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JOHN MITCHELL
Romanía: Still Moments in a Time of Change
This exhibition is a selection of photographs taken on three diffe-rentthps to Romanía. The lirstpart consists of pictures taken in 1991, when I spent a month as a volun-teer, working in school for 'handi-capped' boys in the Galati región of Moldova, Eastern Romanía. In 1992 I returned to take an exhibition of the photographs taken in 1991 to Bucuresti, where it was on show throughtout that summer. Whilst there, I took the opportunity to travel to Northern Romania, to the regions of Maramures and Northern Moldova. The second part of the exhibition comprises photographs taken then, as well as material from Ihe most recent trip in 1993, when I worked with Bogdan Berciu, a film maker and writer, on a documentan/ concerning the plight of the wooden churches uni-que to this part of the world. I propose to return, to continué the work begun in 1992, docurnenting the people's way of life, following the cycle of seasons through the year, charting the effects thechan-ging year has on a culture inextri-cably linked to the land and the seasons. It seems vital that this culture, a living partof our,european,cultural heritage, is documented before it is irrevocably changed.by the breakdown of the Soviet Bloc, and the inevitable onslaught of western consumerism. I am deeply grateful to the following people for their support and encouragement:
Brett Rogers of the British Council in London; Aura Vlad cf the British Council in Bucuresti; Fuji Film U.K.Ltrj; Michelle Bonnel of the Romanía Information Centre; Sue Andrews and Kevin Magee of Romanía at Heart; Bogdan and Dana Berciu; Pete and Beth Thody. A special note of thanks goes to Nicholas Sinclair and Penny Mitchell, whose generosity of spirit and friendship I found continually uplifting.
Jorm Mitchell, Seplembet 1995