Documentaria is a collective of five Romanian independent photojournalists. Our mission is to use documentary photography to provide an in-depth look into today’s Romania, using different approaches to tackle social issues and highlight untold stories.

Documentaria was founded in December 2016. It aims to promote documentary photography and use visual storytelling to document daily life in Romania.

Our work has been published by both international and local media outlets, such as Agence France-Presse, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Associated Press, BBC, Der Spiegel, ESPN, Al Jazeera English, Huffington Post, Libération, National Geographic, DOR, Vice, Scena9, Libertatea, Inclusiv.

We also worked with several NGO’s: Fundația Comunitară București, United Way, SOS Satele Copiilor, Save the Children, World Vision, Asociația pentru Relații Comunitare, Funky Citizens, Motivation Romania, Ashoka Romania.

Documentaria has published two books and has showcased its work in various exhibitions in Romania and abroad.

Our current project, “Life during the pandemic”, documents the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the life of ordinary people. In June 2020, Documentaria received a EUR 5,000 grant from the European Journalism CenterWe used the funding to produce seven new photo stories, covering various topics (culture, tourism, education, politics, volunteering and civic action), in different regions of Romania (The Black Sea, Târgu Mureș, Iași, Bucharest, Cluj Napoca). With help from DOR, we are about to launch, end of November, a new website: Viața în pandemie (Life during the pandemic). Introducing the stories we photographed this year, it will represent a visual archive of how we lived and how we helped during the COVID-19 crisis in Romania.

Looking back, our first collaborative project started in 2017 together with the European Commission. We have published more than 30 articles on the recommendations made by the EC to Romania that year, covering social, economic, public health and infrastructure topics.

That yearDocumentaria also worked together with ARC (Asociația pentru Relații Comunitare) to document eight projects, covering community development, culture, architecture, working with people with disabilities and the elderly, as well as with children with autism.

Our photojournalists were on the ground, documenting the massive protests taking place in Romania in 2017. We worked together with Funky Citizens to publish a premium documentary photo book, “PROTEST. A visual history of protests in Romania, between 2007 and 2017.” 40 photographers, a sociologist (Dani Sandu) and journalists contributed to this bilingual book. Photos from the book have been exhibited in Bucharest, Cluj, Berlin and in the European Parliament building in Brussels.

A second Documentaria book, We are INVICTUS, by Ioana Moldovan, has been published later that year, sharing a look at the sweat and tears of Romanian wounded soldiers, that went into preparing for and then competing in the Invictus Games.

In 2018 and 2019, Documentaria continued its collaborations, this time with: FCB (Fundația Comunitară București) - to visually document five environmental projectsFondul pentru Democrație, Motivation Romania - on the daily life of disabled people, Libertatea - for the Popes visit to Romania, and with DOR/Ashoka Romania - on Energy Poverty in Romaniaheart surgeries performed by doctors for free in Sibiu and informal education in one of the Roma communities in Baia Mare. We also got funding from AFCN (Asociația Fondului Cultural Național).

Our team’s main focus is long-term documentary photography projects. With help from readers’ donations and fundraising events such as Superscrieri or Cercul Donatorilor Helsinki, we carried on documenting:

  • Amongst the Few, by Ioana Moldovan, about the everyday life of minorities in Romania;
  • They were young, too, by Andrei Pungovschi, about the relationship with our parents and how it influenced our lives
  • Pirita, by Mircea Reștea, about the discriminated community of Roma people in Baia Mare;
  • Romanian health system, by Ioana Moldovan;

Documentaria team: Ioana Moldovan, Andrei Pungovschi, Adrian Câtu, Mircea Reștea and Bogdan Dincă.

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