The Centenary Program, the France – Romania Season, EUROPALIA or the preparations for Romania’s takeover of the Presidency of the EU Council. These are only a few of the large-scale projects, unique in our cultural history, prepared by the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) for 2018 and the following years, states Liliana Turoiu, the president of ICR, in an interview granted to the Rador press agency.
“I am positive that 2018 shall start in force, so that we shall be
able to put in practice what we already have in mind, and also think new programs, for a longer term”, says the Romanian official in the interview for Rador.
France or a friend in need is a friend indeed
It is deeply symbolic that, 100 years after the establishment of themodern Romanian State, the cultural season Romania-France is launched.French key figures, arts and culture people, architects, diplomats orpoliticians have contributed to the establishment of modern Romania,while scientists, diplomats, artists, writers or poets have broughttheir undisputed contribution to the French culture. Romania is the only
country in the region that carries the francophone flag. For over a century, France has been named by the Romanian elites “la sœur ainée et bien-aimée”. Sometime later, the communist repression has sent many valuable Romanians to the exile, among which Monica Lovinescu and Virgil Ierunca, people for whom France has become “home”.
“I believe that the France – Romania Season represents a good occasion to point out more the relationship between the cultures of the two countries, the common landmarks and objectives found in the European values shared by Romania and France. The common cultural space of Romania and France is Europe, and the Season shall confirm both the affinities between the two cultures and the future based on these common values”, stated Liliana Turoiu.
ICR has already started to work at the programs for the event, which shall promote Romanian contemporary artists and works included in the national patrimony. If for France this program already has a history of 30 years, Romania is at its first participation. For the preparation of the Romania – France Season, a plenary session, hosted by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris, was held between December 4 and 8, 2017.
Romania, a place of honour
Romania shall participate next year, as a guest country, at the 77th edition of the Retiro Book Fest. „I have obtained, shortly after taking over the leadership of the Romanian Cultural Institute, the participation at the fest in this capacity, of honoured guest country.
The Retiro book fest is the largest event in Spain dedicated to literature, being organized since 1967. It is visited yearly by over 2,000,000 people, being a unique event from this perspective. The particularity of the fest consists in providing a direct contact between readers and their favourite authors”, says the president of ICR. The program shall include debates, book releases and meetings attended by Romanian and Spanish editors, writers, translators, university professors, journalists, but also shows and concerts shall be organized.
Also next year, the Book Fest in Leipzig shall take place, where Romania shall be present again, after 20 years, as an honoured guest country, which ensures visibility and notoriety – it is a standing desired by every country – but requires standards that are not easily achieved. “Thanks to the efforts made in order to supplement the budget assigned for translations, I might say that we shall participate next year with works translated at high standards”, adds Liliana Turoiu.
Last, but not least, ICR shall be involved in the Europalia program. Romania’s participation to Europalia represents a continuation of the exercise of Romania’s rotary presidency at the EU Council, which means a very strong presence of our country in Belgium’s capital.
National, facing the universality
As informed by the Rador reporter, the academician Eugen Simion, former president of the Romanian Academy, has recently stated that he honestly admits that ICR has become more open, it no longer is an institution dedicated to just a group of intellectuals. The statement was supplemented with a quote from Titu Maiorescu, urging us „to be national facing the universality”.
This new approach includes the recent affiliation of ICR to the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) in London. CIF is the representative organization of British creative industries comprising over 1,000 companies, foundations, public and private institutions, whose contribution to the economy of the United Kingdom is estimated at approximately 90 billion sterling pounds yearly. “We must be there, as the creative industries, even if not sufficiently encouraged in Romania, have a huge potential, are required more and more also in our country – and this is not according to me, because I am coming from this sector, this is according to the statistics, showing a constant growth of these industries, including during the past years, when the other industries were declining. Thus, we have all reasons to militate for Romanian creative industries to cross Romania’s borders”, adds Liliana Turoiu in the interview.
“It is our ambition at the ICR, justified by the quality of Romanian artists from different generations, to go towards them – because, besides that, this has also suffered a change of approach, meaning that the ICR moves towards the Romanian
artists and culture people without waiting for them to approach the Institute and request its involvement in various projects – we take this step first; we have worked like this in 2017 and we shall continue to do so further; we are contacting and promoting them on the big stages worldwide, in the big museums and theatres, at the big European and World cultural events”, further states the Romanian official.
Photo: Liliana Turoiu (L) , President of ICR with Teodor Melescanu, Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Simona Spinaru, Director of the Romanian Diplomatic Institute. http://www.rador.ro/2017/12/19/rador-liliana-turoiu-presedintele-institutului-cultural-roman-la-icr-2018-va-fi-un-an-plin-de-momente-notabile/