Senso Art Gallery hosted in the period 3 - 9 December 2015, an entirely special event, which had several landmarks: the vernissage of the photography exhibition „Romania Civila. Spirit si expresie” (“Civil Romania. Spirit and Expression”) and the launch of the album with the same name, a collector edition, which included all the photographs displayed on SensoGallery’s picture rails, and whose preface is signed byOana Georgescu, the coordinator of the “Romania Civila” (“Civil Romania”) project, and compere at Senso TV.
The exhibition presented 64 photographs captured by Sebastian Marcel Oros (a collaborator of Senso TV) during the events which unfolded after the fatidic night from the Colectiv Club, and the 23 photographs of the late Teodora Maftei assembled under the title which images the journalist captured in London, in the summer of 2015.
„When I started the project <<Romania Civila>> (“Civil Romania”) I felt, wanted, and knew that we needed to muster our forces in the best possible way. We wanted to get involved, to get to know every action and initiative which was fast unfolding, to feel the pulse of University Square, and to be part of the support granted to the young, as well as the pulse of those who were the age of our parents and even of their grandparents, to reflect as many cultural and artistic events and manifestations dedicated to the #colectiv tragedy. All of them, however different, aimed to support, especially in those times, the aid provided to the victims. And we did it! But we very soon realized that this project is and will be one without frontiers, one that is not set in a certain time and space, but one which is dedicated to civil society here and everywhere. Because Romanians reacted in the same spirit two weeks after the #colectiv tragedy, after the Paris attack. When I went with Senso TV to the ceremony held at the Embassy of France in memory of the victims, I noted the same spirit and the same expression... That is how document-reports were born for Online Senso TV, as well as memorable photographs belonging to our colleague Sebastian Marcel Oros (…) ” (Oana Georgescu, the album “Romania Civila. Spirit si expresie”(Civil Romania. Spirit and Expression”).)
The „Civil Romania” Project emerged at the initiative of Anca Vlad, President of the Fildas Art Foundation, long before the tragedy of the ”Colectiv” Club. Immediately after it, the members of the Senso TV team tried to capture and to reflect everything that happened in the first evenings in Revolution Square, and also on the occasion of the cultural-artistic and sports events which followed and which had that tragic event as their common denominator. They also did it out of solidarity with the people in suffering, and also with the revolting people, for those who no longer want to hear the words “Let it be, it will work!...”
Images were recorded in University Square, in exhibition halls, at shows and at concerts, at charity events, having one purpose only: informing, so as people would not forget!
Sebastian Oros, a graduate of post-graduate photography courses held at City&Islington College in London captured hundreds of images, and 60 portrait-pictures taken in University Square were selected. They reveal the beauty of the people who participated in the manifestations, in the hope that something would change. And they did it! But they all realized that people first have to change themselves, becoming better, more careful, more sensible, more grateful and more dedicated to civil society.
“I believed in this project from the very start, in the idea of becoming involved, with my children, my family, with friends and colleagues, with people I knew or did not know, with enthusiasm and dedication, in its promotion, support and development” – confessed Anca Vlad. “That tragedy showed us the way and motivated us to want to go all the way. For starters, we have achieved something: a series of wonderful photographs by Stefan Oros, and beautiful and novel Senso TVreports, which has become the platform where we implemented the<<Romania Civila>> (“Civil Romania”) Campaign. A campaign which was not only shaped so quickly and so beautifully, but one which impresses by the diversity, the manner and the sensibility evinced in tackling every subject that still gravitates around Colectiv”.
In Memoriam – Teodora Maftei
On Senso Gallery’s picture rails also stood the 23 photographs taken by the journalist Teodora Maftei on her last vacation spent in London. A victim of the Colectivtragedy, she proved it to everyone that, though the images, once again, the remarkable spirit, sensibility and professionalism.
Being present for the vernissage, Teodora’s family members, her mother - Viorica, her brother, Viorel, and her cousin, Alexandra, wanted to tell everyone that no one was allowed to forget her and to forget. And to treasure her kind and beautiful smile and spirit. Extremely moving were also the words spoken by her colleagues, the journalists Nicoleta Constantin and Ioana Cosma (Sport.ro journalist), two of Teodora’s closest friends.
Ioana Cosma is the one who signs a touching text in the “Romania Civila” (“Civil Romania”) project: “I am thinking about Teo, in the warmest fall of the past few years, the Teo who would have said: do not cry, try to laugh. However stubborn she may be... She will not stop me. But she has persuaded me, I will not speak of her in past tense. Because she is with us. And she frightens us when we do not see beauty in the things around us or when we do not see the beauty in people (...) those who did not know Teo have lost a lot, those who did not see life through Teo’’s eyes have not seen pain (and they should not take a share in it), those who did not pull life’s leg... will do so one day Thank you so much, Teo! Thank you for teaching me to let me part of my life”.
This event was held with the support of Catena Group, through the Catena for Art Programme and the Fildas Art Foundation.