The Unseen Face of Roşia Montană

Face of Rosia Montana

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By Alexandra Dodu

Sometimes it comes to pass that we no longer feel a part of the community in which we live, a community that no longer resonates with what we think or feel. Community becomes an abstract term no longer representing the whole with which we should feel a part. What is left, then, to inspire us to maintain and cultivate the feelings of belonging to our community?

Relationships are born and developed within the broader relationships of family and community. It is in community that humans learn about themselves and each other, about human values. It is in community that humans choose their role models.

When community members lose their commonality, when they no longer share common values, ideals and concerns and especially a common geographical area, it is then that the idea of community loses its meaning and its significance.

What is happening today in Rosia Montana is the disintegration of a rural community; a community that carries with it 2000 years of history, a community born in a blessed land. Rosia Montana became an El Dorado, a wanted and hunted land conquered and reconquered countless times to satisfy the greed and lust of foreign nations.

Despite the numerous transformations brought by these foreign invaders, Rosia Montana continued to exist. It was bowed, subjected to slavery then released. It was reborn and prospered and when it regained its vitality, it was bowed again. For 2000 years this cycle continued and now, today, it continues again with a Canadian company lusting after Rosia Montana’s gold.

Why? Simply because the lust for power and money continues to exist in the minds of men. Because we have not learned the lessons from the past, we do not understand that we have the key to open our minds and discover the power and the sense of duty to defend our dignity, our land and our identity.

The community of Rosia Montana is a mirror of the community of Romanians. It is a representation of the transformations Romania has passed through. A difficult and sad story, but the story of Rosia Montana is an opportunity to step forward with greater awareness, humility and a determination to protect what is important.

Rosia Montana is an ark adrift upon the troubled waters of Romania.  A community of men and women whose fates do not matter because they are viewed as an aberrant minority; families and individuals who have made choices against an uncompromising tide of injustice.

These people cried, prayed, shouted and, finally, rebelled having chosen what was most important to them, even though this left them alone, adrift on a sea of anonymity. Without friends, family and neighbors, without even the graves of their dead, they remained alone, isolated in their own community, without the support of the ones who were given the duty to protect them.

Unseen, they have remained. Though photographed  filmed and interviewed, their stories have become lost in the dramas and corporate propaganda that hurled its way into their community 16 years ago. But they have refused to fall deaf to their own soul. The land is in their blood just as it was their forefathers.

Simple people. Ordinary lives turned upside down. Young and old, they never complain of their lack of choice, that they are poor or powerless. They are Romanians and like Romanians from centuries past, they keep their dignity and heritage burning brightly in their hearts.

Now is the time to reveal their faces. Now is the time for the unseen face of Rosia Montana to be seen…

These are their stories.

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