The Danube Delta in Romania – the ‘Last European Sanctuary’ – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While major efforts are made to protect biodiversity, the plight of local communities is largely overlooked. Social scientists claim that the traumatic nature of the swamp bears heavy on the villagers’ lives. But is Nature really to blame? “Swamp dialogues” is based on extensive field-research about the discursive creation of wilderness in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Through a careful ‘argument montage’ built entirely on cinematic language, the film represents an anthropological analysis while reflecting on epistemological questions of knowledge production in social sciences.
Ildikó Zonga Plájás studied anthropology and cultural studies in Romania and Hungary, later graduating in Visual Ethnography at Leiden University, the Netherlands. After her studies, she became guest lecturer at Leiden University, and is currently working as research assistant at the University of Amsterdam. “”Swamp Dialogues”” is her first anthropological film.