PART ONE — 1997

Shadows of a Revolution began late one evening in October of 1997. I was reading how the children of Romania had practically been abandoned by the State after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989.

Due to the collapse of the communist party, the social welfare system had all but been abolished instantaneously. Continuing to do further research it became apparent that although many years had passed, the circumstances of the children had all but remained constant. The idea of these children being displaced due to economic hardship and forced to leave their families was unbearable to imagine. They either had to struggle in their small villages, or make the dangerous migration to the capital city of Bucharest. Some of these children were placed into the sex trade while in transit, others as young as four years old hid secretly on trains with hope that the journey would bring them to the capital unharmed. Most families were directed to produce a minimum of five children over the course of a specified amount of time, otherwise they would be taxed heavily and their welfare stipends would be reduced to below poverty conditions. Due to the programs termination, many of these children were forced from their families.

During the course of the project I spent three weeks shadowing social workers while they fed children in the canals underneath the streets and visited group homes where survival was as difficult as it was on the street.