This is a documentary project made in collaboration with film director Andreea Bortun about the lives of rural women from southern Romania who returned from working abroad. In interviews with these 20 women, one common dream stood out: they all wanted to return to the villages where they were born and build a house. To them, a house represents a safe and self-made space, where they can feel protected from the various abuses they have experienced in the past, especially in a context where their government fails to provide them with any real support.
One of the neighbours who helps out with household chores, particularly with chopping wood for the coming winter. Many of the women have to manage their households alone, so any help is welcome. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
One of the neighbours who helps out with household chores, particularly with chopping wood for the coming winter. Many of the women have to manage their households alone, so any help is welcome. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Mariana, 34. The photo was taken in what is left of their old house, out of which they had to move, because of its precarious state and risk of collapsing. Ocolna village, Dolj county
Mariana, 34. The photo was taken in what is left of their old house, out of which they had to move, because of its precarious state and risk of collapsing. Ocolna village, Dolj county
Mihaela's mother, looking after her daughter. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Mihaela's mother, looking after her daughter. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Gabriela, 37, and her two daughters. Gabriela met her husband during the years she spent working abroad. Amarasti commune, Dolj county.
Gabriela, 37, and her two daughters. Gabriela met her husband during the years she spent working abroad. Amarasti commune, Dolj county.
Mihaela, 26, and her daughter in their kitchen, making pancakes. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Mihaela, 26, and her daughter in their kitchen, making pancakes. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Irina’s mother-in-law and her niece, across the road from Irina’s household. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Irina’s mother-in-law and her niece, across the road from Irina’s household. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Taking a quick break from work in the backyard. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Taking a quick break from work in the backyard. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Irina, 25, with her youngest son. She came back from working in Spain, and is now waiting for her husband, who is still there, to return home, so they can continue building their house. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county
Irina, 25, with her youngest son. She came back from working in Spain, and is now waiting for her husband, who is still there, to return home, so they can continue building their house. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county
Irina’s nephew, in the improvised kitchen from their home, which is still under construction. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Irina’s nephew, in the improvised kitchen from their home, which is still under construction. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Liliana Raluca, 28, with her son. Behind them, beyond the bounds of their household, lies a vast and unpopulated territory that makes every attempt to go out at night dangerous, because of the stray dogs roaming nearby. Ocolna village, Dolj county
Liliana Raluca, 28, with her son. Behind them, beyond the bounds of their household, lies a vast and unpopulated territory that makes every attempt to go out at night dangerous, because of the stray dogs roaming nearby. Ocolna village, Dolj county
Nicoleta, 45. Her daughter was the victim of a local human trafficking network, and now has to stay with her aunt in a nearby village to take care of her disabled cousin. Nicoleta tends to the household together with her husband. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Nicoleta, 45. Her daughter was the victim of a local human trafficking network, and now has to stay with her aunt in a nearby village to take care of her disabled cousin. Nicoleta tends to the household together with her husband. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
One of Irina's children, in an improvised storage room.  Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
One of Irina's children, in an improvised storage room. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Ionela, 35. She has only been back home for three days, after having completed her third consecutive year of working in England. Aside from a few final details, their home is almost done. Varvor village, Dolj county.
Ionela, 35. She has only been back home for three days, after having completed her third consecutive year of working in England. Aside from a few final details, their home is almost done. Varvor village, Dolj county.
Liliana’s mother, resting on their porch. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
Liliana’s mother, resting on their porch. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
Kids playing in the alley in front of their home. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Kids playing in the alley in front of their home. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Part of Irina's family, posing for a group photo. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Part of Irina's family, posing for a group photo. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Elvira, 35, in her bedroom. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
Elvira, 35, in her bedroom. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
Irina, preparing the bucket for the children's bath time. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Irina, preparing the bucket for the children's bath time. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Mihaela's neighbour (left), mother (center) and brother (right) are taking a rest while she is making pancakes. Găujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Mihaela's neighbour (left), mother (center) and brother (right) are taking a rest while she is making pancakes. Găujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Bath time. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Bath time. Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
After „Gloria”, a big seed drill, gets over the cornfield, the children help picking up the remaining cobs, which they will later use to feed the farm animals. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
After „Gloria”, a big seed drill, gets over the cornfield, the children help picking up the remaining cobs, which they will later use to feed the farm animals. Gaujani commune, Giurgiu county.
Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Pietrisu village, Giurgiu county.
Liliana's mother, posing in their house's hallway. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
Liliana's mother, posing in their house's hallway. Ocolna village, Dolj county.
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