The Romanian Cultural Institute, through its national branches in Vienna, Prague and Budapest, organizes, together with the Association “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23″, from June 22 to September 2, 2012 in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, the project DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY & GLORY. This extensive program was initiated in accordance with the directions set up by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, adopted in December 2010.
Conceptualized in 2011, with the occasion of the first edition ROWMANIA. The Rowing Boat Festival in Tulcea, Danube CONNECTION. STORY & GLORY aspires to highlight the natural and cultural potential of the Danube area by promoting an eco-cultural and eco-technological movement. Thus, the relationship between art, urbanity and technology is illustrated by its cultural and environmental implications.
DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY & GLORY is an innovative project in comparison with most cultural programs dedicated to the Danube area, which aims to radically change the image of the Danube Delta, perceived so far as a wonderful place, but underdeveloped culturally, socially and economically, “the place where nothing happens”. Starting from the local specificity and valuing the cultural and human heritage of the Danube area, this project looks how the encounter between nature, art and sport can encourage oneself to re-imagine a place.
At the same time, the pilot project DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY & GLORY attempts to develop an interactive and interdisciplinary platform in the Danube area, encouraging a discussion on topics of European interest, such as: the concern for a sustainable lifestyle; the activation of artistic creativity as a tool to promote non-perishable, mutual values; environmental protection and sustainable development.
Through the itinerant project DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY & GLORY, the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Association “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23″ take the role of a collector for creative energies and shared mythologies in the Danube area and propose a model of best practice to which other organizations, institutions and companies interested from all riveran countries can connect to, starting with the 2013 edition.
The three sections of the project are:
PLUG TO NATURE – arts and creative industries. This contemporary art installation is conceived by designer Olah Gyarfas, architects Kalliopi Dimou and Sorin Istudor, visual artist Nicu Ilfoveanu, musician Electric Brother together with Teodor Frolu and curator Alina Serban. PLUG TO NATURE illustrates a set of values represented by Romanian sportsman Ivan Patzaichin. The public art installation aims to contaminate the public with the entrepreneurial, social and ecological energy behind the Olympic “hero” which, after the end of his sport career, dedicated himself to the protection of Danube Delta’s biosphere and the creation of small industrial centers based on ecological materials and green craft techniques. PLUG TO NATURE invites us to reflect upon the dimension of nature. Art and urban intervention in this context function as that “in-between” space which enables the (re) interpretation of the contemporary relationship between culture, public space and ecology.
ROWMANIA – sustainable lifestyle. It is a contest for “canotcă”, an original boat, with an exclusive design, made of wood using old crafts technologies from the Danube Delta. The contest was inaugurated by the multiple Olympic champion Ivan Patzaichin during Rowmania Festival in 2011 and runs in teams of 10 participants, regardless of age, constitution and athletic experience.
iMYTH – Danube mythology. It is an outdoor video installation that focuses on common elements from the mythology of Danube countries. It is realized by Daniel Dorobantu, visual artist and musician; whose work was included in the collection of Ars Electronica, Linz. iMYTH starts from a formula that combines documentary and mythological elements in a visual representation based on animated illustration and computer graphics. Mythological themes, such as the legend of the Danube’s birth: Die Quellnixen der Donau, legends spread in the Danube area, myths of construction and sacrifice (Master Manole – in Romania, Kőműves Kelemen – in Hungary), myths about building bridges (Sibiu Liars Bridge) come to support the acknowledgment of belonging to a shared cultural space.