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Andrei Nacu September 4, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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My Father. Iasi, Romania 2011

Andrei Nacu (b. 1984, Romania) recently graduated with an MA in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport and while studying for his BA at the University of Arts, Iasi he received an Erasmus scholarship to attend the Press and Editorial Photography course at Falmouth University. In 2013 he  was selected by The Photographers’ Gallery for the Fresh Faced+Wild Eyed exhibition and will be part of the Guernsey Photography Festival 2014. In his creative practice he is using family photography and archive photos to create stories which analyze the junction between personal memory and social history. Andrei is based in London.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is of my father in his apartment in Iasi that is part of my project In the Forsaken Garden Time is a Thief. The story is a subtle insight into a couple’s daily life in contemporary Romania. In examining their struggle to absorb and cope with some of the traumatic political and social shifts of the last 50 years, their relationship becomes an analogy for the disillusionment and dissatisfaction that marked these decades. The context, the environment that my parents are in and the history that they have been subjected to is really important and the challenge was to tell that story that is simultaneously personal but also general in relation with the social and political context.”

“Once, my father entered my room and he said: How can I explain this thing… may I sit for a bit? I wanted a little bit of rest… I don’t know how to explain to you the fatigue, I don’t know how you could explain to yourself the fatigue. There is a kind of fatigue that you could never explain, because you didn’t live those pieces of life that I have lived. But this is nothing… good night! I’m going to sleep. I don’t think that you could ever tell me that there is something beautiful as long as everything else is in dark. Not the beauty of the fact of being… May I go to sleep? Thank you very much!”

Carlo Gianferro June 6, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Gypsy Interiors
Iasi, Romania 2008

Carlo Gianferro (b. 1970, Italy), is a freelance photographer based in Rome, he worked from 2004 to 2008 with the Romanian and Moldavian wealthy Roma communities, as a result of this long term project he published two books “Gypsy Architecture” by German Axel Menges Editions and “Gypsy Interiors” published by Italian Postcart Edizioni. In these years he carried on personal projects in Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East. He’s actually working on Italian issues exploring mental illness subject. He’s interested in exiled workers and other fragile communities. His photographs document people conditions and show them in their environment where the architectural setting or backdrop is just as important as the human figures . His work was awarded 1st prize for portraits stories in World Press Photo 2009.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph during one of my t travels among the wealthy Roma communities of Romania and Republic of Moldova, I was shooting a series of portraits for ‘Roma Interiors’, my more successful work, documenting some Roma villages created after the 1992 fall of the Soviet regime in eastern Europe, a new generation of Roma that quickly developed its full potential, accumulating wealth using capitalist methods and expressing it by the construction of the huge houses. I wanted to show Gypsy people in a new way; no more beggars or the poor living in camps as always described in photography before. That day I was in a small rich Roma village near Iasi, Romania, I knocked the door of a villa and this woman appeared to me , she was very kind and very happy to be photographed, she conducted me in her bedroom. I prepared my tripod and my camera and when I looked at the viewfinder I saw the magic, a woman in orange in an orange room next to plastic plant. This picture as the others in the series, was photographed quickly, without prior preparation, aesthetic tricks or any special choice of clothes: what you see is what there is, what there was at the time of the shooting, what there is every day.”

Thomas Haugersveen April 23, 2012

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Bucharest, Romania 2010

Thomas Haugersveen (b.1980, Norway) took up photography during his studies at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. He graduated with honors in 2005. He works for a variety of magazines and have produced stories on topics such as; the Tamil guerrillas on Sri Lanka, the homeless in Russia, Coal mining in China, Refugees in Georgia, the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the effects of agent orange in Vietnam.  He has won several national and international awards for his work  divides his time between editorial and commercial assignments. Thomas is represented by Agence VU and is currently based in Oslo.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in Bucharest, Romania in 2010. After joining the European Union in 2007, food and gas prices more than doubled. At the same time Romania was hit hard by the financial crisis in addition to wages being sharply reduced. During the summer of 2010 a number of more or less peaceful demonstrations took place against the government. Towards the end of one of them, these men showed up, dressed in Dracula outfits. Bram Strokers novel, Dracula is said to be based on the Romanian count Vlad III Dracula from Transylvania. He was known to place his enemies in spears. Following his example, the demonstrators placed figures depicting politicians, on spears.”

David Leventi February 10, 2011

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Maramures, Romania, 2007

David Leventi (b.1978, USA) is a fine-art photographer based in New York. He received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and recently exhibited at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and at the Toronto International Art Fair in 2010. He was selected by PDN as one of 2007’s Top 30 Emerging Photographers. In 2008, his work was included in the Communication Arts Photography Annual and in American Photography 24, he received two Graphis Gold awards and was listed among the Critical Mass Top 50 Finalists by Photolucida. Leventi’s current project, titled “Bjoerling’s Larynx,” records the interiors of world-famous opera houses. David is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and Bau-Xi Photo Gallery in Toronto.

