A rural agricultural world is disappearing in Romania. Poverty and unemployment have forced over 3.4 million people to go away from the country leaving behind only young and elderly people. According to UNICEF, over 350 thousand children live in Romania without one or both of their parents.
My work is focused on Vladut, a teenager whose mother left him with his grandparents when he was eight. She went to Italy and is still there working as a carer. Vladut lives in Bodesti, a small village in the poorest region of Romania, Moldava. One fourth of the population left the village to move abroad in the richer part of Europe or in the USA in the last fifteen years. Children as well will probably leave the country or quite possibly the countryside as soon as they are ready to work.
The teenagers seem to enjoy the present and the nature around them, as much as they can with¬out thinking of the past or future, both equally scary. They can dream, though, or get lost in their nostalgia. Nature is beautiful there, wild and untouched but both the landscape and the people are wounded and permeate with a wistful melancholy. Vladut dreams of living in Bodesti for the rest of his life but he knows that he will have to abandon his much loved countryside in order to make a decent living.
The elderly in Bodesti share a similar feeling with the young. They miss their sons and daughters, but their relation with the envi¬ronment is different: nature is no longer a place to enjoy. It only means hard work - harder than in the past because their bodies are weaker. The missing generation is missed a lot but it is not lost through war or sickness; rath¬er it is a generation that has disappeared due to the state of a country crippled by unemployment.
The deep relationship between people and their own land has a strong role in my work. I wanted to highlight the feeling of tragedy that rises from the contrast between the beauty of the landscape and the sadness of the reality.
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