A Century for Romania on its National Day: talk, screenings, exhibition

01/12/2018 @ Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X8PH

The 1st of December, the day Greater Romania was born a century ago, is evoked in a revealing tour de force at 1 Belgrave Square. To mark the occasion and to celebrate Romania’s National Day, Dr Marius Turda of Oxford Brookes University will be honouring the most important event in Romanian history in a talk entitled ‘Greater Romania 1918: Some Historical Reflections’, outlining lesser-known aspects regarding the union of the principalities, while at the same time dispelling the misconceptions surrounding it. The talk will be accompanied by an on-screen presentation of the ‘Science and Ethnicity: Anthropological Research in Romania during the 1930s’ exhibition, an illustrative foray into the ethnic specificity of the Romanian nation, presented to the public for the first time by researcher and curator Marius Turda.  

Earlier in the day, the event will kick off with the screening of ‘Untamed Romania’, a spellbinding documentary that reveals the beauty and diversity of Romania’s nature and wildlife. Throughout the whole day, the ground floor lobby of our newly clad premises will host a book stand welcoming all those with the most bookish of tastes to take part in a Romanian book exchange. Just bring your own copy and you can pick any of the volumes in Romanian available at the stand!


14:00 - 15:30: Screening of ‘Untamed Romania’, narrated in Romanian by actor Victor Rebengiuc

16:00 - 17:00: ‘Greater Romania 1918: Some Historical Reflections’ lecture by Marius Turda. In English. 

17:00 - 18:00: Wine reception

18:00 - 19:30: Screening of ‘Untamed Romania’, narrated in English by actor Mark Strong

Please note that the Romanian book exchange, an initiative of the Romanians Love Books group of volunteers, will take place between 14:00 - 18:00.


“In my lecture, I start by discussing some of the important episodes which shaped the narrative about a cultural heritage common to all Romanians during the late nineteenth century, such as the meeting that the student organisation 'Romania Juna' held at Putna in 1871, occasioned by the 400th anniversary of the monastery or the debates on national identity sparked by Transylvanian Romanians living in Bucharest after 1900 such as O. Goga, O. Tăslăuanu and A. C. Popovici. Secondly, I highlight the importance of World War I, which fuelled international support for the Wilsonian idea of self-determination whilst at the same time creating a regional context in East-Central Europe following the defeat of the German and the Austro-Hungarian empires which opened the possibility for Romania to complete its 'national dream' of uniting all Romanians into one state.” – Marius Turda, about his lecture entitled ‘Greater Romania 1918: Some Historical Reflections’

“Anthropology was foremost amongst the emerging disciplines that readily contributed to the creation of a scientific narrative about the Romanian nation. It was believed that through its scientific methodology anthropology could help identify, with precision, the common characteristics of the Romanians and thus define their ethnic specificity. The practical corollary of all this anthropological research could be seen in its incipient form during the late 1930s when national politics in Romania took on a new complexity, and when Romanian politicians experimented with more radical forms of national identification. It is important to bring to light these anthropological debates, in order to illustrate the diversity of views about the nation expressed during the interwar period but also to open up new vistas of interpretation of the national past.” - Marius Turda, about the ‘Science and Ethnicity: Anthropological Research in Romania during the 1930s’ exhibition

Untamed Romania / România neîmblânzită (2018, dir. Tom Barton-Humphreys)

Produced by Off the Fence and supported by Auchan Retail Romania and The European Nature Trust. Narrated by Romanian actor Victor Rebengiuc and British actor Mark Strong.

From the high Carpathian peaks to the snaky shores of the Black Sea, ‘Untamed Romania’ offers a glimpse into one of the last untouched gems of Europe through man’s humble view upon the sublime. Rather than unveiling the mysteries and legends of the region, the film invites the viewer to experience the visual poetry of the landscape and the carnivorous struggle for survival, highlighting the environmental fragility and the urgent need for conservation for generations to come.


For more information about the Making of United Romania, please visit www.romaniancentenary.org


When: Saturday 1 December 2018, 14:00 - 19:30
Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X8PH

Free entry. Limited seats for the talk at 16:00, please confirm your attendance on EVENTBRITE.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not required to book your seats for the film screening, everyone is welcome to attend.