Romania has a complex history where its people have struggled to claim territory, faced brutal oppression, communist nationalisation, and foreign exploitation of resources and agriculture. The central region of Transylvania was claimed at the end of the First World War, extending the country’s wealth of natural resources from the border with Ukraine to the Danube Valley. Industrialisation increased exponentially from the 1950s to 1980s and the effects had a massive impact on the economy, social progress, and the landscape. But Romanians have been resilient in the face of progress and adversity, and since the fall of communism in 1989 the country has seen an intellectual revival and a return to practicing long-held traditions. For over 15 years in a conflict in Roşia Montană, public administration and environmental organizations have confronted a mining company in a fight to keep their natural environment free from continued over-exploitation.
In The Tree of Life is Eternally Green, Martinez and Saez focus on identity and history from a perspective that transcends socio-political issues, and dispels stereotypes associated with Romanians. Their record is seeped in the natural environment and celebrates Romanian people, their traditions, the untamed landscape and the country’s rich flora.
Design by Tiffany Jones, Pascual Martínez + Vincent Sáez