20 years later: the photographer met with orphans from their pictures from the 90's
Nicolae Ceausescu was the first and last president of socialist Romania. Although there are many stories, presenting it as a present Dushku - he gave people at home, because they are all my life worked tirelessly, and taught them patience, forcing to stand for hours in queues - still today it is safe to call him a dictator.
Wonderful innovations introduced by Ceausescu for his country, a significant impact on the lives of several generations of the citizens of Romania. One of these ideas - a decree # 770, published in 1966 and operated until 1989. Since the Romanian government wanted to increase the birth rate in the country, this decree forbade women to have abortions. Due to such legislative restrictions on the most conservative estimate of about 10 000 women died during underground operations. As a result, during the period of its validity was born about 2 million children who are called "the decree Generation" (rom. "Generatia decreteii"). Some of them are predictably ended up in children's homes and orphanages.
In 1993, photographer Elisabeth Blanchet visited one of these shelters. It has established strong friendships with the staff and children, and she began to attend regularly Romania. In 2006, she decided to do the project, in which people would be involved, got on her shots while still pupils. And she found them, grown up and independent, find out how is their life now and took a few photos with them in the present age.
In 1995, when Daniel Hostitsu was 12 years old, he was sent to the hospital, where surgeons removed one of his kidneys. No employee of the shelter did not consent to the operation - Daniel was a victim of traffickers in human organs. Now he rents a house in the village Poprikani and shelter, where he worked for many years, is no more. Now, instead of him - a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities. This happened in 2014.
How did you come up with the idea of the project last?
We are one of my friends back in the 1990s created a non-profit organization called Action Orphelis. In the period from 1993 to 1998, we are 3-4 times a year visited the same orphanage in a small village Poprikani, near the city of Iasi, trying to somehow improve the lives of orphans. We cleaned their rooms from the terrible mud, mending hot water system, perform other work. We even pay money to people who promise to help us to find relatives of orphans in similar institutions. I then made a lot of pictures of children.
Then, in 2006, when I worked at Time Out magazine, we editors had the idea to make a positive report about Romania, which is then ready to join the EU. I got in touch with my friend Dan. Himself an orphan, he was working at the orphanage caretaker in Poprikani. I asked him to help me find the heroes for the project.
The twins A. and B. was 13 years old in 1997. In 2006, B. was the victim of pimps, forced her into prostitution in Italy. Italian police arrested B. at the time one of the raids and deported her back to Romania, where still living her sister. In 2009, two of them went to Sweden, where nurses worked. Now they both live in Switzerland and married locals.
On what it was like: to see Dan again?
It was a very touching moment. The meeting took place in 2006, after 7 or 8 years after we last saw each other. He showed me a dictionary that I gave him the last time. Then I was very surprised the way the guys have changed since our last meeting. These children by that time had long been an important part of my life. So I decided again to capture them in their pictures, but as an adult and independent people.
In 1995, Carmen Bobotsel was 10 years old. About a year ago, she fell in Iasi city hospital with a lung infection and died a few weeks later. On the right side of the photo - the grave of Carmen.
How did you find them?
For this I have to thank Dan. Yet most students orphanage kept in touch with each other, and this has helped us seriously.
George "Dodo" Stingatsiu (on the left side of the photo - the boy at the center) in 1995 was 5 years old. Pictured right Gheorghe 20. It was made in 2011 in the village Poprikani bar. Gheorghe - builder. For a time, he worked with his father in a village near the city of Iasi, but they do not get along very well, so quickly stopped the practice.
What is your experience like as prolonged contact with the world of Romanian orphans?
I came from so prosperous country that was simply shocked by the lack of love and care that these poor children had to endure. They slept in the huge, dirty common rooms, smelling of urine. Sometimes some of them passes to sleep in the same bed. Over some of the guys, the ones that are younger, older abused peers. It was terrible.
The first picture was taken in 1995 in the shelter of the village Poprikani when Adrian Lika was 12. In the second photo, which dates from 2008 - a house that Adriana shares with other pupils of the orphanage. She now lives in a small apartment on the outskirts of the city of Iasi with three children. She receives social security benefits and no job.
In 1997, Corina Aslan Darabayev was 11 years old. In October 2011, Elizabeth photographed her again. Now Korin married, she and her husband have three children, they live in a village near the city of Iasi.
The first photo was taken in 1997. Daniela and Daniel - twins. Daniela rents an apartment in Iasi and works at a garment factory. She and her brother had recently found out that in fact they still have 9 brothers and sisters, with whom they finally met.
In 1993, Dragos was 8 years old. In 2011, when he was made the second shot, he lived in a monastery Sigla near the town of Piatra Neamt in Romania. Ever since childhood Dragos was very religious, and when he turned 19, he decided to become a monk. He lives in a monastery in 2005, Sigla, which mainly works in the kitchen. "I am happy here, I finally found my place," he said to Elizabeth, when they met again.
Joanna (second from right) was 12 years old in 1993. The second photo was taken in the village Poprikani in 2011, it Ioana Mirela with her husband and three of their four children. They live in this house, which belongs to the family of Mirela. He is a construction worker in France and comes home 2-3 times a year.
Liliana Kondrea was 16 in 1997 (she left). Today she lives with her civil husband and three children in the house of her husband's relatives in the village Poprikani.
M. was 12 in 1997. In 2009, she moved to Switzerland, where the maid is working. Sometimes she visits Poprikani while on vacation.
In 1997, Marian Zhuverdyanu was 16 years old. The second photo was taken in a bar in the village Poprikani, where a meeting was held with other inmates of the orphanage. Zhuverdyanu works as a janitor in the city of Iasi and lives in an apartment rented by his colleagues.
ESAN Radu was 15 years old in 1993 (he left). The second photo was taken in 2007 in Scotland. Every summer, he worked on a farm until 2013. In 2008, he married a girl named Andrea, and now she and her daughter live in the city of Botosani. Radu studied agronomy in college, but was never able to settle on a specialty.
Ramona Cossack village in 1997 was 12 years old. The second photo was taken in 2009, next to the shelter. She came to that