4m3

Made in collaboration with Valentin Cernat, the book 4m3 is part of a bigger project that aims to document the areas surrounding the Danube River in Romania. Our publication represents one of the first results of our work at the Danube-Black Sea Canal. Throughout the research made both on the field and in libraries, we found out the prescribed load of digging for a prisoner at Danube-Black Sea Canal. This daily load was to dig four cubic meters. This was the starting point of our intervention. At the end of our field work on of the right bank of the Danube Canal between Medgidia and Agigea, as a form of appropriation of the past situations and triggered by two clenching worlds, we decided to dig this norm in a day. Documenting the action using images was a form of bringing the memory into its graphic representation. Although it wears the esthetics of the ’60s image making which probably reminds of Keith Arnatt’s work Self Burial, the 4m3 photographic series talks more about imagined acts, and gaps, holes in the present time. After a short time, we found out about the existence of declassified CIA reports that captured an important image regarding the first construction of the Canal which took place between 1949-1953. Willing to enrich the existing documentation of the Canal’s construction with a very objective approach, we decided to put the reports together, bearing in mind that all the stories related to that period are mostly represented by subjective personal stories. Within this project we invited Ovidiu Pop, which is interested in bilingual literature and critical/decolonial theory, to write the foreword of the book by developing ideas around remoteness and political articulation and about the Danube’s labour camp and the political production of truth.