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Stories from diaspora// Romina Chetraru – the artistic Moldovan girl with an Italian allure

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For her, art springs from simplicity, and even from difficulties. She always was a modest and fragile girl. Yet, her colourful soul constantly tried to escape the society’s-imposed ceiling. It seemed to shine from inside. This is why she got the nickname ‘little sun’. Then, the ‘little sun’ has grown up. Let me introduce Romina Chetraru, one of the beautiful and creative spirits of our time.

About the sunrise

“Everything starts from where I have grown up: being intimately connected with nature, among the books in my mother’s library, while waking up at 5 am for gardening, being completely absorbed by the sunrise, with my shoes bathed in dew… I remember the taste of my grandmother’s bread, which was especially tasty when eaten in the shade of grapevine on the hill. Everything I am today is rooted in those moments.” Romina inherited the love for books and art from her mother and the ability to soulfully observe the surrounding things from her father.

At first, art took the form of passion for words for Romina. During her adolescence, words were the most appropriate way of expressing her own personality. “I had the opportunity to write and direct a play in a social theatre. It was an unforgettable experience that enhanced my passion for art even more,” says Romina.

Referring to her personality, Romina is an incredibly empathetic person. She loves interacting with people, discovering them, but sometimes she absolutely needs isolation as well.

“I’m not afraid of loneliness, on the contrary. The perfect balance of my life is to have my own ‘footprint’, to be who I really am, not who society dictates to be. I always look for simplicity in every aspect of my life. I succeed just sometimes, most of the time I don’t. I am a little disaster, fluctuating from the state of chronic order to the colossal chaos. I avoid going to the streets that seem to me sad or without personality, even if that means to walk half the city.”

About the storm (moving to another country)

“When I moved to Italy, my life turned into a fierce battle of integration. The words in my native language also began a profound conflict with the new ones in Italian. For a long period of time, I didn’t write anything because of energy absence,” Romina recalls.

It wasn’t easy at all. Our protagonist had to be transferred from a Moldovan high school to an Italian one. “The high school in Italy is like a university. I did not have a moment of break. I studied philosophy, anthropology, Latin anthology during lessons of 90 minutes and had oral and written exams…”

Romina says that moving to Italy was the bravest and the most complicated choice she had ever made. “When I look back, I wonder how I found the energy to keep up with the tsunami that struck me seven years ago. Actually, I am not the only Moldovan who has gone through this experience, but I noticed that there are some things that remain behind the curtain, and no one mentions them.” In Italy, being a stranger is quite complicated, because of the tensioned atmosphere in society regarding the flow of constantly arriving immigrants, as Romina claims.

“Nowhere else did I feel so embarrassed that I am Romanian like here, and I had to be patient and break the stereotypes and the reputation created by some of our compatriots.”

Romina says that 7 years ago she wasn’t prepared enough for the Italian high school. “It was very simple to be held back. The passing mark was 6, and the teachers were extremely demanding. Being a perfectionist, I could not allow myself to fail.” That was the moment when she took a break from writing and discovered the photography as her new form of expression.

As she didn’t have a professional camera, Romina was taking photos with her phone camera. The quality of the pictures was really low, but she was looking for the concept of the picture. She started to be more and more active, once she felt more integrated in the new society. “I got involved in the school theatre, then I became a member of the school parliament and on my birthday, when my parents gave me my first camera, I became the official photographer of the school,” reveals Romina with a bright smile on her face, while recalling these moments.

Despite all these difficulties, Romina is enchanted by the intellectual, literary, artistic and culinary culture of Italy that fascinated her from the very first moment.

About the rainbow of her art

“There was a period in my life when I dreamed of becoming a writer. I have 3 abandoned novels drafts. I was reading Octavian Paler, Ferdando Pessoa and dreaming of experiment like James Joyce with Ulise…”

Romina didn’t become a writer. She became a poet. Her first poetry book was a novelty for the public. The book named – “Punctul” (translated from Romanian as “The point”) was her experiment. “It was clumsy, hobbling, incomplete, but mine. I put my soul in my first book. It has a lot of blank space to become a kind of diary or a sketchbook for the reader. I imagined how poetry can be wiped off, changed, how the reader writes his own poetry, his own thought. I tried to present the poetry differently.”

