7th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2023
Photography - Republic of Moldova
Did you know that, in 2016, a collection of 4.000 old negatives was discovered in an abandoned attic, revealing a master photographer?
This archive belonged to Zaharia Cușnir (1912-1993), an amateur photographer who was born and lived in the village of Roșietici in northern Moldova. Cușnir loved the art of photography and took pictures in his spare time developing them in his house, at night.
Cușnir’s portraits capture the inhabitants of Roșietici between the 1950s and the 1970s at their community ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals, as well as on their everyday life, for example at home or at work.
In 2016, a Moldovan filmmaker and photographer, Victor Galușca, who was then a film school student, found the old negatives of almost 4.000 photographs in the forgotten and abandoned house of the amateur photographer.
Galușca, together with his teacher, photographer Nicolae Pojoga, started clearing and printing the portraits. From this point on, and almost thirty years after Cușnir’s death, the fame of this great photographer started to rise.
As a result, his collection was made into a photo book, showcased at many exhibitions and now is available online. In addition, many people recognized themselves in Cușnir’s photographs and they contacted Galușca who decided to take pictures of them with the black-and-white portraits of their younger selves.
Explore this unique story through this page
Sources & photographs taken from: https://www.facebook.com/cusnirzaharia/
Photograph No 1: A portrait of a girl
Photograph No 2: Tamara Cușnir. Image: Victor Galușca
Photograph No 3: Zaharia Cușnir in the middle, next to his son and son-in-law in 1956. Image coloured by Lică Sainciuc
Photograph No 4: Zaharia's daughter Viorica and her cousin Tamara posing near their house circa 1958.
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