The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia documentary project by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio about the Republic of Moldova and its multiple ethnic, religious, social and political identities. It tells about its ordinary citizens and their memories, its transnational communities and their expectations for the future of the nation. It is also an exploration of the Moldovan rural and urban landscapes: a visual blueprint for a personal mapping of the nation.
The term diary represents the developement of this project on multiple levels. It is a travel journal made by maps and videos that follows the authors’ wandering from the streets of Balti to the rural towns of Gagauzia and from the border with Romania to the capital Chisinau. It is also a notebook filled with journalistic annotations and interviews and, conclusively, a diary containing the memories of the several communities united within the borders of Moldova.
The web-documentary is implemented by a navigable map of Moldova. The audience is required to select one of the several geographical chapters containing stories and interviews related to that specific region. The chapters are interconnected amongst them by a network of roads, images and audio contents, inviting the users to choose their own way to explore and understand the region: a platform where visual arts and journalism meet.
From the declaration of independence in 1991 until now Moldova has been struggling to overcome its economic problems, worsened by unsolved geopolitical issues (a case in point is the frozen conflict in Transnistria) and dramatic loss of part of its population due to the massive migration towards Europe, on one side, and Russia, on the other. Despite this, Moldova has participated in the Eastern Partnership initiative since 2009 and is currently moving towards a possible, although still not certain, association with the European Union.
The Moldovan Diaries is an inquiry into this crucial phase: a look into the relationship between conservative values and a progressive identity, the intricate mosaics of the ethnocultural legacies playing a relevant part in the E.U. issue and the geopolitical forces in neighbouring countries having an interest in influencing the destiny of this small post-Soviet country.