The Transformation of a Post-Communist Country Documented in Haunting Photos


Almost 25 years later, the country of Romania is still in the midst of a difficult transformation from one of the region’s hardest dictatorships to a modern European nation. A transformation that photographer Tamas Dezso masterfully captures in his series Notes for an Epilogue.

The series is a striking example of documentary photography that goes beyond the typical boundaries of the designation. This is “a world irreversibly decaying,” as Dezso puts it — where an entire culture and tradition is beginning to slowly disappear. And Dezso hopes to immortalize it before it goes away for good.

“Symbolic buildings and former factories are disappearing and villages are becoming deserted at an incredible speed, which urges their documentation,” Dezso tells Wired. “My aim with this series is to render a world which may disappear forever imperceptibly and very rapidly due to the transitional nature of the era.”















The images, as you can see, are an interesting mix of documentary photography and art. He didn’t just want to go out and take photos of crumbling buildings, he wanted to develop a relationship with his subject and covey more than a documentary style project could show.

“The works I feel to be authentic and inspiring are those which involve thorough absorption,” he explained to Wired. “[They] have a personal bond in the background, and are able to endow unique, non-recurrent stories with a universal meaning.”

That, in the end, is the standard he hopes this series — and another of his projects, Here, Anywhere, which illustrates a similar transition taking place in Hungary — ultimately lives up to.

To see more of Dezso’s work, head over to his website or follow him on Facebook by following the corresponding links.

(via Wired)

Image credits: Photographs by Tamas Dezso and used with permission

  • bob cooley

    Stunning images.

  • Zachary Larsen

    I wish the photographer would go a bit (lot) easier in post processing. I am getting tired of the over-sharpened, clarity slidered, movie poster look. Especially when the photographer is as obviously talented at making fundamentally strong images as this guy is.

  • Ignatius

    I agree nowadays photos are just too post processed but in the end it’s part of an “aesthetic movement”… the “movie poster look” if you like.

    But, as you said, the images works very well ‘cos they say what the photographer intended.

  • darylcheshire

    bet they’ll get high speed rail before Victoria, Australia

  • dpp

    first pic is like yuck 1000% clarity, but rest of pic are very very nice.

  • flightofbooks

    certainly before most of the United States

  • Coffeeman112

    We do have 1000Mbs Internet speed at our doors. And almost 90% of the country has FO with crazy speeds and low prices. Too bad we are run by corrupt douchebags and always our worst parts come out…

  • Zos Xavius

    that was kind of my thought as well. these are powerful either way regardless of choice in processing.

  • Christophor Rick

    I don’t really see them telling any story of change, or what was in the intro paragraph. Having been there, and living in Europe, there are ample signs of change. This talked about “transformation” and yet, none of it shows any modernization at all…so where’s the transformation? And I agree, I too am overly tired of the HDR effect and the post processing. As if they don’t know how to take quality colored pictures without it. It’s a crutch these days. Half the photos look fake to me.

  • Alessandro Aimonetto

    Want a real point of paragon? Come in Italy, where we haven’t high speed connection nor a funcional train route sistem. And talking about corruption…well…

  • Bianca Negrea

    oh yes … another set of images from the poorest places in the country … places we have abandoned … change you will see in university cities … in cities where you can find smart and creative young people … not forgotten places of the world

  • flightofbooks

    If you actually had bothered to go to the photographer’s website and read their statement, you would understand that the images don’t represent change by depicting the kind of “transformation” you’re suggesting they should represent, but are images of things that are disappearing. Certainly destruction and loss are quite ably represented in these images, which in turn implies transformation. Transformation is thus intimated rather than shown, which is a refreshing approach in a world full of dead-stupid literal representational photography.

  • flightofbooks

    Also the affect in these photographs does not appear to be HDR.

  • flightofbooks

    abandonment is change. you have a very limited idea of what change is. ironically, it’s seems clear that Tamas Dezso is attempting to address that very ideology which conflates change with “economic development” and “progress” in these images.

  • araczynski

    i’ll take 1000% reality over artsy fartsy crap any day.

  • z

    Come on don’t be so critical. I live in Norway, world’s richest country, yet the average train speed here is 70km/h

  • Bianca Negrea

    there is a difference between understanding what was meant to convey … but still disagree … do not judge the way I think because I do not judge yours … have a good day

  • flightofbooks

    If you understood what the photographer was saying then why make that ridiculous comment about how he should look at the “university cities” to see change?

    And if you don’t want the way you think judged, you should try keeping your thoughts to yourself. You seem to have no problem judging the way Tamas Dezso thinks about his subject choices, so why should you not receive the same favor?

  • Gabriel

    He almost handpicked the most desolate industrial places in the country. I’m not sure the images back the reality here or the story he wants to document but I can see them a part of a more elaborate album. Some of those places have been left to rust long time ago so it’s sort of an old news. I bet there are at least a hand full of essays done about 20 years ago about the old decaying industry. Again, we should judge this as it is, a work in progress of a huge theme (that I’m almost sure he will not end soon, if ever).

  • MEEfO

    Great series. The sheep photo looks heavily shopped. Better treatment in post is required. Overall, well done. Quite evocative.

  • Reagan D Pufall

    They had these up in a gallery here in San Francisco a few months back. There’s a lot lost in the digital presentation of these images. Although there as the feeling of HDR in a few of them that isn’t as strong here.

  • Lois Bryan

    I think his work is absolutely magnificent .. haunting .. it has great, great heart, as must he.