European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Petrut Calinescu

Petrut Calinescu

Petrut Calinescu


Petrut Calinescu is a freelance photographer based in Bucharest, Romania and member of Panos Pictures network.

Calinescu mainly works for Western media or NGOs while trying as much as he can to develop personal projects. His latest completed one, Pride and Concrete started in 2010 with the support of the World Press Photo Foundation and Robert Bosch. After four years of documentation and various small grants it came to an end, with a printed book, website and a travelling photo exhibition. It was shown as solo exhibition in Bucharest, Cluj, Negresti (heart of the documented community), Berlin, London and many other places as a group exhibition.

The Black Sea project, started more seriously in 2010 is still ongoing. Calinescu is travelling around the Black Sea alone or with friends from, they keep adding new stories mainly about the mass tourism and its effects.

Portfolio The Black Sea ( 2010- 2014, Black Sea Countries)

The Black Sea - mysterious, menacing and mythical - is at the heart of centuries of warfare, turmoil and historical drama. A mixture of totalitarian regimes and young democracies, a melting pot of ethnic minorities, the Black Sea region is a point of convergence for three very different civilisations: European, Asian and Middle Eastern. Regardless of their nationality or social status, almost all the Black Sea people work for entire years with one dream in their minds: to spend a week at its shores. Its waters, shores and inlands suffered massive transformations as all the surrounding countries tried to tame it, to reshape it, to reinforce or to extract its resources.
Besides my solo journey along it's shores, in 2010 I teamed up with a friend and journalist Stefan Candea to circumvent the sea and explore the multitude of cultures and landscapes around it. Our journey took us through Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Along their way, we passed through a multitude of autonomous republics, some internationally recognized, others stuck in diplomatic limbo: North Karabakh, Abkhazia, Adygea, and Transdnister

Portfolio Pride and Concrete (Romania, France, 2010- 2013)

Pride and Concrete is a project about the recent transformations occurring in rural communities, especially around Tara Oasului and Maramures in Northern Transylvania, Romania, following decades of migration abroad for work.
One in six Romanians lives and works abroad. Most of the migrants come from rural areas and the money sent back home has irreversibly transformed their native villages. Unlike in the city, where economic competition is a more subtle affair, in the villages’ changes are highly visible and the main street acts as an open stage for ostentatious display.

Book, short film and website can be seen at

Portfolio The Danube Delta (Romania 2004 - 2008)

At the end of its nearly 2,900 km course, the Danube, Europe's longest river, spreads out into countless tentacles over a huge, watery plain along the border between Romania and Ukraine. The Danube Delta, Europe's second largest after the great Volga Delta on the Caspian coast, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991 and has remained relatively pristine, largely due to its relative isolation from major urban centers and a very thinly spread population of around 20,000.

The Delta's population, which has risen very slowly to its present number from around 12,000 in the 1890s, is a mix of Romanians, Ukrainians, Turks and Bulgarians with smaller entities of Greeks and Lipovians, a group of Russian Old Believers who fled religious persecution in the 18th century and settled here. The main activity fishing, is in decline today. Many of the fishermen left abroad in search of work, while rich people are trying now to buy their land for holiday houses.



Calinescu's reportages have been published by: Sunday Times Magazine, Business Week, The New Statesman, 6 Mois, New York Times, Vice international, As Magazine, Esquire, & The Southern Weekly Metropolis.


Paraty em Foco Photo Festival, Brazil
Romanian Cultural Center, London, UK
Premarts Gallery, Berlin, Germany
International Festival of Literature, Prague, Czech Republic
Biennial of Design, Portugal

Additional information: 

Calinescu's project focusing on the Black Sea was recently feautured on the New York Times Lens Blog.