How to revive the traditions in the cultural space of the forest? This was the question to answer the project Together with my forest in comics, promoted by Association for […]
How to revive the traditions in the cultural space of the forest? This was the question to answer the project Together with my forest in comics, promoted by Association for Development and Environment (ADEMED)-Romania.
The project received financial support from the Romanian Administration of the National Cultural Fund.
In Romania, in many rural areas the people are all the time surrounded by the forests, living in their shadow and the forests have a great impact on most aspects of their life.
This impact is not only in the economy but also in beliefs, legends, songs, rites and religion. A long time the relationship between people and forests was built around both economics and spirituality.
Unfortunately, in the last decades the people moved away from the spiritual compound of this relation, losing their respect for the forest.
The idea of the project was to convince the people that the human-nature relations should be refreshed and that it is possible to develop a new attitude towards the environment.
Comics In The Forest
There were selected three villages from Romania – Pesac, Pietriceaua and Bosorod – more traditional and conservative, all being quite far away from other localities and close to a forest. It was selected as a target group, the pupils of primary and secondary class, more open-minded to challenge.
The comics were an excellent way to appeal to the pupils and easy to be drawn.
Comics drawing requires only pencils and sheets of paper, which is a big plus for resources lacking financial resources. The local legends inspired the ‘heroes’ of the comics, so young creators found an exciting opportunity to re-invent the stories, guided by comics professionals.
Further on, kids, teachers, parents and neighbours project proceed to translate the comics into a theatrical play, based on the action illustrated in the comics, under the guidance of a professional actor.
The activities took place into the forest, taken as both exhibition hall for comics and theatre stage. The young artists exposed their comics sheets in an unconventional way, using coloured strings, branches and tree trunks as stands.
As a novelty, the act of setting the exhibition was set as a dance-and-move performance, each artist struggling to enter the web of strings to reach the exhibition spots.
The pupils’ performance was applauded by teachers, parents, friends and even by the Mayor himself! In the end, the pupils presented their comics and characters, inviting everybody to keep playing in the forest.
At the end, mothers were treated to delicious traditional cookies. Viva!
The ADEMED plans to replicate this cultural intervention in other places in Romania and worldwide. ADEMED would also very much welcome partners from Europe and from elsewhere to join its network of culturally aware rural organisations for further sensational common projects (email@example.com).
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