Ileana and Valerica, Village Sarbi, Maramures, Romania

PhotographerKathleen Laraia McLaughlin
PrizePortraiture / Culture
Entry Description

The village Sarbi is located in the Casau Valley, in northern Romania, in the Maramures region - the last bastion of Occidental peasantry. I met most of these girls in 1999 when I lived in their village for a year of days. I made images of their parents and grandparents, knowing their life style would rapidly change. At that time, I didnít spend a lot of time with the youth because I was very interested in the older generation and the stories they shared. Image Caption: Ileana and Valerica, born 1999. They attend the High Technology High School in Ocna Sugatag. Valerica wants to become an office assistant and Ileana wants to be a waitress. They have no plans to attend university and plan to get married and live in Sarbi.

About Photographer

Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin is a mother, photographer, and educator with an appetite for exploring the world. Wherever she goes, she brings a compassionate and curious lens backed by traditional film. For her efforts at capturing a disappearing world, she has received a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, an IREX IARO Grant (National Endowment for the Humanities), and a Houston Center for Photography Fellowship for her work in Romania. Her images have appeared in PDN, LensWork, Rangefinder, B&W Magazine, Black + WhitePhotography (UK), and The Times Saturday Magazine (UK). Her photographs have been exhibited both nationally and internationally and are in the permanent collections at the Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego, Western Virginia Museum of Art, and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. The Color of Hay: The Peasants of Maramures is KathleenâÄôs first monograph of photographs. This book was released in March, 2011. ( Kathleen received her MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently is Adjunct Faculty at Loyola Marymount University and at the Academy of Art University San Francisco (online). Kathleen has been an active member of the Society for Photographic Education and was on the West regional board for four years. You can find more about her photography at