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Romania, The kids on the pavement (1991-1992)

Even in the cruelest moments of their lives, the kids on the pavement remain children. Mocking in their rags, with an empty stomach but a humorous mind, they know how to seize every minute of joy. Among these disadvantaged people, abandoned by their families, reduced to begging, odd jobs and robbery, victims of drugs, hunted down by the police, placed in detention center, the vital momentum is still reappearing.
Heirs of Ceausescu's madness, witnesses to Romania's material and moral misery, street children are looking for the future.

"For the kids on the pavement, the journey ends in a deadlock. Life outside is rough. Many people have gotten lost in drugs. With few exceptions, they find themselves with no future other than bumming or prison. However, adapted to their territory, they skillfully flirt with the cold and hunger. They know how to organize themselves on the margins of society, make tacit compromises with the police, find small jobs.

The following photos simply draw a few portraits, indicate the routes that lead to the street, describe the ordinary and extraordinary life of these kids. It deals with fights and raids, escapes, illegal trains, lice and arrests, colonization of the Bucharest sewers, begging and prostitution, friendships and betrayals, cold and theft. But also work and laughter, impossible projects, grief and nostalgia. And, above all, as a watermark, it speaks of absence: absence of parents, tenderness, warmth. Cuddly or brutal, bragging or plaintive, intelligent or almost stupid, they each carry, in their own way, the primitive wound of abandonment.

From the text by Grard Milhs published in the book "les gamins du pav"

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