A new photo book by Italian photographer Alessandro Vincenzi spotlights the little-known autonomous Gagauz Yeri region in southern Moldova. The Gagauz language is part of the Oghuz branch of Turkic languages, alongside Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Crimean Tatar often considered as Oghuzand Turkish, and it was established as a written language in the s. While singer Vitalie Manjul, who features in the book, has made a name for himself as a local celebrity for rapping in Gagauz, most of the media and pop culture consumed in the region is Russian.

Russian influence in the region goes back to the Soviet era and its collapse. Inas Moldova declared Romanian its national language, the Gagauz nationalist movement, which gained momentum in the s, held their first congress and declared themselves autonomous within Moldova. A year later, as Moldova was taking further steps to achieve its independence from the USSR, and considering a reunion with Romania, Gagauz Yeri declared their secession from the small republic.

It was only in that Gagauz Yeri was reintegrated in the Republic of Moldova as an autonomous region.

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The album cover shot — a man on top of a crane fixed on a Soviet-era truck in the middle of a field raising the Moldovan flag next to the Gagauz Yeri flag, and the Soviet-era concrete letter road sign announcing the region — gets across some of its complex more recent history. He explains this nostalgia in terms of economic stagnation. Vincenzi, who is now based in Barcelona, says that Gagauz Yeri reminded him of the Italian villages in which he grew up.

A wedding and a funeral: how it felt showing my Moldovan life to my partner

Gagauz Yeri is indeed one of the poorest regions in Moldova. The photographer stayed with families, and says that his method of initially leaving his camera by his side allowed people to feel comfortable enough to get on with their routines.

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Get your copy of the book here. Photography Moldova Picture essay. Text: Paula Erizanu. Images: Alessandro Vincenzi. Read more. We use cookies on our website to enhance your user experience. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie policy.For photographer Alexander Cozirschii, pop culture is a native language.

In his visual work today, tropes from s music videos are mixed with scenes from his local corner stores and estates, crafting a unique world for a young creative community to reside. Using photography, set design and small fragments of text, it seeks to process the struggles of the past, while also commenting on the iconography of the post-Soviet world, particularly the aesthetics which have become ever more prominent in the West.

The area where I lived was an average, post-Soviet neighbourhood, with housing estates, abandoned factories, and street markets — all of those things that most of the world now sees on social media and have become part of the mass culture we share with the world. To a certain degree, we are prisoners of our situation.

We see a range of characters: a schoolgirl in a Soviet-style uniform, a musician moonlighting at a factory, a trader in a second-hand store. But for Cozirschii, LEGACY was also part of the healing process, allowing him to recognise difficult circumstances, while finding power to move past them. I think this might be the right time to start reflecting our society, and not just in photography.

I wanted to create something to share with the rest of the world, to show Moldova on a deeper level, as well as resolving inner problems with stereotypical thinking in our country.

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Culture Moldova. Text: Anastasiia Fedorova. Images: Alexander Cozirschii. Image: Maxim Shuzov. Read more. Follow of the week. We use cookies on our website to enhance your user experience. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie policy.Through world-class ESG research, timely publications and industry events, the Institute seeks to advance Responsible Investing, improve investment outcomes and create positive global impact.

MTV glamour and Soviet stereotypes: a Moldovan photographer comes to grips with his country

Calvert has been at the forefront of ESG investing for decades focusing on matters related to the Environment, Society and corporate Governance.

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If you have a financial advisor, talk to them about your financial goals and ESG topics that are important to you. Financial advisors are becoming more knowledgeable about Responsible Investing, but may not be comfortable bringing the topic up themselves.

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Your account has not yet been activated. If you'd like us to resend this, please click the Resend Email button below. An e-mail verification has been re-sent to. Please check your e-mail and follow the instructions to complete the registration process.After three years away from Moldova, I returned to my home country together with my partner, photographer Jon Cuadros, last autumn, to attend the wedding of my cousin.

I wanted to share my Moldovan paradise with Jon as much as possible in the three days we had together. So we started off by taking the trolleybus to my flat. Moldovan trolleybuses still have people collecting and validating tickets. They have a tough job, spending entire eight-hour shifts squeezing between passengers in the cabin.

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Indozens of trolleybus collectors protested on the streets after news circulated they would be replaced by ticket machines. Many ticket controllers have never held a different job, so it would be virtually impossible for them to find new work without retraining.

Leaning on the window sill, we saw a funeral across the street. He had been a Soviet air force officer. Jon rushed out and paid his respects to my neighbours, who, as is the custom in Moldova, are like extended family. He photographed the widow as she leaned over the open coffin in the throes of grief, and the military brass band playing their dark music on the street.

