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Ferentari Studios: A discussion with actor Sever Bârzan about what it means to be a volunteer mentor in the hood

Sever Bârzan

Sever Andrei Bârzan graduated from the UNATC acting department in 2010. He met Ionuț Oprea a year later when the latter had come to Bucharest for a master’s degree. That’s how the two of them came to strike up not just a friendship but also a shared passion for artistic volunteering and other forms of social involvement. So when Ionuț, originally from Sibiu, decided to move to the hood and set up the theatre group PlayHood and Studiourile Ferentari, Sever joined him, first as a member of the improv theatre group Backstage Boys.

„Avdives, khetanes” – the project aiming to increase quality of life, inclusion and, empowerment for Roma communities in two marginalized regions of Romania – Belin commune, Covasna County and Ferentari neighborhood, Bucharest

Fundația Amfiteatru in partnership with City Hall of Sector 5 and Belin Community Development Association presented the intermediate results after the first year of activity of the project “Avdives, Khetanes” (translation “Today, together”). Increasing quality of life of roma communities contributing to increasing inclusion and abilitating roma people from two marginalized areas of Romania – Belin commune, Covasna county and Ferentari neighborhood, Bucharest – represents the main objective of the project. The conference was organizes online and the recording is available here

Young authors: Georgiana Vatală

I am 19 years old. My passions are dancing and acting. I am a first year student at Bucharest University, Information and Documentation Sciences. Even if this is a good university, I don’t feel this is my calling and, in the future, I plan to start Psychology University and/ or Pedagogy.

Geno’s dream: “I strive to keep in check both the man and the artist, to keep my feet on the ground.”

Geno didn’t have an easy life. He thinks he’s a bit of “a wild kid” only because this life forced him to—because it’s not easy to grow up alone in a foster home. However, compared to other children, Geno feels fortunate: “God took care of me with certain gifts and talents so that I could steer myself in the right direction.” That’s how Geno got rid of a lot of troubles, that’s how he rejected the harmful influences of his neighborhood, and that’s how he managed, as he says, to save himself.

KATHE, AKANA! (Here, now!) – Independent theater festival and cultural platform of the Romani people

“‘KATHE, AKANA!’ has a clear social message of education, awareness, and strengthening of a positive identity. This cultural diversity about and especially with the Roma serves both Roma community’s inner harmonization and the majority of the non-Roma population.” (Alex Fifea, the founder of the first international Roma theater festival in Romania). In his final high school year, Alex discovered a passion for acting through “Podul” Student Theater, headed by director Cătălin Naum. Later, however, upon graduating from the UNATC, the young actor refused all proposals coming from state theaters and chose the total freedom of an independent actor. He chose the more challenging path, as they say, because, for him, it seemed more important to be able to talk and play about the less pleasant aspects of a society. Now, more than a decade after his first steps in the theater, Alex Fifea has become one of the prominent voices on the independent scene in Romania. “KATHE, AKANA!” Roma Theater Festival is positively a confirmation of that initial creed:

Eugen Raportoru: The story of a painter who experienced a late consecration

Eugen Raportoru

Eugen Raportoru has reached a point where his work speaks for itself. Invited to this year’s Venice Biennale to represent the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture, Eugen Raportoru confirms his status as an artistic symbol of this ethnic group. However, his life was not always easy, and he experienced a late consecration. Still, despite all adversity, the fact that he succeeded demonstrates his potential to become a role model for aspiring young Roma. Just as artist Ion Brodeală had been an influence for young Eugen, at a time when today’s brilliant career could not even be glimpsed…