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We Are Here to Stay, participatory project, August- November 2022, MNȚRplusC, Bucharest

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

"We Are Here To Stay"* is a pilot project initiated to create a first contact with an underrepresented minority in Bucharest - migrants/immigrants/refugees from Middle Eastern countries - through artistic creation processes facilitated by six multidisciplinary artists between August- November 2022. The artist-facilitators proposed a series of meetings, workshops, or works based on their expertise and artistic practice and from the interaction with the groups – museum visits, readings and compositions, improvisational games, vocal exercises, or collective visual interventions.

The results of these interactions are displayed in an exhibition at MNȚRplusC (The independent contemporary art space at the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant) from the 5th to the 19th of November.

Facilitating artists: Delia Popa, Nicoleta Moise, Katia Pascariu, Atelier Adhoc Comunitate, Diana Miron, Mircea Modreanu.

Coordinators: Adelina Luft (independent curator) and Ilina Schileru (MNȚRplusC) in partnership with the Romanian Peasant Museum, the Association Activ Random and Viața în Mov.

Community Coordinator: Rashiqa Omar

*the title is inspired by the name and work of the migrant collective "We Are Here" in Amsterdam which fights for the human rights of the group's members and other undocumented migrants.

You can find more information about the processes and works of each artist-facilitator here (in Romanian):

My statement here:

During the months of August-October, visual artist Delia Popa led and facilitated the "Together/Meaan" visual art workshops with a group of women and children. They started by creating a common discussion base related to the visual heritage of Islamic art, respectively Romanian art with Islamic influences, through visits to the National Art Museum of Romania and continuing with drawing and painting exercises. From these visits and discussions, the group discovered the existence of similar words in Romanian and Arabic, such as the word "caftan" (a garment of oriental origin worn by rulers and boyars). Inspired by Neagoe Basarab's caftan from the MNAR's Old Romanian Art collection, the group created together a green paper caftan on which both mothers and children drew decorative, symbolic and calligraphic motifs. The caftan, as a symbolic garment, has two meanings within this collective project – both one of protection and the creation of a shared temporary identity.

The video that documents the workshops led by Katia Pascariu and Delia Popa, by Alex Busuioceanu and Ilina Schileru, on Youtube here

A project co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration.

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