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

16.02.2018

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.