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Communities all around the world are facing extinction without many of us even being aware of their past existence. How can communities, such as that of the Transylvanian Saxons, be maintained especially if they are not living in their ‘original’ environment? How do they adapt to their new ‘home’. Is this the end of their culture, tradition, and heritage?
My name is Jessica Klein, last year I wrote a book on Transylvanian Saxons, for which I was awarded the Banister Fletscher Award. To further expand my research on this project I have set up a professional camera team and wish to produce a video documentary on Transylvanian Saxons.
Transylvanian Saxons are a minority group who were part of one of Europes largest mass emigrations within the last 100 years due to factors such as WWII and communism. And yet very little is known about them. They have a long history of traditions, architecture and culture as they emigrated from the Germanic region of Mosel, to what used to be known as Austria-Hungarian Empire in the 11th century, which today is known as the Transylvanian region of Romania.. The saxons formed autonomous villages and cities where they were able to sustain their own culture, language, education and even law for over 800 years resulting in rather peculiar and unique traditions, but are now facing extinction.
The documentary will look through the eyes of the younger generations how culture, heritage and rituals can survive in a different context, and how the culture can be maintained after this emigration process. What does it mean to be Saxon? There is a sense throughout of a world which has been lost, a world which appears both idyllic and also rather spooky. Therefore, questions raised in this documentary examine what the future holds for a rich heritage such as that of the Transylvanian Saxons. How much of a culture is left in a place, and how much of a culture is brought into a place by its inhabitants? ? How does the views of the younger Transylvanian Saxons differ from those of their older generation, parents and grandparents? How will they upkeep their vanishing culture and heritage? What will remain for the next generation, and what is done to secure this future?
After all this can happen to any culture.
As the Transylvanian Saxons are a dying culture, it is vital to document and preserve the memory of the last inhabitants, as the only things that are remaining are the memories encapsulated within its past Saxon residents in one of Europes least known, but most fascinating regions, Tranyslvania.
We need your help and support to create this vital documentation. All contacts with the Saxons have been made, and the journey has been filled with exiting events for you to see. Be part of showing the world one of the best kept secrets in Europe, the story of the Transylvanian Saxons, before even the memory is lost.
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