Oana Ivan, holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Kent (UK)/Babes-Bolyai University (Romania), and a Masters degree from University of Wyoming. She currently teaches at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. Dr. Ivan is also a consultant on various projects (The World Bank, The Romanian Academy) and a contributor to National Geographic magazine. See this article about Oana’s PhD work.
Lives Among Waters 2016
Residents of Sfantu Gheorghe, a fishing village in the Danube Delta, have lived through a number of socio-economic changes, especially after 1991 when UNESCO established the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Based on the director’s doctoral thesis in Anthropology – research that examines the effects of environmental policies and tourism on local culture – the film seeks to discover the daily life of fishermen and their families. Viewed from the personal perspective of the director, it attempts to deconstruct stereotypes of the place (a “natural paradise” of pelicans and water lilies) and its people, the “lipoveni”, and to see, understand and accept the fishing culture of those who fight for survival in the Danube Delta.
In Oas Country, in the northern part of Romania, the streets are empty. The silence is hardly ever broken by the sound of a horse-pulled cart; the opulent, three-floor villas are locked, unoccupied and completely lifeless. Village after village, the same luxurious and abandoned look, lacking motion, sound, smell… and people. Except in the month of August, when the streets are swarming with hundreds and hundreds of people, returning home from abroad to organize weddings, wearing “traditional” costumes sparkling with Swarovski diamonds. Then in September, Oas becomes a large-scale museum again; desolated, left behind, but wealthy and luxurious – a paradox for the rest of the country. What is the point of all this?