We were asked to join the ceremony. We travelled to the cemetery in the same van as the coffin, crammed and quiet, as the car bumped up and down on the rolling hills and the bad roads of the city outskirts towards Saint Lazarus, the largest cemetery in Europe, of a gigantic size of 2 million squared metres.

After the church service, we saw the coffin being placed into the ground, and unceremoniously shovelled with fresh soil by day labourers. The meal was held in a classic post-Soviet architectural gem — with a typical mirrored bar reflecting old velvet curtains and fake diamond long drop chandeliers — that had been repurposed into an event space. We spent the whole afternoon with the family of the deceased. Cognac flowed as easily as the stories reminiscing the neighbourhood in years past, and dishes were literally stacked on top of one another for lack of table space.

The scene eerily mirrored the wedding we attended the following evening. When we arrived, we found that the party had already started the night before — Moldovan weddings often last for three days. Greetings were shouted, glasses were filled, and the outdoor table was set as we were pushed into our seats.

Moldovan Architecture

We exchanged stories, as guests continued to arrive at a never ending dinner. After taking Jon on a walk in the nearby forest, back home, we hurriedly got dressed. Doina, the bride, and all the other guests, were bustling in their elegant gowns, in a cloud of hair spray and perfume. It was an emotional day. As a bridesmaid, I helped my cousin get into her bride dress, and then watched her and her husband rehearse their first dance.

Traditionally, the bridesmaid dances with her date throughout the course of the transformation — which, for Jon and I, meant dancing for 30 minutes as guests looked on in various states of elation or confusion. Children and old people partied together well into the night, as the live band played traditional Moldovan folk music — weddings are a chance for everyone to dance their worries away. The drinking and dancing even continued on the crowded minibus we rented to take us home in the early hours of the morning.

As we were heading towards the guest house, Jon stopped so suddenly that I bumped into him. He was looking straight up, staring in wonder at the most complete night sky he had ever seen, muttering the name of constellations to himself. It meant so much for me to share a slice of my Moldovan heaven with him. Back in Berlin, I was astounded to see his photos: they conjure all the complicated feelings I have towards my home country, family, and identity, and make me long for Moldova.

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Images: Jon Cuadros. Read more. We use cookies on our website to enhance your user experience. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie policy.From the fifth floor of the Butylka museum in the Transnistrian village of Ternovka, the view stretches for miles. Acre upon acre of lush green fields roll out into the distance.

To the north-east, the city of Tiraspol sprawls out across the landscape. Two other football stadiums are also visible from the top of the Butylka. It is apt that so many football grounds are visible from here. It was Korzun who, in the highly delicate aftermath of the Transnistrian war of independence, successfully lobbied the nascent state authorities in Tiraspol to forgo the founding of a separate Transnistrian football league.

Instead, he convinced them to continue working with their Moldovan league counterparts. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship that has survived for over 25 years. Preserving this joint league has been one of the most unlikely success stories of the post-Soviet world. Moscow, in turn, incorporated Transnistria, formerly part of Soviet Ukraine, into its newly acquired territory, creating the legally recognised borders of the modern Moldovan republic. The footballing union between Moldova and Transnistria is one of the most conspicuous and remarkable examples of successful cooperation between two belligerent states.

InTransnistria governs itself as a separate state. Its currency, the Transnistrian ruble, is obtainable only from banks and exchange points within its borders. Transnistrian flags hang alongside those of the Russian Federation on every street, the hammer-and-sickle motif is ubiquitous, and a militarised checkpoint — complete with passport registration and entry permits — greets visitors as they cross the de facto border with Moldova.

In Tiraspol, there is not a glimmer of the Romanian language or Latin script in public use. With the above in mind, the footballing union between Moldova and Transnistria is one of the most conspicuous and remarkable examples of successful cooperation between two belligerent states.

Indeed, the Moldovan top flight, the Divizia Nationale, has been dominated for nearly two decades by FC Sheriff Tiraspol from the Transnistrian capital, who boast 17 league titles in the last 19 seasons and have represented Moldova in both the Champions League and Europa League. There were attempts to stop us from organising football activity between the two [states]. But there has never been any kind of conflict between fans. Football is for all. It is a feeling reflected across the Dniester.

Pavel Prokudin is the president of the Transnistrian Football Federation; he is also a former Prime Minister in the Tiraspol government. Despite his closeness to the political nomenclature here, he has never doubted the expediency of a footballing union. We talk in one football language. Football is not politics here.

It was not supported by ordinary Moldovans. My mother is Moldovan. My father is Ukrainian. It reflects a palpable feeling that, for citizens, the standoff that exists at state level is a nothing more than a political construct.

