I decided on my own to finish high school in Oakland, California, came up with my sexual orientation, and worked full time at a coffee shop where I stayed for 5 years. Besides the extensive knowledge I gained through café cooking, I added a degree from UC Berkeley, and more on the tongue of my father and encouraged me through a generous full scholarship – I graduated in Italian language, literature and philosophy, though I started in architecture and flirt Photography when I couldn’t find myself in what I was studying.

The culinary world adopted me for 10 years, after which photography called me – a scholarship in Italy helped me taste the world of documentary art for 3 months, then I stayed in New York for another 10 years where I trained as a visual artist. Although I’ve been taking pictures for nearly two decades, it wasn’t until the pandemic that I found my voice in the visual arts.

Last year I had the opportunity to teach about the concept of happiness in the visual arts in Cluj, the city where I also met my fiancé – we worked together on the project and continue to work together. Returning to the country became imminent and necessary for personal happiness and plastering the profession of a photographer. My partner and I have just returned from an epic tour of 7 cities where we taught about Queer Joy, a workshop facilitated by Education Identity, a queer association from Timisoara.

I’m the guy behind the BE KIND FOR REAL project for 8 years and I’ve been driving a taxi in New York for almost 6 years, and I think it’s important to set myself up that way ;).

Beginnings bekindforreal

As far as I remember, the first pictures on Insta showed the new life in Brooklyn right after I moved there in October 2012, without any specific plan. Instagram was a kind of FB photo, a kaleidoscope of visual opinions and that’s what drew me most to this platform, a chance to document my presence in an amazing city and at the same time an opportunity to maintain ‘muscle’. Aesthetics without a massive share.

has evolved

The ‘Switch to’ Insta account arc started in a bowl of ‘Andala Photos – Look Where I Am and What I’m Doing Now’ and landed in a vase of flowers nicely organized into albums with specific hashtags and with a mission determined to do good to me and those around me.

I am very happy to discover visual artists and activists who have inspired the development of the account from an anonymous account to an account that takes into account with all the participation the personal social and political situation and the communities they belong to.

cOr show the account and why?

I’m currently active under several hashtags, all under the @bekindforreal account umbrella – #SilkyMilkyCooks has been collecting recipes and cooking ideas for several years, #queerjoyphotography is the main visual of the visual activity I’m getting more and more familiar with and #DanielFrumideDimi brings a funny, adorable and very insightful alter ego in his quirky innocence. I have other tags, but these are the most important.

Posts are seen as a concept and intent, but I do not impose on myself a specific timetable, in fact, this aspect was also taken into account when supporters joined me – I continue to post when I feel the desire and have time, otherwise I risk turning the account into a company I don’t want that at all.

The account name, translated “be good for good”, remains the main guideline for the visual path I want to follow. Rule #1 is never to harm anyone’s identity.

picture

I can’t say I ‘made’ a picture because that wasn’t what I was thinking when I realized I could make this personal dream come true with the help of my neighbor through the art I create. I started on purpose without studying the marketing market and maybe that’s what I caught up with in the end. I am not interested in the number of fans because I do not depend on them financially, the job of a taxi driver guarantees me a decent and noble life for the time being, in the sense that the freedom to express my political position implies a gesture of originality and at the same time an escape from hypocrisy and pretense.

For example, I refused to collaborate with Santal and RedBull because they are products I don’t consume and I don’t feel comfortable promoting something just because I need the money. I need money, of course, but not like that.

number of supporters

I am still amazed at the number of supporters and remain very grateful to those who were with me from the start, because the beginning was embarrassing to say the least. I am a dreamer and life enthusiast despite all the obstacles I am facing I have written many stupid things I am ashamed of but they are out there somewhere on the internet and I agree it is proof that we can learn to be more open, rational and generous with time and our energy in discovering Humanity in our souls.

Speaking of humanity, most supporters always came after I published an article detailing the horror of my childhood. The sympathy of those around me moves me, but the other side of the coin aims to restore some trauma, and this is exactly the angle that has led me to stray from the personal story, even if I no longer attract large numbers of supporters. Weakness is an effective weapon but using it carelessly can leave open wounds and I don’t like pain, so I prefer silence and activity that takes into account personal experience but doesn’t mention it frequently.

community growth

The growth of the community made me hugely responsible, especially when I realized that I also had a voice here in Romania. The number of supporters opened up a channel of imagination that I couldn’t reach before declaring myself a visual activist. Everything I produce now, from Be Kind to Real T-shirts, to embroidery, photos, texts and designs is aimed at the cross-cutting struggle against homophobia, racism, xenophobia, patriarchy and caste.

Upgrade functional

I once tried to promote my account with a paid campaign, which cost $10 and took a week, but I didn’t do much because I paralleled traditional marketing. A $10 donation could have helped him and much more out of his social media pocket. I do not consider myself an influencer or a businessman.

I am a man with a dream and I and the people who follow me have succeeded in being with the less fortunate during these 8 years of Be KIND FOR REAL. The strategy is still rooted in the non-strategy that has gone so far.

Changes in social media

I’m disappointed with the changes on Instagram, the sponsored posts are numerous and push the accounts I enjoyed not so long ago to the bottom. I can’t wait to dig in so much on Insta, lately post and leave the platform, otherwise I’m risking exposure to marketing designed for a platform that was meant to be just about photos and photo beauty.

roman instagram

The gay community in Romania is getting stronger, despite the unfair reality that surrounds us – we still don’t have the right to marry in Romania, the ban on LGBTQIA+ dialogue in education is being discussed in Parliament, gay people are almost invisible in the media and so on That – thanks to Instagram and FB, I got to know the activist. We learned from them from the country, we supported each other and we keep fighting together, so the *internet* element makes me happier.

What I don’t like is something that isn’t specific to Romania, i.e. I don’t like it when I read something like “It’s my right to express my opinion, that is, homosexuals.. | negative adjective here |” Freedom of expression is always misunderstood, in the present case this “freedom” is called homophobia/discrimination/hate.

Branded content

I’ve rarely accepted to collaborate because the brands that have asked me to collaborate most of the time haven’t matched up with this practical application of cross-love that I share. I loved working with NALU Underwear the most, I created a bodysuit only with the text “AND KIND” and together we decided to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Anais Association that helps people affected by domestic violence.

I quickly learned how to assert myself without encountering misunderstandings while collaborating, sometimes my patience runs out, sometimes not. I certainly do not regret any cooperation and I hope it will remain so in the future.

recommendation

@Motanu.Mortalu is an account of a mutant artist from Rome, a man to listen to very carefully. He has a real and open presence, so I highly recommend him!

blackforager is a candy man with a fierce passion for urban edible plants, and the way he incorporates black history into American culinary history is unmissable because we don’t forget that food has been and always will be a political topic.

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