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Our films, revealing aspects of Transylvanian life:

Polenta Transylvanica (2017)

by Orsolya and Ralph

Transylvanian polenta is a modest and tasty food, often belittled but eaten with great appetite.

Polenta Transylvanica is an ode to this simple and good food, and goes beyond that: the social aesthetics of the film reveal how richness and frugality conquer the same table, and how the interactions around this table reveal the existing gender and intergenerational relations.

The film was presented at the Visual Anthropology of Food Symposium, organized as part of the 37th NAFA International Ethnographic Film Festival.

Beautiful Onion Peel - Easter Eggs in Transylvania (2016)

by Orsolya and Ralph

On a Transylvanian farm much is recycled. Onion peels and broken stockings serve a beautiful purpose and come together in a traditional skill at Easter time.

Hay Days (2013)

by Ralph

Anthony and Petra sold their house in the UK and bought a small farm in a mountain village in Transylvania, Romania. They have been living at their farm for about six years when Ralph and Orsolya visit them during the hay making season of summer 2012. They talk about why they have chosen to live on a small farm and about the challenges of family life.

Screened at the following film festivals and television program:

2016 - NRK Kunnskapskanalen

2014 - DEF

2013 - ASTRA, International Festival of Ethnological Film Belgrade, Kratovo Film Festival

Man of Nature and Me (2013)

by Orsolya

Shot in the forest and hills surrounding a small Transylvanian village in Romania, the film portrays Gabi, a fisherman and forager. We enter his life closely connected with nature. We get to know what he thinks of and how he feels about nature; Romania and life in Romania, the fate of the average Romanian surfacing now and then.

The film also presents how the relationship between Gabi and the filmmaker unfolds, and how this development influences the course of the film. The narrative turns into a metanarrative on the filmmaking process; and the initially perhaps naïve, charming film turns out to be different.

Man of Nature and Me was screened at the following film festivals and television program:

2016 - NRK Kunnskapskanalen

2014 - DEF,  Etnofilm Rovinj

2013 - NAFA, Beeld voor Beeld, International Festival of Ethnological Film Belgrade, Kratovo Film Festival

2018, Norway - Romania

NAFA - The Nordic Anthropological Film Association - is an organization focusing on anthropological film and has been active since the mid-1970s. One of NAFA`s most important tasks has been building up an anthropological film collection; a unique collection of classic and more recent ethnographic films which is matched only by a few of the world's most important and largest ethnographic film collections.

NAFA also organizes a yearly conference and international anthropological film festival, during which a few carefully selected films are presented and discussed with a large audience. The selected films may enter the film collection.

CinéTrans organized the NAFA 2018 film festival, in close collaboration with the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, the Hungarian University Federation and Tranzit House.

 

Funded by: Local Council of Cluj-Napoca, Intervention Press, Nordnorsk Filmsenter, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

2012 - present, Norway

Ralph has been the main developer and maintainer of the latest NAFA website since its birth.

NAFA is an organization focusing on anthropological film and has been active since the mid-1970s. One of NAFA`s most important tasks has been building up an anthropological film collection; a unique collection of classic and more recent ethnographic films which is matched only by a few of the world's most important and largest ethnographic film collections.

The NAFA Film Collection is now available for online streaming for NAFA members. By becoming a NAFA member, you will be able to view this unique and extensive film collection, holding more than 350 films. The NAFA Film Collection can be used by institutions and persons for non-profit, educational and research purposes. You can become a member here.

NAFA also organizes a yearly conference and international anthropological film festival, during which a few carefully selected films are presented and discussed with a large audience. Selected films may enter the film collection. 

In recent years Orsolya has been working as member of the NAFA film selection committee.

Funded by: University Museum of Bergen, Norway

2015 - 2016, Romania

Culture and Nature in Transylvania: Past and Future was a project through which an international research group studied and documented the cultural and natural heritages of the south-western corner of Sălaj County, Transylvania, Romania. To achieve this, the project provided a common framework using methodologies of cultural and visual anthropology, ecology, art history and archaeology. 

Ralph was member of the fundraising team and he participated in organising the workshops.

In the workshops Orsolya was training students in the theory and methodology of visual anthropology, and conducted the relating field trip where students activated their newly acquired skills in doing participant observation by using visual methods.

Funded by: EEA Grants & Norway Grants

April 2016, Norway

In collaboration with Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway, Ralph organised the three-day conference Infernal Paradise, and developed its dedicated website.

Over 100 people from Europe, Africa and North-America participated in the conference focusing on the the complex issues around Boko Haram in different African countries.

Funded by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; Centre for Peace Studies; Centre for Women's and Gender Research (Kvinnforsk) and University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway

July 2015, Slovenia

Orsolya was mentoring ethnographic filmmaking in the summer school of the Days of Ethnographic Film Festival. Students were introduced into the theory and methodology of visual anthropology.

The series of lectures focused on film as representation and the impacts of authorship upon the reality we capture and present as truth. Another highlighted area was film as research method with a special emphasis on the ethical implications of using camera in anthropological research, and on what it means to do participant observation.

The lectures focused both on the learning process and the final film product. Students learned how to film people immersed in their daily activities, and how to edit a film as a result of their research.

November 2014, Norway

In close collaboration with the University Museum of Bergen, the Hungarian University Federation of Cluj-Napoca and NAFA, Ralph raised funds for and organised the two-day workshop The Art of Knowledge Exchange, knowledge sharing in the fields of culture, human-nature relationships and applied visual anthropology.

Bálint Markó, vice-rector at the Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca presented his paper Conserving and promoting natural heritages in Romania with the involvement of local communities. Töhötöm Árpád Szabó, director of the Hungarian University Federation of Cluj-Napoca presented a paper on Cultural heritage, discourses of tourism and the reproduction of rurality in Transylvania.

Orsolya presented her film, Man of Nature and Me and Alyssa Grossman's film, Memory Objects, Memory Dialogues was screened. Frode Storaas, general secretary of NAFA and professor of visual anthropology at the University of Bergen, Norway, used excerpts from the film From Sunny Side to Shadowland (dir. Knut Terum) and Tama Gaun - the Copper Village (dir. Frode Storaas and Dipesh Kharel) to discuss cultural heritage, local communities and reproduction. The workshop concluded with a discussion about what to label as heritage, chaired by Hans-Jakob Ågotnes.

Funded by: EEA Grants & Norway Grants

October 2014, Tromsø, Norway

Ralph developed and maintained the 2014 NFU conference website.


Funded by: NFU (Norwegian Association for Development Research) and University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norwa

The endeavour is essentially comparative, but what it compares are not bounded objects or entities but ways of being. (...) Wherever we are, and whatever we may be doing, we are always aware that things might be done differently.

- Tim Ingold

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