Friday, 19 April 2013

A diversity of Romanians

In the next few weeks, I'm going to bring you news of Immersive Theatre, a new project designed by Anca Doczi, a young Ratiu scholar and PhD student, and her partner, Cristian, both of whom live in London.  Their aim is to make it easier for Romanians who suffered under Communism to tell their stories, and to share their experiences of living in Britain.  

One of their key players in their Immersive Theatre project is Mariana Gordan, an artist and film-maker who made a dramatic escape from Romania to the UK in 1979.  Her film, Disorient Express, pinpoints many of the issues that afflict those who have made the same journey, which 'ends' with the difficulties of integrating into a society that could be on a different planet.

Another interview I want to do is with Ilinca Calugureanu, director of the forthcoming indie film, Chuck Norris V. Communism.  She's looking for crowd-funding and you can take part.

Thanks to Paul Cristian Angelescu of Protv, I'm also on the trail of the following bright sparks:

Loredan Gargalac - the only executive chef in the UK with a Rosette award.

Edu - a Romanian who graduated in design from Coventry University.

Iulian Caraulani another design graduate from Coventry University who has invented something called the SmartPlate, which matches foods with sounds.  SmartPlate has been shortlisted for an Electrolux design award.  Iulian explained his invention to the Romanian newspaper, Jurnalul National, like this:

[E] prima farfurie care, fizic, percepe mancarea si o transforma in sunet. Cu alte cuvinte, fiecare ingredient din farfurie primeste o "voce", iar utilizatorul poate asculta, astfel, prin intermediul smartphone-ului, sunetul salatei orientale, pe cel al crevetilor... Totul functioneaza cu ajutorul unui senzor care masoara radiatia electromagnetica pasiva emisa de materia organica si, printr-un algoritm special, determina cu exactitate ce ingrediente, in ce cantitate si sub ce stare de agregare se afla ele. In felul acesta, farfuria poate intelege si interpreta fiecare ingredient, atasandu-i note muzicale, ritm sau armonie, completand cercul celor cinci simturi prin care noi interpretam ce mancam 
Iolanda Costide, an architect who has designed many buildings in London.   

There are hundreds more I could mention, including Ramona Gonczol, a Senior Teaching Fellow at University College London and author of a series of textbooks which help English speakers learn Romanian, and Ramona Mitrica, who co-founded Profusion Publishers, which describes itself as:

  • an independent British enterprise,
  • interested in Eastern Europe,
  • looking for popular stories that also speak about society, mentalities, the way people live.
  • We produced, in 2011 – 2012, an extraordinary trio of novels from Romanian authors in English translation, plus an amazing non-fiction book.
  • We are challenging preconceptions about Eastern Europe, its peoples and its cultures,
  • championing new authors on the English-speaking book market,
  • introducing original stories and themes appearing for the first time in English.
Ramona also organises the annual Romanian Film Festival in London.  

And while I wasn't looking, Tessa Dunlop (author of To Romania with Love, 2012) has galloped to the rescue of Romania's reputation with a splendid article in the Huffington Post. 

Pob hwyl!   

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