Pride and Concrete | Photo exhibition at RCC 

1. May - 1. May 14 / ended Romanian Cultural Centre London


Exhibition | Photography | London

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Please join us for the opening of the photo exhibition Mandrie si Beton | Pride and Concrete The success story of those gone to work abroad A project by Ioana Hodoiu and Petrut Calinescu

Private view | 1 May 2014 | 6.30 pm – 9.30 pm at the Romanian Cultural Centre in London (RCC): Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ
Photo Exhibition | Film Screening | Q&A with Ioana Hodoiu and Petruț Calinescu, moderated by Dr. Ger Duijzings
ADMISSION FREE | Booking is essential at
“The golden rule: you never eat away your profit. If today you make 50 EUR, you set 40 EUR aside. If you start indulging yourself, like going to bars and restaurants… you’re never going to make money. Never! As the French say: Jamais!”

The lifting of the last restrictions on the English labour market applied to Romanians and Bulgarians whipped up a storm in the British media. Although most politicians and media outlets frantically asked How many more?, getting stuck in statistical predictions, there was little space for talking about immigrants on a more personal level as well as the impact it has on the their home countries.
Mandrie si Beton | Pride and Concrete documents the socio-economic changes occurring in traditional villages, especially the ones in Țara Oasului and Maramures, following the wave of migration abroad, in search of work. In their project, photographer Petrut Calinescu and researcher Ioana Hodoiu have captured the tension between the first generation of immigrants, who dreams of returning home and the younger one who dreams of breaking “the curse of the concrete” which forces them, according to tradition, to invest their hard-earned money in multi-floored houses in their native villages.
These big houses prevent both generations from fulfilling their dreams. Those who dream of returning to Romania are forced to work far away from their homes in order to maintain them, while those who dream of making a life abroad are forced to invest all their money in finishing these houses. And, in many cases, this can last a lifetime.
Join us for the private view of the photo exhibition Mandrie si Beton | Pride and Concrete, including the screening of the short film about the project as well as a Q&A with Ioana Hodoiu and Petrut Calinescu, moderated by Dr. Ger Duijzings.


Petrut Calinescu is a freelance photographer, based in Bucharest, Romania, with a BA in Journalism and Communication Sciences. He has worked for the main journals in Romania and for AFP, and is being represented by Panos Pictures. Petrut traveled and did stories in Kenya, India, Boliva, Afghanistan, and Egypt but today he is rather focusing on issues closer to his home, where he can understand better the cultural context and is able to spend more time with the people he photograph.

Ioana Hodoiu has been in turn and sometimes at the same time, ethnologist, copywriter, journalist, editor, TV reporter, managing editor and communication manager. She graduated from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Letters, Ethnology and Folklore Department. I have been an ecologist (Green Report, TVR1), an epicure (BBC Good Food) and a scrounger through people’s homes and lives on a great pretext (BBC Good Homes). In the last three years, Ioana has accompanied Petruţ in almost all of his documentation trips and has been responsible for the editorial part of the “Pride and Concrete” project.

Dr. Ger Duijzings is Reader in the Anthropology of Eastern Europe at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), University College London (UCL), and Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory. Currently he is doing research on urban transformations, social inequality and the new elites in post-socialist cities, in particular in Bucharest, as part of which he has developed collaborations with visual artists.

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