About the Photograph:

“In 2006, I began traveling to Romania to photograph my family history. I was the first member of my family to step foot in the country since 1959, when my family fled Romania at the time of a communist regime. Part of my documentation has been to capture the tension that exists between the countryside and the city—a dichotomy which has always existed, but which is more visible today since the fall of communism and the advent of capitalism in the country. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find traditional houses in the countryside as the young migrate to the city in pursuit of opportunity. Since joining the EU in 2007, many Romanians are finding work in Western Europe, leaving children behind with grandparents. They send money back to build modern houses in idyllic fairytale landscapes—abandoning generations of tradition. In much the same way, my great-grandfather left the shtetl in Barlad for Bucharest, where he eventually became a publisher.”

Silviu Pavel August 4, 2010

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From the series “A Good Childhood”. Romania 2009

Silviu Pavel (b. 1980, Romania) graduated with a Masters degree in Telecommunications from Bucharest Politechnic University. In 2005 he studied photography at various schools in Bucharest including the Scoala de Poetica Fotografica Francisc Mraz. “I want to keep my passion and do the kind of photography that is important to me. I love meeting simple people, especially from isolated parts of Romania and hearing their stories.” In 2009 Silviu participated in the Rio Film festival as a photographer for Nisimazine and won first prize at the MEDIP Transnational Photographic Exhibition photojournalism competition. His work has been published in different online magazines including  N-Sphere, local newspapers and in group exhibitions.”

About the Photograph:

“The photograph was shot in the Dobrogea region of Romania last summer of the local youth playing in an old abandoned boat on the Danube river shore. It is part of a personal project called ‘A Good Childhood’ that came to life by itself and continues in 2010. In the Dobrogea region, I discovered a world of children full of enthusiasm. It impressed me and reminded me, a city boy, of what a  good childhood is all about. I started to take photographs of them playing in this mix of joy and sadness and a project was born. I’ve been in these villages several times and have returned often. Every time I found the same pure and true emotions that I want to transmit in these images.”

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Petrut Calinescu May 3, 2010

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Gold Mining. Romania, 2006

Petrut Calinescu (b. 1976, Romania) graduated with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Bucharest University and is currently based in Romania. His work has been published in National Geographic, Esquire, The New York Times, Courrier International, The Times, Business Week, Paris Match, and other international magazines and newspapers as well as with several NGO’s. He was awarded best Romanian Photojournalist for two years in a row. Petrut is currently represented by Panos Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“The picture is from a project about gold exploitation in the Rosia Montana region of  Romania in 2006  just before the mining industry collapsed in that area. The rusty carriages filled with minerals were running off the rail so often that the train could barely move. During each of the transport of the materials the miners had to jump off the train and struggle in the mud to put the carriage back on the rail. The efficiency of this transport method was close to zero, but the miners were doing their best to prove that the factory should not be closed.”

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Jens Olof Lasthein April 9, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania, Russia.
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Arkhangelsk, Russia (top) & Gurahont, Romania from the book “White Sea Black Sea”

Jens Olof Lasthein (b. 1964, Sweden) lives in Stockholm and is working as a freelance photographer for magazines as well as with self initiated projects.  He graduated from the Nordic  Photography School in 1992. Jens has had about thirty-five solo exhibitions at galleries, museums and festivals in Europe and Asia, and has participated in several group shows. His book Moments in Between (2000), with pictures from the wars in former Yugoslavia, was selected by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger for The Photobook: A History, vol II (2006). The pictures above are from his book White Sea Black Sea (2008).

About the Photographs:

”Since my first travels in Eastern Europe during the early eighties I’ve understood that the feeling of homecoming has nothing to do with one´s geographical origin. During the years 2001-2007 I traveled to areas along the new eastern border of the European Union, from Arkhangelsk on the White Sea to Odessa on the Black Sea photographing the daily life of the people I met. Basically the idea of these pictures is to take the viewer on a visual journey through the borderland between European East and West. Not claiming any kind of truth, the conditions are decided by myself alone, in relation to my own internal boundaries: What is it like being European? An attempt to open up some borders – my own, and maybe even others.”

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Andrei Pungovschi April 2, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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National Day, Bucharest, Romania, 2009

Andrei Pungovschi (b. 1980, Romania) is a photojournalist based in Bucharest, Romania. He received a BA in journalism from the University of Bucharest and then went on to study photojournalism at the University of Missouri, on a Fulbright scholarship. His American experience also included an internship with the Associated Press in Seattle and participation in the Missouri Photo Workshop and the Mountain Workshops. His work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, College Photographer of the Year, The Missouri Press Association and the Northwest Regional Emmy.

