PetaPixel

‘People of the Pit’ Captures a Disappearing Community on the Outskirts of Bucharest

Andreea, although shy, is always on the lookout for a nice pose.  August 2013.

Andreea, although shy, is always on the lookout for a nice pose. August 2013.

Dubbed The Last People of the Pit, this documentary photography series by photographer Sorin Vidis attempts to preserve in images what remains of a community that has made its home in an urban oasis on the outskirts of Bucharest.

Shaped by political upheaval and abandoned construction, this location was once home to a monastery complete with a district of houses and beautiful gardens. That all changed in the 1980s when the Ceausescu regime decided that the area would instead become the location of a manmade lake.

The project, however, never ended up making it past the initial stages, leaving in its wake an urban oasis fed by the natural, underground springs where many individuals and families who are struggling financially have made their home.

It is this community that Vidis has captured on film:

After a twin family shack got demolished due to a quarrel, the kids are dusting the sheets from their provisional tent. May 2013.

After a twin family shack got demolished due to a quarrel, the kids are dusting the sheets from their provisional tent. May 2013.

Gica, a hero for the pit community after an unfortunate fire on Christmas morning. January 2014.

Gica, a hero for the pit community after an unfortunate fire on Christmas morning. January 2014.

Sandu is looking for another place to live in.  January 2014.

Sandu is looking for another place to live in. January 2014.

Cristina is playing with a cart on a hot summer day. August 2013.

Cristina is playing with a cart on a hot summer day. August 2013.

During warm days, life unfolds mainly outside. Most of the kids are born in the pit and none of them attend any form of education. May 2013.

During warm days, life unfolds mainly outside. Most of the kids are born in the pit and none of them attend any form of education. May 2013.

First contact. April 2013.

First contact. April 2013.

Gica is raising pigeons inside his shack that are also pets for his kids. June 2013.

Gica is raising pigeons inside his shack that are also pets for his kids. June 2013.

Aise with her two daughters. December 2013.

Aise with her two daughters. December 2013.

There is still interest in being beautiful even inside the pit. July 2013.

There is still interest in being beautiful even inside the pit. July 2013.

Thankfully there is no snow yet – it looks to be a long autumn. December 2013.

Thankfully there is no snow yet – it looks to be a long autumn. December 2013.

The barrels used for heating are being burned in order to clean up the existing paint. November 2013.

The barrels used for heating are being burned in order to clean up the existing paint. November 2013.

Vasi is planning to leave the pit in the near future with his whole family. January 2014.

Vasi is planning to leave the pit in the near future with his whole family. January 2014.

Separated from the more scenic areas of Bucharest, this psuedo-outcast location is full of make-shift huts and neighborhoods pieced together by impoverished families and friends. But as the younger generation leaves in search of better opportunities and a better life, they leave a rather unique subculture — both literally and metaphorically — written in the dust.

People of the Pit is, therefore, a chronicle of a community that probably won’t survive too much longer. Thanks in part to Vidis’ photography, this sub-culture that may have disappeared without a trace is able to live on in photos.

Head over to Vidis’ website to learn more and/or keep up with his current and future projects.

(via Feature Shoot)


Image credits: Photographs by Sorin Vidis and used with permission