Officially, some 2.5 million Romanians leave home to work abroad. Migrants from rural villages live frugally in European countries and send their money back to build modern mansions. Castles of glass, steel, and concrete have started to engulf the rural landscape. In his long-term project "Pride and Concrete," Romanian photographer Petrut Calinescu documents transformations in Romania's rural communities.


Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Officially, some 2.5 million Romanians leave home to work abroad. Migrants from rural villages live frugally in European countries and send their money back to build modern mansions. Castles of glass, steel, and concrete have started to engulf the rural landscape. In his long-term project "Pride and Concrete," Romanian photographer Petrut Calinescu documents transformations in Romania's rural communities.


Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Pride and Concrete: Romania's Migrant Workers

Officially, some 2.5 million Romanians leave home to work abroad. Migrants from rural villages live frugally in European countries and send their money back to build modern mansions. Castles of glass, steel, and concrete have started to engulf the rural landscape. In his long-term project "Pride and Concrete," Romanian photographer Petrut Calinescu documents transformations in Romania's rural communities.


Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Makeshift shelters on the outskirts of Paris, built by Romanian immigrants who have come to work. Some live in these settlements in Montmagny because they can’t afford to pay rent; others prefer to live here to save money.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

A Romanian worker sleeps on a RER regional commuter train that links the center and outskirts of Paris.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

A Romanian laborer uses a floor sanding machine in an apartment in Paris.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Romanian laborers Amoraritei Leonard (left) and Frandos Aurel take a break from renovating an apartment in central Paris. They are employed by a fellow Romanian migrant.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Lica Sas, from Certeze, a village in Romania, cleans the stairs of the building where she lives in Saint-Denis near Paris.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

A flock of sheep pass a newly built house in the village of Cajvana, Romania.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Balta Gheorghe is one of the few villagers from Moiseni who have stayed behind. He says jokingly, “My feet are my luxury car.” He makes his living working on haystacks.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

Vasile P. poses with his wife in front of his green sports car in Cajvana. "These are my achievements after eight years work in Italy—a house and a car."

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

A recently built house in the village of Racsa. In the past, most people from the village were animal breeders; now the younger generation has left and gone abroad to work.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

A road in the village of Cajvana lined with new houses built by people who have made their money abroad, mainly in construction.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS

An old-fashioned horse-drawn cart passes a white Ferrari parked in front of a new glass-fronted house on a street in Certeze. The owner of the car is a successful entrepreneur who lives in Paris and has come home to Romania for the holidays.

Photograph by Petrut Calinescu/PANOS