About the Photograph:

“Every year on December 1st Romanians celebrate their National Day with extensive military parades. Hundreds of soldiers from all over the country were brought in last year for the parade in Bucharest, which tends to be extravagant. I shot the parade and was heading for my car with another photographer when, a few blocks down from where the action had taken place, we ran across these old buses packed with soldiers of the Romanian Navy. After being ordered around all day long, these guys were finally left to their own thoughts. I liked this image better then the parade shots, as this was probably the only moment that was not directed and planned for.”

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Samuel Zuder February 5, 2010

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Mamaia, Romania 2006

Samuel Zuder (b. 1965, Germany) studied photojournalism at the technical college for visual communication in Dortmund, Germany. His documentary thesis about India was published in Geo and other international magazines. In 1996 Samuel was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass while working on a project about Christian and Muslim neighbors in the Bosnian city of Mostar. His work has appeared in numerous international magazines and publications and has been exhibited widely in Europe. He currently lives in Hamburg

About the Photograph:

“I took the photo during a reportage on Romania for Stern Magazine shortly before the country joined the European Union. The scene was shot at the Black Sea in Mamaia. The picture expresses the positive and optimistic spirit of Romania before entering a new era. The Ferrari boat- not real, just a toy-  is a symbol for upcoming prosperity. A kind of symbol for the actual situation at that time, the starting point to an unknown future.  Now, some years later the progress of the country has experienced a deterioration, a  political disharmony. Corruption has prevented the positive development – the Ferrari boat is shipping through stormy water. Romania still hasn’t reached the level it was dreaming of at the start of the trip.”

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Poul Madsen May 30, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Multimedia, Romania.
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From the series “Bucharest Below Ground” Romania 2008

Poul Madsen was born in Denmark in 1978 but has since lived in Belgium, USA and India. At the age of 24 he began photography and was accepted into the Danish School of Journalism. Since then his main focus has been documenting social and cultural issues and exploring new and innovative ways of presenting narrative story telling for the web. “I consider myself part photojournalist and part multimedia producer.” Poul’s awards include: Best of Journalism, National POY, China International Press Photo and China Humanity Photo among others.

About the photo:

“This picture was taken inside a sewer in downtown Bucharest. The hot heating pipes underground enables some of the city’s homeless to survive Romania’s brutally cold winter. With this project I wanted to focus on of the European Union’s newest members. The conditions for these children are horrible and the Romanian government does next to nothing to help them get a better future.” It’s well worth visiting the full screen documentary for the web and reminds me of the potential of multimedia story telling. See more projects from Poul and his partners at the Bombay Flying Club.

Cristian Movila May 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Cancer Patients in Marie Curie Hospital. Bucharest, Romania

I had the pleasure of meeting Cristian Movila at the New York Photo Festival a few days ago. In his short career he has completed several powerful essays. Cristian is 24 years old and divides his time between New York and Bucharest. Touched by the stories of Romanian children suffering with cancer he dedicated two years documenting their lives in a Romanian hospital for a project called Unfinished Dreams. In 2008 he launched an exhibition of this work followed by a humanitarian campaign in Paris and raised over two million dollars for the hospital in Bucharest.

About the Photograph:

Crammed into the old wing of Marie Curie hospital in Bucharest, 20 children diagnosed with cancer are fighting everyday for their lives. Living conditions in the hospital are harsh, with not enough beds and nurses, no proper medicines or medical instruments. “The current conditions in the hospital offer them only a 50 percent chance of survival,” says Cristian Scurtu a veteran doctor working in the hospital since 1984. (more…)

Davin Ellicson March 19, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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ellicson.jpg
En route to a livestock market, Maramures, Romania

Davin Ellicson is a 30 year old American photographer based in Bucharest, Romania. Davin’s photographs of Romanian peasants will be featured in a forthcoming book called ‘East’ due out in May 2008 showcasing 17 photographers’ projects in Eastern Europe from the Anzenberger photography agency. His work from the Maramures series was chosen for American Photography 23 and screened in Arles, France at the Voices Off Fringe Festival.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph of peasants is from the village of Valeni in the Maramures region of northern Romania enroute to a livestock market in a neighboring town. Villagers meet on Thursdays to trade gossip, sell animals and enjoy themselves. I was 25, adventurous and in love with black and white film when I checked out of the modern world and lived with a family in Valeni, farming and photographing and savoring the last vestiges of European folk culture. I met the Nemes family in a field while they were making a haystack at the end of the summer and ended up staying for a year. Romania has since joined the European Union in 2007 and the youth from the villagers now spend most of the year abroad in Italy and Spain working itinerant jobs. The EU has strict agricultural regulations and the future of traditional life in Maramures is uncertain. There are now even plans to create commercial farms”.

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