All images by Matt Bigwood. Used with permission.
Photographer Matt Bigwood is no stranger to the Phoblographer. We featured his very long pinhole photo project a while back; but today, he comes to our site showing off a documentary project that he’s been working on for many years. “When I began photographing there the attitude was more relaxed – Romania was not in the European Union and the head of the hospital realized that the pictures did more good than harm. Romania was still perceived as an under-developed former Eastern Bloc nation.” says Matt about the project. He continued to state that the overall mood of the patients there was also quite upbeat.
In 2014, the charity folded due to lack of funding. According to what Matt tells us, there is a perception by some people in the UK that since Romania joined the European Union, and border restrictions within the EU have been lifted that Britain is overcrowded with Romanians and other Eastern European workers who are having a negative effect on the UK economy.
“…and the knock-on effect was ‘why should I donate to a charity that helps in Romania?’.”
Matt started the project on the understanding that they could help fundraising for the hospital. “If a patient was reluctant to be photographed I would not take the picture. I joined the charity in 2000 and was a member until it folded and made a dozen or more trips there.”
The rest of Matt’s documentary photo story is after the jump.