30 May 2013

20-27 July Saxon Villages of Transylvania Documentary Photography Workshop


Join American photographer Davin Ellicson in the Saxon Villages of Transylvania in July 2013 for a week-long documentary photography workshop in an enchanting area of Europe.

Central Transylvania was home to scores of ethnic German villages from the 12th century onwards when King Géza II of Hungary invited Germans to colonize the area, but dictator Nicolae Ceausescu sold back around 90,000 Saxons to West Germany in the 1980s in an effort to rid Romania of the minority as well as to help pay off the country's foreign debt. The remaining Saxon population made a mass migration to Germany in 1990. Today some are returning and the area is coming alive once again.

Davin is offering a week-long documentary photography workshop based in the village of Viscri. From here, we will explore this lost world and tour the villages of Malancrav, Crit, Mesendorf and Biertan among others by mini van.

Davin will be working closely with participants and providing daily critiques and group discussions. We will begin with a review of students' past work. Participants are encouraged to photograph what interests them on their own, in pairs or small groups. The goal of this workshop is to learn to create strong personal photographs about some of the most unspoiled rural life left in Europe. We will shoot during the day and edit in the evenings.

Through group as well as one on one discussions of the best work, participants will see their picture making skills improve. Technical, theoretical and aesthetic issues will be discussed as attendees work towards honing their individual visions. What are you trying to say with your photography, to communciate? It's all about making a personal visual response to Transylvania. Participants will leave inspired and with a new understanding of the possibilities of documentary photography and how to continue in their practice after the workshop.

Everyone will enjoy great access to the villages through local guides from The Mihai Eminescu Trust and accommodation at restored Saxon homes will allow for an immersive experience with local villagers. The seven days promise to be an intense, intimate and unforgettable experience.

Since the fall of Communism, The Mihai Eminescu Trust, an NGO that Prince Charles collaborates with, has played an instrumental role in calling attention to Romania’s endangered rural culture and the plight of the Saxon Villages and is working to restore precious architecture and to revive the communities and make them sustainable again.

The Trust has renovated the houses and churches using traditional building materials and techniques and is helping return the idyllic villages to active farming through training the mostly Romanians and gypsies who now live there. Guest houses have opened encouraging the growth of a sustainable local economy and the youth are deciding to stay.

It is an all digital workshop limited to 8 students and everyone should come with their own laptop and editing software.

DATES: 20-27 July.

Viscri, Transylvania and surrounding villages.

WORKSHOP FEE: €895. Includes a room at a restored Saxon home with three meals each day, all transportation around the villages and the assistance of local guides. Students are responsible for getting to Sighisoara, Romania on their own from where we will head out to the villages.

REGISTRATION: The workshop is open to any professional or committed amateur who has knowledge of digital cameras and editing software.
CONTACT: davin@davinellicson.com

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