As Romina says, the most interesting thing happened when foreign people who didn’t understand a word in Romanian told her that they could feel her poems. “That was the moment I understood that I succeeded in publishing a book that had its own personality and expressesed without lexemes a universe of states that connects with the reader regardless of the language he spoke.”

She plans to publish one more book. Her second book will be another experiment. “I decided to integrate the visual design with the visual poetry for my bachelor thesis and discovered a tremendously wide and interesting form of poem – cinepoetry. It is the most motivating project on which I continue to work.”  The project blends her passion for writing with the one for film making. Yes, she also wanted to become a director, but certain circumstances forced her to choose another creative field.

Romina also dreamed of becoming a choreographer and open a school of dance. But the most recent moment when she felt the peak of fulfillment was when she got her job as a visual designer at RAI – the national public broadcasting company of Italy. During the weekends, she becomes her own dressmaker, that being included in the long list of her talents.

Romina lives by her inspiration. It’s an essential part of her personality. “In the end, if you do not ‘feed’ your mind, your eyes – you are not able to create.”

About the homeland blue sky

Romina found her new home. After 7 years away from Moldova, she feels like a stranger in there.

“The memories that connect me to my homeland are becoming more and more distant. Nowadays, for me, Moldova represents my roots, which I need to take care of at least once a year, otherwise I feel like an air plant.”

She thinks that people in diaspora have a fundamental role in the fate of Moldova. “We are the ones who had the misfortune to leave, yet we had the luck of being able to compare the political, social, cultural situation in Moldova with those of other countries. The Moldovan diaspora is that wave of strong and fresh energy that our country needs.” Romina wants to put in practice an idea of an artistic short movie about Moldova. She wants to come back home one day.

Photos: personal archive

Diaspora

Stories from diaspora// Dumitrița Gore – a violinist who performs on the best stages of Europe

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Dumitrița is a violinist who is in love with classical music and violin. People usually say about such talents: “She was meant to play music.” Arduous and passionate, romantic and beautiful, she always radiates on stage. Dumitrița is really young but already managed to have a lot of achievements and so much is yet to come…

About the way it started

Dumitrița loved music since her childhood. “In my family no one is a musician, but we sing a lot, especially when we get together for holidays.” When she was 7 years old, her mom brought her at the Music Lyceum “Ciprian Porumbescu” in Chișinău. Dumitrița says that at that moment she didn’t know what instrument she wanted to play. “I think the choice was, in fact, more of my mother. At that age I did not realize what instrument I would like to play. I liked music, I had a musical hearing and my mother decided I should try, and that’s how it all started,” recalls Dumitrița.

It didn’t take too much time for her to understand that this is what she would love to do her entire life. Every day, Dumitrița fell in love more and more with classical music. “Ever since I started learning at the Music Lyceum “Ciprian Porumbescu”, I did not think I could do something else besides music.”  The help and inspiration she got from her teachers, the passion about music, and the motivation from her successes at the national and international competitions convinced Dumitrița to continue playing violin.

“Since I was 14, I started playing in youth orchestras where I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from different corners of the world.” Our protagonist made her solo debut at the age of 16 with the Moldovan National Chamber Orchestra and participated in more than 15 national and international competitions. Among the most important awards she won were the 1st Prize at the “Nedyalka Semionova” International Violin Competition (Bulgaria), the 1st Prize at the National Competition “Paul Constantinescu” (Romania) and the 2nd Prize at the International Competition “Eugen Coca” (R. of Moldova). “Every prize carries a distinct significance for me because each of them is about a lot of work and shivering. The first contest I participated in – the “Eugen Coca” International Competition, was special though, as it was in the 4th grade and was the one that made me spread my wings,” specifies Dumitrița.

About her experience abroad

Dumitrița understood that she would like to continue her studies abroad while she was still studying in Moldova. “I realized that it would open more doors and help me to progress more.” Later, she decided to apply to the University of Music and performing Arts in Mannheim, where she is currently studying. “Here in Germany, the attitude towards music differs greatly from that in Moldova. Classical music is loved, studies are made at a top-level and the competition is very high. That makes me think I have chosen well” she states.

