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programthematic project series

concept : artists
Alexandra Croitoru

TRUTH asks for two things: somebody to voice it and… somebody to hear it

My research started in 2008 during a 6 weeks residency in Zurich. I was always interested in analyzing mental and ideological constructs and since Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia, I have started focusing on ethnic minorities, researching if this event could set a precedent when it comes to other minorities’ aspirations for autonomy. Many ethnic minorities, including the Roma, remain stateless, while others, like the Hungarians in Romania, as well as in Slovakia and Serbia, are increasingly discussing their autonomy. 

While in Switzerland, I did research on the Rumantsch speaking minority and on the Rumantsch language itself, which has many connections with the Romanian language. I went on a trip in Graubunden, making visual documentation, visiting different cultural institutions, conducting interviews and discussing the issue with people I met. It seemed to me that the Rumantsch community is not troubled by the autonomy topic, or by any nationalistic statements or territorial demands. In a strange way, this made me take a closer look at the very strong nationalistic discourse in Romania (that denies the role of the Roman colonization in the formation of our culture) and finally decided, for this project, to link these two opposite ways of dealing with national identity. I started collaborating with Magdalena Popescu-Marin, the only Romanian linguist specialized in Rumantsch with a PhD in philology, and a fiction element was formulated and inserted into the research. 

The project actually comments on fictional history writing and on the language as a battlefield when it comes to nationalistic discourses. Combining reality with fiction, appropriating scientific vocabulary and conspiracy theory patterns, the project confronts the system of disinformation. A revolutionary lecture on the Rumantsch as a pre-Latin language that has its origins in the language of the ancient Romanians will be presented, as a video recording, and this is its introduction: 

“It seems that the repeated efforts that have been made along history to have our people forget or ignore its national and historical identity have been partially successful. Let us not forget that a repeated lie may gain the status of truth, while a neglected truth may gradually be perceived as obscure. In the beginning we were quite unfamiliar with the intrusion of political criteria into the realm of scientific research, but as of now, we fully recognize the scope of such politics in Western Europe and we have to ask ourselves: Why is the historical truth covered up? Who is making a profit by artificially dividing Rumantsch and Romanian cultures? Why are isolationist forces being encouraged, even inside the Rumantsch culture?”   

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