The objective of this paper is to contribute to the discussion regarding challenges and possibilities of entrepreneurship in rural areas. First, we presented the attributes of the rural environment and the general characteristics of the rural population, which determined the prospects of generating entrepreneurship. Then, we focused on the local development strategies of two rural communities featuring entrepreneurship based on the activation of the local resources, with a participative approach and involving social capital and foreign know-how, or even capital. We concluded the investigation with some final remarks that could serve as policy recommendations for participative actions and endorsement of different scales of entrepreneurship targeting the development of rural areas.
Knowledge of a traditional craft means living an experience and enriching the cultural activity, with a personal and community meaning, while purchasing the final products means a simple trade exchange. But currently, it is valued more the final product and not the craft itself. Being a craftsman, through knowledge and specific techniques, it is actually living the feeling, the mystery and the spirit of the craft, learned during centuries, through a long qualification as a craftsman. Traditional crafts represent a gateway to memories and to reviving the tradition, the authentic or the human skills to create unique and original products. Traditional crafts perpetuate traditions, but today we are witnessing the disappearance of true craftsmen and a focus on the commercial aspect of crafts. The paper analyses the activities of artisans’ and craftsmen’s continuity over centuries in Cluj-Napoca, reaching the present situation, when the focus is not on the producing act itself, but on the final product, representing an adaptation to modernity and demand, including on tourism. Our analysis explores the art as experience, aiming to differentiate its results in terms of authenticity and assessing its evolution as a result of current representations.
As a part of an extensive qualitative research, using historical illustrations of all kinds was strongly encouraged by the recent improvements in graphics software; once rarely seen documents and illustrations are now available in an infinite number of virtual copies, ready for restoration, interpretation, and assessments. The interest for historical illustrations is more pronounced in marketing, when a local brand or a product is promoted by the local history, often using the past as a reminder of the bonds between inhabitants and places. However, the most popular way to use historical illustrations can be found in art, while the main purpose of this paper is to encourage the use of these pictures, maps and documents in urban research and planning. In this paper, we recommend a path to reduce subjectivity while using historical illustrations and the practical results that can be achieved.
The paper aims to explore the concept of genius loci (spirit of a place) starting from Christian Norberg-Schulz’s notable work “Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture” and to reflect on the possibility of capturing the spirit of a place through photography. The problem arises in the context of a predominantly visual culture, where photography has become an accesible and omnipresent means of experiencing the world and, therefore, considered a convenient tool for gaining (a type of) knowledge. A photographic method of exploring the spirirt of the place could serve in understanding local characteristics, in identifying the elements that make a place unique and recognizible. Norberg-Schulz’s position and other views on the concept of genius loci have been analysed. A photo-essay was employed in order to explore the spirit of the old town of Chefchaouen in Morocco and the ambiguity and dual nature of the concept. A critical reflection was conducted with respect to the results.
During the last few years, the Hoia-Baciu Forest, located near Cluj-Napoca, in Transylvania, Romania, has started to attract the attention of the local community after being included in diverse TOPs of the most haunted and creepiest places in the world, alongside other areas with similar phenomena. It became famous in 1968, when several people captured on a camera a flying object which was categorised by the professionals as UFO. Hoia-Baciu continues to fascinate and we want to emphasise its profile: is it a tourist destination yet or just a popular forest among locals, for picnics or other leisure activities? What should be done to transform it in a niche tourism destination? In order to find out, we analysed the data of the Hoia-Baciu Project, designed (by the local Romania –Your Lifetime Experience NGO) to include this mystical forest in the tourist circuit: tourist demands (06.2014-06.2016), activities for locals (2014-2016) and the results of a photo contest meant to answer to the question “what does the Hoia-Baciu Forest mean to me?” (2016). We also analysed the demands for the Hoia-Baciu Forest at Cluj-Napoca Tourist Information Center, in comparison to the total demands and the number of tourist arrivals in Cluj-Napoca. We answered why the Hoia-Baciu Forest is a niche destination for dark and paranormal tourism (among tourists) and just an ordinary attraction for locals.