Dumitrița managed to perform in such orchestras as the German Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, Youth Orchestra Romania-Moldova, Moldovan Youth Orchestra, Romanian Youth Orchestra, Romanian Symphony Orchestra, etc. Recently, Dumitrița got the chance to be a violinist in one of the best European youth orchestras – Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Moreover, for more than two years, she has been playing a Charles Adolphe Gand violin, dated 1855.

“In fact, I play in many more orchestras, as a member or a substitute. One can’t be a permanent member in the youth orchestras. Usually, they organize projects and tours for several weeks, to which I am invited. Sometimes, there are auditions, like in the case of  Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. It is not something stable or systematical, as a job. That enables me to play in several orchestras, as well as to play more chamber music, which I really like and that inspires me a lot.”

As time went by, she gathered experience and a lot of wonderful memories. “I remember that at the last concert in the spring tour with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Musikverein, Vienna, during the third symphony by Gustav Mahler, you could see tears in the eyes of both audiences and those on stage. It was a magical and a very emotional moment,” reveals Dumitrița.

About her little secrets

Dumitrița plays in many orchestras, studies at university and even makes some time for other hobbies she has – travelling and photography. “I’m lucky that the profession I chose gives me the possibility to travel quite often. I have projects in different locations of the world, but I get a special satisfaction when I have the opportunity to spend a few days of vacation and to recharge my batteries. For some time now, I’ve discovered my passion for photography, and that’s what I do more and more often,” she says.

Our protagonist says that there is no secret of succeeding to do so many things at the same time. “What helps me, in general, is that I am an ambitious person, and I do not give up easily. I have established my priorities and I try to not give too much meaning to the disappointing moments.”

Dumitrița still feels a connection with her homeland due to the fact that she has her family in Moldova and she also often craves for the Moldovan traditional food, as she says.

There is one more thing that is not widely known about Dumitrița: the violin she plays – the Charles Adolphe Gand violin, is a real treasure, literally, as it was estimated as having a value of about $75 000“I am playing this violin on generous loan from Prof. Gottfried Schatz. It is a special instrument with very strong and very warm sound at the same time. Only after I started playing this violin, I understood how much a really good instrument can help you. It’s a whole new feeling. The pleasure of creating music grows enormously when playing such an instrument. Still, it’s also an enormous responsibility, so I always do my best to keep it safe, take care of it and when I travel, I never let it out of my sight,” Dumitrița reveals.

Photos: Facebook/Dumitriţa Gore

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Stories from diaspora // Constantin Botezat – the young artist from Moldova who gathered his experience in 5 different countries

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Constantin Botezat is a talented artist who comes from the Republic of Moldova. Generating harmony between painting and graphic design is a part of his daily work. His works were exhibited in London, New York, Los Angeles and even Hollywood. He accepted to tell us his story.

About his first art ‘manifesto’

Since his childhood, Constantin has been passioned by art in all its different shapes and forms. He was lucky to have parents that noticed his excitement and contributed to its development. Consequently, Constantin became a student at the Igor Vieru Academic School of Fine Arts in Chișinău. Still, there is one more decisive element besides his passion and the parents’ support – the mentorship provided by his teachers. “The greatest influence was exercised by my school teachers who had a great impact on my life,” says Constantin.

His first exhibition took place at the “Târgu Mureș” Library from Chișinău.

“I was a 15 years old teenager at that time, with a strong desire to express myself but, at the same time, a little unconfident because of the society and the surrounding atmosphere.”

Since that moment, Constantin changed a lot. Today, he is a perseverant, determined, talented, bold and, what is more important, a self-reliant artist who knows for sure that hard work results in desires and dreams fulfillment.

After high school, he studied Design and Applied Arts at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca and Graphic Design at the Academy of Art in Bari. Constantin gathered his first experience while collaborating with a contemporary art gallery in Cluj-Napoca. Afterwards, he did some internships in Lisbon and London. “I am enormously grateful that I had the chance to study in all these cities. In all of them I managed to make wonderful friends and to learn about a very exciting world that inspired me to continue this path. In every city I started everything from the scratch.” Constantin plans to write a book one day about all the cultural amalgam experienced during the past four years of his life.

