Petrut Calinescu

Bucharest, Romania


Romanian, 1976

Petrut is a documentary photographer and videographer based in Bucharest. After doing a Bachelor in Journalism and Media, he worked as a photographer for the main newspaper in Bucharest before quitting to concentrate more on personal projects.

The first major project - 'Pride and Concrete' - which looks at the displays of newly gained wealth amongst migrant workers who have returned to their rural communities, involved four years of photographing and filming in Romania and Paris. With the help of the World Press and Robert Bosch Foundations, Petrut produced a photo story, a short film, a book, a website and a travelling exhibition that was featured in Bucharest, Negresti (in the middle of the documented community), Berlin and London.

His second long-term project - 'Black Sea' - has taken him to countries all around the sea and been partially financed with a grant from the German Martial Fund. Having grown up in Constanta, on the shores of the sea, Petrut has a fascination with the strange mix of holiday making and localised tensions and conflicts that have punctuated the past couple of decades in the region. 'Black Sea' is an ongoing project and Petrut continues to travel when ever possible. A selection of images is viewable at

Petrut's work has been published in magazines and newspapers around the world - from the Sunday Times Magazine and Businessweek to the New York Times, VICE and Esquire. He has also worked for corporate clients such as Orange, Wella International, Ericsson, Renault and Discovery Channel.

Petrut has won a number of awards, including a documentary award at the Humanity Photo Awards in China, supported by UNESCO and an Honourable Mention at the China International Press Photo award (CHIPP) in 2015.

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Click here for a brief overview of Petrut Calinescu's work.

Romania’s economy is the fastest growing in the EU and a haphazardly regulated building boom on the outskirts of the capital Bucharest is creating luxury developments next to poor, working class districts.

The Black Sea – mysterious, menacing and mythical – is at the heart of centuries of warfare, turmoil and historical drama.

Through images and stories from 20 countries, across every continent, a collaboration between Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and Panos Pictures shows the importance of adequate sanitation for women and girls.

Hovering over the polluted waters of Lagos Lagoon on hundreds of thousands of stilts, Makoko is a huge informal settlement in the centre of Africa’s busiest and most rapidly developing city.

Isolated from the earth’s major seas and surrounded by fertile and sparsely populated lands rich in resources, the Black Sea has fascinated and enticed travellers, adventurers and conquerors for millennia~~ It is enshrined in mythology in the story of Jason and the Argonauts and their search for the golden fleece and merges into Judeo-Christian tradition with Noah’s Arc.

The Danube Delta, Europe’s most pristine river delta, is a 5000 sq km expanse of low-lying wetland that has remained relatively untouched and sparsely populated, despite lying along the faultline where empires have repeatedly clashed over centuries.

Largely spared the drive for collectivisation during communism and culturally vibrant through the ages, Transylvania still looks and feels like something out of a bygone era.

Over the past 20 years, many of Romania’s migrant labourers have done well for themselves in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Since its effective cessession from Georgia in 2008, Abkhazia has become a favourite holiday destination for budget-conscious Russians and visitors from other former Soviet republics.