Pride and Concrete short film

Petruț Călinescu / 12 November 2013
Romanians working in France transform cottages in their home villages into mansions of steel and concrete

One in six Romanians lives and works abroad.

Most of these labour migrants come from rural areas and for decades they have been sending money back home to their families - cash which has transformed the style, shape and behaviour of their native villages.

Unlike in the city, where the nouveau riche mostly display their wealth without ostentation, in the villages the residents show off their achievements with gusto - their main street acting as an open stage for the expenditure of new money.

Pride and Concrete is a project about the recent transformation occurring in rural communities due to work migration, especially around Tara Oasului and Maramures in northern Transylvania.

Photographer Petrut Calinescu and journalist Ioana Hodoiu documented this issue between 2010 - 2013, following the double life of a small community at home in Romania and at work in France.

Different edits of the pictures have been published in The Sunday Times Magazine, Business Week, Alternatives Internationales, 6 Mois, The New Statesman, Southern Metropolis Weekly (China) and photo exhibitions in Bucharest, Berlin and throughout the Balkans.

The whole story has been published into a photo book and has a standalone website.