Now the Impulse is to Live! Artistic initiatives in nature and in villages

As part of a mapping of sustainable practices in rural Romania, we have invited a number of artistic initiatives to send us around five-minute videos that capture the atmosphere of the places where they are, in villages, in the middle of nature, outside the big cities. These represent only a few from a series of such initiatives, which are part of a relatively recent and growing tendency. We started from only a few examples of artists who grow gardens, installed their studios in their grandparents’ village or built residency places for other artists in places outside of the centres where they normally live. We organised a seminar in January 2022 and discussed their motivations and common grounds. Then we started to look around, in Romania and the region and invited more artists and cultural workers to contribute to this collection, with short, poetic or descriptive comments on their own experience. To each iteration of the montage, we added more. There are now 23 examples and it is still work in progress. Meanwhile some of the initiatives are on pause: personal lives that make it hard to commit to the presence in these places; difficulties in maintaining them without additional support; disenchantments with local authorities and communities; while others have grown, opened up, connected to each other.

We see these practices not as an idyllic return to nature, but as a foregrounding of a certain type of living in nature without colonising it, and an invitation to rethink artistic work on more ecological principles, as well as an acceptance of fragility as a reason to plant life around.

With: Carambach/ Adriana Chiruță, Sibiu county, Romania

Cecălaca/Csekelaka Cultural Studio/ Oana Fărcaș, Cecălaca village, Mureș county, Romania

Crețești Studio-Garden/ Delia Popa, Ilfov county, Romania

Cucuieți Permaculture/ Otilia & Radu Boeru, Cucuieți Village, Călărași County, Romania

Dom Jan Hálá cultural center/ Zuzana Janečková, Važec village, Tatra mountains, Slovakia

Drenart/ Stoyan Dechev, Olivia Mihălțianu, Dren village, Pernik region, Bulgaria

The Experimental Station for Research on Art and Life/ Dana Andrei, Eduard Constantin, Florian Niculae, Siliștea Snagovului village, Ilfov county, Romania

The House of Light and Information/ Matei Bejenaru, Bârnova commune, Iași county, Romania

Intersecția Residency/ Emanuela Ascari, Brădet village, Întorsura Buzăului commune, Covasna county, Romania

Khata-Maysternya/House-Workshop/ Bogdan Velgan, Taras Grytsiuk, Olga Dyatel, Ekaterina and Olga Zarko, Alyona Karavai, Yulia Kniupa, Taras Kovalchuk, Magda Lapshyn, Anna Mygal, Sasha Moskovchuk, Svyat Popov, Tanya Sklyar, Natalia Trambovetska, Vilya and Ivanka Chupak, Babyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine

LATERAL AIR/ Cristina Curcan, Lucian Indrei, at the crossroards between Mureșenii Bârgăului and Colibița, Bistrița-Năsăud county, Romania

Muze. Gemüse Initiative/ Maria Balabaș & Vlad Mihăescu, Șomartin village, Sibiu county, Romania

Rajka Orchard/ Martin Piacek, Győr-Moson-Sopron region, Hungary

Rădești House/ Irina Botea Bucan & Jon Dean, Rădești village, Argeș county, Romania

Reforesting Project/ Aris Papadopoulos, Candy Karra, Dora Zoumpa, Elena Novakovitc, Sotiris Tsiganos, Jonian Bisai, Vasilis Ntouros, Christina Reinhart, Klio Apostolaki, Lia Chamilothori, Kalentzi village, municipality of North Tzoumerka, Epirus, Greece

Romanii de Jos Dendrological Park/ V. Leac, Vâlcea county, Romania

Siliștea Future Studios/ Adelina Ivan, Ioana Gheorghiu, Virginia Toma, Ramon Sadîc, Robert Blaj, Vlad Brăteanu, Siliștea Snagovului village, Ilfov county, Romania

Slon residencies/ META Cultural Foundation/ Raluca Doroftei, Slon Village, Cerasu Commune, Prahova County, Romania

SOLAR Gallery/ Ariana Hodorcă & Albert Kaan, Gulia village, Dâmbovița county, Romania

symbiopoiesis/ Andrei Nacu, Pădureni village, Iași county, Romania

Watermelon Residency/ Daniela Pălimariu, Alexandru Niculescu, Bechet, Dolj county, Romania

What Could Should Curating Do/ Biljana Ćirić, Gornja Gorevnica VILLAGE, Serbia

Na záhradke [At the Garden] Gallery/ Oto Hudec, Košice, Slovakia


Artistic initiatives in nature and in villages is part of a mapping of sustainable practices in rural Romania, developed in the frame of the project C4R – Cultures for Resilience in 2022-2023.


Halfway to Paradise. Hybrid seminar, Bucharest, January 2022 (5 initiatives) It´s risky to let they see you alive and almost frangible. Screening at One World Romania film festival, May 2022 (14 initiatives) Now the Impulse is to Live! Exhibition at the Order of Architects, Bucharest, July 2022 (17 initiatives) Now the Impulse is to Live! Edition Sofia. Exhibition at Toplocentrala, Sofia, September 2022 (20 initiatives) Now the Impulse is to Live! Timisoara Edition. Exhibition at Riverside Pavilion / Children’s Park, Timisoara, co-organised with Minitremu Association, July 2023 (22 initiatives)

Publication editing: Raluca Voinea, Adelina Luft, Dana Andrei

Video montage and publication design: Eduard Constantin