«The Dniester as a territory of life»
Project Strategic Program
Subjects of Research
Centuries long, Moldova has been housing dozens of peoples and cultures which have lived here peacefully. For millennia, this land has been the place for contact and interaction of powerful cultural worlds. It was the place for a dialogue of the Mediterranean, Central Europe and Middle Asia with Near East, Eastern Europe and peoples of the Great Eurasian steppe. As a result, it became and still is a place of amazing mixture of peoples and languages not to be seen anywhere else in Europe. With ancestors of different origin, equal mastering of two or three languages has always been a norm for most of the population here.
Here, on both banks of the Dniester river, different nations have been accumulating experience of peaceful co-existence, experience of everyday communication culture. The Dniester river has united Moldova’s cultural and historical centers, its tourist sites and mere cultural peculiarities of representatives of absolutely different nationalities and even language groups. Moldovans, Bulgarians, Gagauz, Russians, Ukrainians, Armenians, Poles – for many of them the Dniester’s banks have become their homeland, their TERRITORY OF LIFE.
The Dniester river, one of the largest waterways in northwestern Black Sea region, has always been the center of human activities, and life has always been in full swing on both its banks. This river has got as many names – Tyras, Danastris, Dniester – as there are ideas about it. Many events and destinies are connected with these quiet and guileful, cold and warm, hospitable and hostile waters. This river is a contact zone of its kind, where the great and unknown past organically intertwines with the bitter, impetuous and dreadfully interesting present.
The Dniester River. Moldova.
Due to their geographic position these territories have always represented a contact or a buffer zone of its kind. No matter what entities this buffer served for, what really matters is that it has almost always been one. As long ago as in early Iron Age there was a borderline between the nomadic and the agricultural civilizations; in Middle Ages these lands were called the Gate of the Christian World, a little later to be called a public thoroughfare of Europe. The Dniester’s banks are still a contact zone between the East and the West.
«The Dniester as a Territory of Life» Project is the key one serving to building Moldova’s new image. The Dniester river in this case is used as a geographic, historical and ethnographic skeleton that has shaped cultural peculiarities of this region.
In spite of the rich past and uniqueness of the land between the Prut and the Dniester rivers, in spite of attractiveness of its historical, ethnographic and natural and landscape zones for international tourism, as well as interest as such, Moldova still remains hardly noticeable. Even its own citizens do not give their country a high score. For some of them, many places of interest and facts of their past come as a sheer surprise.
Therefore, it is necessary to collect and minutely study all possible materials reflecting Moldova’s cultural heritage this way or another. Dissemination of outcomes of various expeditions, tourist itineraries, travels and interesting scientific research is one of the main objectives of the project. This targeted dissemination of the cultural heritage and cultural peculiarities of the country can become the key factor contributing towards quicker integration of our society.
THE GOAL OF THE PROJECT:
Targeted study and further popularisation of the Dniester’s role in development of the country’s and the region’s peculiar culture and the past, as well as enabling better awareness of one’s own cultural heritage and building patriotic idea of history of both banks of the Dniester through cultural and scientific-popularizing actions.
PROJECT STRATEGIC PROGRAM (2005-2010)
• Scientific research
• Conferences and publications
SHORT-TERM OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT FOR 2006 – 2009:
1. Organization of a targeted river expedition visiting the most attractive (cultural, historical and tourist) sites on the Dniester. The events in the course of the expedition shall be regularly reported on the TV and printed media.
2. Shootings of a scientific-popular film «The Dniester as a Territory of Life» during the expedition down the Dniester, which shall position Moldova in a new light, i.e. as the territory of a contact zone, as the territory with enough resource, which can stir international interest to the country and its people.
3. Collection of materials for organization of a trip down the river, working out tourist itineraries along the Dniester.
4. Working out a detailed tourist map of Moldova.
5. Preparation of a series of targeted articles in printed media and on Internet under the heading «The Dniester as a Territory of Life».
6. Preparation of a series of TV shows headed «The Dniester as a Territory of Life».
1. 2005-2006. Testing expeditions from the Dniester’s estuary to the Black Sea. Expeditions have yielded numerous photo and video materials, registered and updated the facts about a number of interesting itineraries along the Dniester.
2. 2006-2008. A series of cultural and informational actions titled Cultural Outing took place. They involved students from Transnistria and Moldova, anthropologists of the University High Anthropological School and members of Moldova Cultural Heritage Institute. Based on the findings, the Fund plans a series of TV programs headed Cultural Outing.
3. Successful talks with the Ukrainian specialists (Lvov, Odessa) on their involvement in the project.
4. 2006. A photo exhibition under the heading A River. The Territory. The Life by the project photographer D. Topal.
5. 2008. A photo exhibition under the heading Moldova in in persons and destinies by the project photographer D. Topal.
6. The Dniester as the Territory of Life Project presentation, with the project’s video promo.
7. Publications in print media on The Dniester as the Territory of Life.
THE MAIN EXPECTED RESULTS:
1. The scientific-popularizing film «The Dniester as a Territory of Life», involving cooperation with western experts and a western director. The film’s aim is to position Moldova in foreign countries.
2. TV shows headed «The Dniester as a Territory of Life», which will change perceptions about our country, its history and even its future perspectives.
3. A series of special articles to be published in mass media under the heading «The Dniester as a Territory of Life», which includes popularization of the expedition’s outcomes, research initiatives within the project, etc.
4. Materials for trips down the river, a tourist map.
5. Working out a guidebook on Moldova and, in particular, on the Dniester.
PROJECT SUCCESS CRITERIA:
1. Coverage in Moldovan mass media.
2. Evaluation of mass media reviews.
3. Interest of international organisations in cooperation with the Fund.
4. Civil society’s reaction to the project’s initiatives.
5. Attractiveness of the project for further investments.
6. Positive results of talks on further cooperation with NGOs, funds and enterprises.