Nadejda CERVINSCAIA, Moldova
PROJECT: Zaharia’s World: Restoration and digitalisation of the Zaharia Cusnir Photography Archive

Moved by creativity and innovation, Nadejda is adding vibrancy to the social life of Chisinau through art and design. In her capacity as a Project Assistant at the non-governmental organization MOLDOX, Nadejda organized the 48h Moldovan Film Challenge that evolved her inclination towards filmography. While being a graphic designer at Romanian Cultural Centre (Berlin), she became more aware of cultural management. The latter inspired her to organize the Premiere Expo of Zaharia Cusnir Photography Archive in Moldova. Nadejda is passionate about Innovation and Design. Currently, she is a Shanghai-based freelance designer facilitating workshops to innovate products and services for international companies. Nadejda is a winner of various national and international awards.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Product Service System Design from the Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy) and was also studying at Tongji University (China). 

I believe that art is the nutrient to weave tomorrow’s lifestyles: futuristic, sustainable, and enlightening. I also believe that it should have a louder voice in policy and urban design, social studies, and business! The fellowship gave me an incredible opportunity to organize the first exhibition of the ’50s-’60s photographic archive and explore the cultural heritage of Moldova. The process of digitizing and presenting the creative materials was very touchy, as the films represent an exquisite and genuine ethnographical documentation of those times. Right now, I am based in Shanghai, and am working to bring the archive to the public here. More is yet to come!” – Nadejda CERVINSCAIA

Zaharia’s World: Restoration and digitalisation of the Zaharia Cusnir Photography Archive

The action: Zaharia’s World: Restoration and Digitalization of the Zaharia Cusnir Photography Archive was a creative project investigating historical, cultural, ethnographic evidence about Moldovan society and everyday life during the Cold War. The photographic archive was found in devastating conditions in an abandoned house in Moldova. Nadejda joined her colleague, who found the collection, and then mobilized a team to restore 70 negative films of the photographer and film-maker – Zaharia Cusnir. To present the digitized materials, Nadejda organized the “GAZE” Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Chisinau, Moldova. The activities engaged wider audiences and arose discussions about the Moldovan historic and non-material heritage. Even two years after the project, the Archives are still in the spotlight and attract world-renowned magazines and media. 

The project produced 70 high-quality digitalized negative films and photos exposed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Chisinau. The exhibition was open for 30 days and involved up to thousands of visitors. Through the restoration, digitalization, research, and dissemination of the archive, the project provided access to knowledge and cultural heritage of Soviet Moldova during the’50s-’60s, which has never been disclosed before. The prints used for the exhibition are now largely used for smaller promotional events in Moldova, which, again, enhance the visibility of the project. In 2020, Nadejda curated Zaharia’s Archive exhibition in Lublin, Poland, at the renowned festival. 

Fellowship Programs 2017
Country Moldova
Areas of Interest Awareness raising
Data digitalization & visualisation
Topics Photography
Project duration December 2017-June 2018