Reportage at its Limits: Maramures - Folk Traditions on Europe's Eastern Fringe
"In a world rapidly becoming homogenized through the proliferation of luxury hotels, mass tourism, and satellite communications, fewer and fewer unsimulated adventures remain."—Robert Kaplan, Balkan Ghosts
"In no other district that I have ever visited, be it in Spain or Portugal, in Sweden or the Gaeltacht of Western Ireland, is there this sensation of remoteness. . . a land of green meadows and firewoods. It is an inconceivable distance from newspaper and tram."—Sacheverell Sitwell
“When I wake up in the morning, and I feel good, I tell myself: ‘Today may be the last day of my life.’ That is my sense of urgency."—Josef Koudelka
Join American photographer Davin Ellicson in the Maramures region of northern Romania 12-19 August 2023 for a week of enchantment in one of the most traditional villages left in Europe.
For decades Romania’s closed border policy under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu as well as a natural fortress of mountains kept Maramures isolated from the rest of Europe. Even after the fall of communism change was slow to enter the region. The area is renowned for the strength of its traditions, folk costumes, idyllic landscape and is considered the heart of Romanian culture. In 2007 Romania joined the European Union and Maramures is at last changing. Come savor this rural life before it vanishes forever!
Davin is offering a seven day documentary photography workshop based in the village of Valeni where he lived for a year with a family and fell under Romania's dark spell. It is the subject of his first book coming out in 2023, designed by Dutchman Sybren Kuiper and Davin will explore his book making process for those interested. In his eighth workshop in the village, he will be sharing his passion for Romania with students. We will explore neighboring villages during the height of the summer haymaking as well as attend the St. Mary's Orthodox Pilgrimage at Moisei, Maramures on 15 August.
Davin will be working closely with workshop participants and providing daily critiques and group discussions. We will begin with a review of participants' past work. The goal of this workshop is to learn to create strong personal photographs about summer peasant life. We will shoot during the day and edit in the evenings. It’s a workshop open to amateurs and professionals alike. Technical, theoretical and aesthetic issues will be discussed as attendees work towards honing their individual visions.
Everyone will enjoy great access and homestays will allow for an immersive experience with local villagers and the opportunity to sample distinctive traditional Romanian food and 110 proof homemade plum brandy. It will be an opportunity to witness the last peasants in Europe living life as they have for millennia albeit with a few aspects of modern life mixed in! The week promises to be an intense, intimate and unforgettable experience where students will get to know the villagers first hand and live a romantic way of life forgotten in the rest of Europe more than a century ago.
It is an all digital workshop limited to 6 students and everyone should come with their own laptop and editing software. Knowledge of your digital SLR or rangefinder and workflow is essential.
DATES: 12-19 August 2023.
WORKSHOP LOCATION: Valeni, Maramures, Romania Homestays and all meals are included. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Romania and up to Maramures although the option is available on a first come first served basis for three students to accompany Davin from Bucharest and back by SUV for an additional cost which includes food and accommodation one night each way in a restored Saxon house in Transylvania. A few airlines now fly from western Europe to the cities of Bucharest, Cluj and Satu Mare from where there are daily trains to the city of Baia Mare in Maramures.
REGISTRATION: The workshop is open to any professional or committed amateur who has knowledge of digital cameras and editing software. Participants must come with their own camera, laptop and editing software. All ages welcome!
PRICE: 995 euros.
Add 200 euros for round trip transport from Bucharest to Maramures with Davin by SUV including food and accommodation one night each way in a restored Saxon house in Transylvania. Limited to three participants.
For booking please contact Davin at: email@example.com
---> Hover your cursor on the right side of the screen to reveal the "+" sign to advance to a short video of a Maramures wedding.
ABOUT: Photographer Davin Ellicson, American, born 1978, works from Bucharest, Romania. His first major project was "Țăran" about the period during which he lived and farmed with a peasant family in the remote Maramures region of northern Romania. Davin went for a year without running water, drinking milk straight from the cow while photographing Romanians' fidelity to the earth and folk traditions that he knew were about to vanish. It is the subject of his first book coming out in 2023, designed by Dutchman Sybren Kuiper and with a text by Romanian/American writer and poet Andrei Codrescu. A psychological portrait of the city of Bucharest comprises the second part of Davin's trilogy of photographic works about Romania. Currently, he is working on the final volume, “The Dacia Project”, a retrospective journey around the country by car in both a 2002 Dacia 1310 (a rebadged 1970s Renault 12 and a symbol of Ceausescu's Romania) as well as Dacia's latest 4x4 SUV, the Duster. Davin's work has appeared in The New York Times, Le Monde M, The Guardian and The Official Ferrari Magazine among others. Awards include two grants from The Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest.