Elisabeth Blanchet: Ceausescu’s orphans
Elisabeth Blanchet is a free lance photographer working frequently for “Time Out London”. In 1989, after the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolas Ceausescu, she took pictures of thousands of abandoned Romanian children, hidden throughout the country in ruined institutions: hospitals, asylums, and orphanages. Unbearable pictures of children often abused or sick, attached to the bars of the beds where they slept.
For “Action Orphans” that she founded with the help of a few friends, between 1993 and 2000, the photographer regularly returned to the Popricani orphanage in the north-east where she befriended several of these orphans.
In 2006, Romania entered the European Union ,giving her the oportunity to look again at the reportages she made during the ‘90’s. This led her to wonder at what might have happened to the children she once photographed. She returned to Romania to try and find them. Thanks to a Romanian friend, she found 30 orphans in their new lives. That is what this series shows, the black and white pictures taken in the ‘90’s, and those taken today. We can see that Radu was successful. After studying at a veterinary school, and having worked in England harvesting fruits for several summers, he hopes to emigrate. Liliana, who now has three children, lives with her husband in the village of the orphanage. Others are less fortunate. B. who was a victim of sexual trafficking in Italy, was rescued and has returned to the village. Adriana has become a single mother begging in the streets of Lasi. Carmen died several years earlier, after having fallen ill and been taken to the hospital.
The orphans of Ceausescu, 20 years later
Photographs by Elisabeth Blanchet
Until May 31, 2012
Rue de l'exposition Gallery
1, rue de l'exposition