CultPlatForm_21 - Invisible Fortresses: Ada Kaleh – Public consultation in Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Romania


On 17th October 2018 a public consultation with the theme of hidden citadels – Ada Kaleh citadel was organized in Drobeta-Turnu Severin at the multifunctional pavilion in Crihala Forest, as part of CultPlatForm_21 project. The event was attended by 65 people from different institutions and relevant stakeholders at national level.

Andreea Ursuleasa, Project Manager, Ministry of Culture and National Identity Romania, presented the CultPlatForm_21 Project, as part of the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme. The main topics presented contained details about general objectives, budget, timeframe and partners, being followed by a brief description of the project’s subject on hidden heritage, means of identifying and capitalizing on its value and example of similar initiatives developed in partner countries. In the end, the presentation offered an overview of the project’s steps, from the elaboration of a preliminary study on hidden heritage in Romania to the organization of an International Art Festival as a pilot project.

The second presentation held by Andreea Maier, Senior Consultant, CIVITTA Strategy & Consulting, described the main findings of the study on hidden heritage in Romania and the main reasons for selecting the pilot project. The first part of the presentation was dedicated to the context of the project presenting the definition of hidden heritage and the Danubian framework. The second part offered a series of details on the process of conducting the study on hidden heritage, the European Danubian identity, the elements of hidden heritage identified in Romania related to this identity, good practices taken into consideration and recommendations regarding heritage interpretation and preservation. In the end, the presentation stated the main reasons for choosing the region of Drobeta-Turnu Severin – Orșova, the theme of invisible fortresses and citadels and Ada Kaleh citadel as the main topic of the future pilot project.

The following discussion on creative means of capitalization on the hidden heritage was developed around seven panelists from different fields of work: Alina Rizescu of RIZI Design, Gabriel Kelemen of the West University of Timișoara, Leona Chițoiu of Modulab, Sabin Șerban of the Augmented Space Agency, Iulian Canov of Wolfhouse Productions, Elena Belciu of CINETic and Dobre Mirea-Mihaela, Directorate of Historical Heritage and Cultural Tourism – Drobeta Turnu-Severin. Ioana Ivanov, Associate Partner, CIVITTA Strategy & Consulting, moderated this session. At the beginning, each panelist stated their point of view regarding the topic under discussion. The aim was to identify innovative ways of interpreting hidden heritage, especially related to the Danube river and the Drobeta-Turnu Severin – Orșova region.

The last part of the public consultation was dedicated to a debate involving all the participants for brainstorming ideas, proposals or challenges regarding the pilot project to be implement as part of CultPlatForm_21, which is going to be an International Art Festival organized in Drobeta-Turnu Severin and dedicated to the topic of hidden citadels and in particular to Ada Kaleh citadel. The discussion was based on a series of starting points such as the main coordinates for the festival or the main questions that needed answers, all of which were announced by the moderator.

The main coordinates for the festival implied the organization of a major event lasting approximately 4 days that could comprise a varied series of activities such as: guided visits to Ada Kaleh citadel and Orșova, exhibitions, workshops and creative classes, talks and debates, performances and movie shows etc. The main questions were structured according to the main types of stakeholders attending the public consultation (public stakeholders, private stakeholders and universities) and referred to: How can the festival be connected to the city and to the local community? How can the hidden heritage be brought to life by contemporary means of interpretation? How can educational activities contribute to the interpretation of and capitalization on hidden heritage?

In the end, the topic of sustainability was discussed regarding the lasting benefits of the festival for the city and for the local community. Some examples were proposed such as: building a permanent quay on the Șimian Island, an information point or information panels, activating other degraded buildings in Drobeta-Turnu Severin or permanently keeping some art installations produced for / during the festival. This could contribute to the overall success of the event and could further be the base for the decision of local authorities to organize other editions of the festival.

The public consultation concluded with a brief presentation of the immediate next steps: to keep the participants informed about the development of the pilot project and further consult them on concrete proposals for the Arts Festival (possibly by means of an online questionnaire), which could be the base for the activities organized during the event. In addition, a general aim was proposed for the Art Festival that is to become a manifesto of the local community and local public authorities to recover the Șimian Island and Ada Kaleh citadel so that in the future this site could host other editions of the festival.

For further information please see here.

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)