About art creation and expression

“For me, painting and graphic design enter into a dialogue. I think both are based on the same principles.” At present, Constantin is doing an internship as a graphic art designer at a British magazine and, in parallel, organizes his own art exhibitions in London. One of his goals is to become an art manager and coordinate a team of artists “who will bring a fresh view into the art world,” as he states.

He has a busy schedule, but all his work culminates with wonderful results. “Up till now, I managed to organize 38 national and international exhibitions. The purpose of these exhibitions was actually to promote the image of the Romanian people, traditions and culture,” highlights Constantin. Recently, Constantin opened his exposition called “The spirit of the Bessarabian landscape” which was a part of an event organized by the EBRD cultural program and the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in the UK.

2016 was a special year for Constantin. His paintings were exhibited in the USA. “I always wanted to create transoceanic exhibitions and art projects. As I had this opportunity to go to the US, I started to create a series of works that I have presented at several exhibitions.” The first event took place at the Alpine Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah, followed by a Hollywood event at the Zen Art Gallery and the third event was organized at the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles. During all this time, Constantin had the support of his American and Romanian friends, for which he is extremely grateful.

Constantin Botezat and his friend Carson Mcallister, who helped him to organize the exhibitions in the USA

That was only the beginning. “These events certainly made me much more self-confident and determined to create more. I realised that everything is in our hands and anyone is able to create whatever he wants regardless of nationality, religion, or gender.” Next, international exhibitions were organised by Constantin in New York, Lisbon and London.

All these public presentations represent for him a possibility to have a direct contact with the public who is interested in artistic values and searches for inspiration, according to the young painter. This year, Constantin was able to participate in 3 group exhibitions, all of which took place in London at the Espacio Gallery.

Nowadays, Constantin lives and works in London, which he considers a great city with lots of opportunities. “Through the magazine I work at, I had the chance to meet many personalities from cinematography, fashion, painting. I managed to attend film festivals and premieres. Also, I managed to meet international actors, to go to London Fashion Week and take pictures of new collections. Still, I think London is just one chapter of my activity, the most interesting is yet to come,” says Constantin.

Our protagonist is an artist with pragmatic views. He sees the creation process as an instinctive one: “I think most artists feel when a work is completed.” At the same time, he tries to be well-organized, while being guided by his goals: “I think in this way I become more motivated to get the things done and to reach the desired result.”

About the young generation of artists from Moldova

Constantin expressed his hope for a better future for his homeland – Moldova, through implementing correct reforms. He says that anyone who wants it, should have the possibility to leave. However, it is important to not forget where you started from and to come back, eventually.

“Certainly, many students at arts in the Republic of Moldova dream to continue their studies abroad and I think that is a beautiful purpose. I would love to know that more and more people receive the opportunity to study and travel around the world, as these experiences help to see the world with new eyes and, on the other hand, to cherish the things that have already been achieved.”

Constantin thinks that the young artists from Moldova are very talented and have a tremendous potential. “The most important thing for them is to be self-reliant and to get support from their parents. It is important to invest in the education of new generations because they represent the future of our country,” states Constantin.

Photos: personal archive

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The flow of Moldovan migrants to the Russian Federation is the lowest since the collapse of the USSR

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In 2018, the flow of migrants to Russia amounted to 124,900 people – the smallest indicator in the whole period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, explains the Institute of Sociological Forecasting and Research in the Russian Federation.

These data were published in the monthly monitoring of the socio-economic situation and the health of the population. However, keep in mind that these figures represent specifically the migrants who have registered at the entrance to Russia for a period of 9 months to 5 years, after which they consider themselves automatically gone.

The number of migrants to Russia has dropped from almost all countries except Armenia, Azerb, ijan and Turkmenistan. The number of those who came from Usbekistan and Ukraine has dropped the most, countries from which the largest number of migrants in the past migrated to Russia. From these countries, in 2018, there are 3.2 times fewer migrants than before.

The report shows that the number of migrants in the Republic of Moldova has decreased from 18,600 people in 2012 to 7,700  people in 2018.

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