Communities on either bank of the Dniester see no contradiction in cooperation. That power of that union was put to the test in Marchwhen the Moldovan national team found itself without a usable stadium in which to play an upcoming European Championship qualifier against the Netherlands. It was decided that the only option open to the FMF was to seek to play the game in Tiraspol. The green light came, and for the first time ever the Moldovan national team played a game on Transnistrian soil.Between 13 and 14 January, Ukrainian and Northern Moldovan communities celebrate the Malanka, a tradition that involves a merry troupe of mask-wearing men who knock on houses to sing and bring cheer for the year ahead.

The ancient pagan and Christian holiday has an unknown origin, and the exact traditions vary from village to village. There, groups celebrating the Malanka inherited from Ukraine compete with other groups, performing Moldovan-Romanian traditions. Malanka masks are worn to ward off evil spirits.

Yet, the tradition of men walking from door-to-door came about as a way to find prospective brides, says Malanka researcher and writer Iulian Filip. Men and women play different roles in Malanka celebrations: while women help to sew costumes and masks, it is only the male participants who get to dress up.

The costumes are designed after animals such as Carpathian horses, or represent members of the community, from kings and hajduks freedom fightersto more contemporary professions, such as policemen, priests, or doctors. They might use the military clothes in their homes for the occasion, or take their inspiration from a character from TV. In Palanca, the Malanka started about years ago, when 70 families moved there from the Bukovina region — then, a part of Moldova — in order to build the monastery nearby.

Perceived as a religious tradition, the Malanka was forbidden by the atheist Soviet regime, yet groups continued singing around the neighbourhood, in secret. On 13 January, the Malanka group of men in Palanca first set off to the cemetery in the late afternoon to sing to the ancestors and the dead. From there on, the group will begin knocking from door to door, and the hosts will reward the performers with traditional breads, sweets, and money. Palanca is home to roughly homes, each of which is visited by the Malanka group.

The celebrations last the whole night.

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This year, however, the celebrations have been quieter. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the groups have stayed outdoors. While in many villages in Moldova pagan traditions are becoming less popular due to mass emigration and urbanisation, in Palanca, somewhat remarkably, the Malanka celebrations are spearheaded by men who work abroad and use it as a way to connect to home.

Photography Moldova Picture essay. Text: Paula Erizanu. Images: Chiara Dazi.I also suspect that it would only come to a suitably open platform, not one as locked-down as the Kindle with only one provider. Considering many textbooks are currently the price of a Kindle it should be trivial to find a way to encourage their acceptance heavily.

Partnering with schools and offering a method to automatically find and buy all of your books for a semester would help greatly with keeping students with it through convenience. Why bother tracking down all the books you need, ordering them in advance (either online or reserving them with the campus bookstore) when you can get everything within minutes with a single click and not even having to think about it.

With paper books, depending on how long I will be gone for, that means carrying as many as five books at a time. I used to think text books were going to be the killer use, but have changed my mind about that, at least in the current state of the Kindle. Know roughly where something is in a book, but not the exact page number. More like press Menu, select Go To, enter a location number, glance at the page, guess another location number and repeat the process.

I think something that could be very competitive for the kindle is if it were to offer some of the capabilities of the nook and other e-reading devices.

Now that more competitive e-readers are on the market, all that glisters is not gold. Nook, and I-Pad among others offer access to google e-books and you can even check out e-books from, at least from my local library, to the nook. The most you can do, book wise, with the kindle is buy and share for 14 days with another kindle owner. What about another possibility. A priced Kindle, but with a certain number of books and magazines or newspapers for free. The current model suffers because the books, magazines and newspapers are typically more expensive on the Kindle than the paperback versions.

I wish Amazon sold the Kindle as a tree saver, and additionally being a money saver. Amazon is a scary company to compete against because they keep their margins low and give so much of the economics back to the customer. Once you have paid for Prime, you get everything quickly and love Amazon. I have been continually impressed at how Amazon has sacraficed short term profitability for the long-term health of the business and this would be another example of that.

I like the formatting and usability of iBooks better, though. I too use the iPad Kindle app and the nook app and the stanza app and the iBooks app and the app for my local libraries I am now a bibliophile of both the print and ebook type. I can go on reading the my kindle for hours. All its missing is a better nav system. There is no extra cost beyond what you already pay.

I would love a free Kindle. Seems like a huge missed opportunity. It would be yet another incentive for people to sign up for Amazon Prime.

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Free shipping, free movie streaming, free Kindle. As a Prime user, I actually buy a lot more from Amazon. Why go to the store to buy a pack of batteries. I can get them cheap on Amazon and have them in 2 days.

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At first, Bloggers were saying that Amazon was selling the Kindle at a loss. Now they are saying that the Kindle costs little to make. Either way, if it is true that they are giving away the Kindle for Prime members, then this is clearly ambition on a grand scale.

Perhaps the direction Amazon could take in providing free, or at least below cost, hardware would be to enhance its capabilities to purchase more than just e-books. The new ad-included Kindle will ship starting May 3, RIGHT on time to match the declining forecast line.