• Ruth Towell

Diving into the Archive: Two boys from Timiș County.

'Diving into the Archive' is a blog series where I pull out photos which may have been forgotten or slipped into the dusty back-room of my hard drive, and reflect on the story behind it.

It was 2014 and I'd just jumped on a plane on my own for the first time, heading over to Romania where I'd decided to spend 10 days living in and photographing life in a care home (Rivers of Life). The home was based in a small, rural, village within Timiș County, to the west of the country. There was one bumpy tarmacked road through the village, with simple dirt tracks connecting the rest of the community.

Whilst the main purpose of the care home was to look after those who were staying there, they were fully integrated into the community - caring deeply for everyone who lived in the village. On my first evening there I was invited to join one of the staff in taking donated frozen pizzas to a few households who were particularly vulnerable. After we left one of the homes, I was greeted by these two boys, chatting away in Romanian and cheekily laughing together, they asked me to photograph them. After pulling a few different poses, they reviewed them on the back of my camera before running back off down the dirt track laughing away as they went.

I smile whenever I look back at this photograph, remembering the joyful fun of this brief encounter and thinking about all the other times that my camera has enabled similar interactions which have bridged a language barrier creating an opportunity for a fun wordless encounter.

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© 2020 Ruth Towell