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The Enchanted Gardens of Ada Kaleh

Part 2 Project 2019
Silvia Mihaela Diaconu
Oslo School of Architecture and Design Oslo Norway
Ada-Kaleh was an ancient fortified island on the Danube River, located between Serbia and Romania and inhabited by a Turkish community descending from the old defenders of the Ottoman Empire. This landscape, described as a utopia with the qualities of a lush garden where people used to live in harmony, was destroyed and flooded by the Romanian Communist Government in 1970, leaving behind pieces of collective memory. The island inspired stories, myths and distortions of reality.

The work, as a whole, is a celebration of an archive – the only trace left of this entire culture and landscape that was erased from the face of the earth.

The project is a multilayered unfolding of this archive, formulated as a series of attempts to augment the spatial imaginary of Ada Kaleh. It proposes an experimental recovery of the submerged island using film, curatorial work, graphic reconstruction, and dispersed architectural interventions. These methodologies respond to the identity of the site and its remembrance, creating an alter-ego of the island.

Cultural production and preservation processes intertwine in an investigation on how spatial narratives and artistic curation could contribute to conveying the essence of cultures in peril.

Silvia Mihaela Diaconu

Luis Callejas
Janike Kampevold Larsen
Tuva Maire Ovsthus
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