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RIRI


Irina Nicolau, ethnologist and writer, co-organizer, together with Horia Bernea, of the Romanian Peasant Museum, coordinator of 6 volumes of oral memory, author of 8 books of alternative ethnology, creator of object-books, clothes and jewels; she loved kitsch objects, she loved her friends and she loved to play.

One day, it must have been nineteeneightysomething, I received a letter from Irina. She had managed to travel to Athens, to visit her aunt. I must also tell that she had first received an official negative answer from the Passport Department and she had been forced to request an audience at the Militia, hoping she would change their mind. She prepared thoroughly, she combed her hair back, tied it with a white ribbon and gathered it at the back of her neck, she wore a blue shirt with a white little collar, a straight dress, no make-up, she removed her famous rings and she took care that she looks stupid and poor. I don’t remember what she told the officer or whoever, but she finally obtained the passport. And thus I return to the letter I received from Athens! An elegant envelope, smelling of occidental glue, that I opened respectfully with the coupe-papier, only to find a piece of toilet paper inside, written upon with brown ink: THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL HERE. RIRI

Much later, in 2000, we made an album on Sibiel icons together with a younger friend. Thanks to Irina’s design, the book turned out to be a beautiful object. However, because of the bad binding, the colorful pages would fly away at the first skimming through the volume. Every time she gave the book as a present, Irina would write in the dedication: TO BE READ PREFERABLY CLOSED. RIRI

What is there to learn from these two stories? Well, first of all, that Irina Nicolau felt she was RIRI; secondly, that she had the gift of writing the essential, in simple words, short and very telling; thirdly, that she liked to work with her friends. And, in general, that she knew how to transform the unpleasant and the mistake in funny and memorable accidents.

Unfortunately, most of her books appeared in minuscule number of copies and where thus read mainly by her friends (Irina gave away as gifts everything she received as author’s rights and then bought some more so she could continue to make presents) and borrowed by her friends’ friends. The generous friendship, floating around her like mist led to a phenomenon manifest only after she left us: a sui generis community was formed of very different people who feel close to each other only by virtue of the feelings she had unveiled in them; some had just discovered her, other had known her for a long time and grew apart for whatever reasons; some, very young, were professionally formed by her, others adopted her (or were adopted?) as close relative.

Ioana Popescu

Call for Papers // MARTOR 26/2021 // VISUAL ETHICS AFTER COMMUNISM




Guest Editors:
Dr James Kapaló (Principal Investigator Hidden Galleries ERC Project, University College Cork)
Dr Gabriela Nicolescu (Curatorial Lead, Hidden Galleries Project, University College Cork)
Dr David Crowley (National College of Art and Design, Dublin)


Deadline for abstract submissions: 3rd of April 2020.
Publication date: November 2021.


The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is seeking contributions for its annual journal Martor 26/2021, on the topic of Visual Ethics after Communism. Martor is a peer-reviewed academic journal, established in 1996, indexed by EBSCO, Index Copernicus, CEEOL, AIO, and MLA International Bibliography, with a focus on cultural and visual anthropology, ethnology and museology.
 

This special issue to appear in 2021 will problematize the often-uncritical use of images in publications and displays about communism. This themed issue will pose a number of questions for anthropologists, historians, museologists and others. When does an image or a museum display present itself as problematic and for whom? Under what circumstances is it ethically justifiable to exhibit or publish such images or, conversely, to put images aside, leaving them undisplayed? When do arguments based on “the public good” outweigh the right to personal privacy, individual integrity and cultural patrimony of source communities? Inspired by recent debates on the ethics of the use of Holocaust and atrocity photography and colonial-era images of indigenous ‘others’, the contributions to this issue will address the use of images of unwilling participants taken through a hostile lens. The issue invites researchers and curators to find inspiration in various kinds of archives: both personal and institutional.
 

Requirements


We invite researchers working on Central and East European countries and other post-totalitarian societies to address questions of the contextualization and re-classification of images and displays, of dispossession and repatriation of confiscated community and family photographs, and the role that images and material displays play in the formation of personal, collective and national memory.

The volume will give priority to six individual articles (6 to 10,000 words). These will be supplemented by shorter texts (2.000 – 4.000 words) where more experimental writing, interviews or exhibition reviews are invited for publication. Please follow the guidelines for authors of the Martor journal:
http://martor.muzeultaranuluiroman.ro/for-authors/.
 

Martor is a journal where authors are encouraged to publish experimental ethnographic research and accompany their text with high standard visual material, thus, all contributors are encouraged to use ample images to accompany their texts.

We invite contributors to send an abstract (300 words) by Friday April 3rd, 2020.
The selected articles will need to be submitted by Friday 11th of September 2020.
Submissions will be in either English or French.
 

Proposals, manuscripts, and other editorial correspondence should be sent to the following e-mail: revistamartor@gmail.com.

 




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