Mugur Varzariu // Roma People

With a very successful career in strategic marketing and brand management, working for some of the most important companies in Romania, in 2010 Mugur decided it was time for a change in order to find more than just professional accomplishments.

He chose photography and due to his ambition and dedication in less than a year his work has been internationally recognized and he became a stringer for some of the most important press agencies (Associated Press, Mediafax and Getty Images).

Photography became a new means of expressing his social artistry. Therefore in his projects he approached some of the intriguing aspects of living in today’s Romania, in an attempt to raise awareness and increase social responsibility among institutions and individuals. He believes that we are way beyond the point where a true documentary photographer simply just shows us the reality as they see it. While being objective, he believes that photographers should continue their work and attempt to help way pass their assignments. And that is because they have or should have a better understanding of the situation than anybody else.

He is especially attached to the Roma people’s cause and he hopes that one day, his work, from images to public speeches and presentations will help end the plight of the Roma people. UNHCR, UNICEF (Romania and Switzerland), Open Society and Amnesty International already used and commissioned his work on Roma people.

He did two stories for Le Monde des Religions (part of Le Monde Group) – 2010 and 2011. In April 2012 he had an assignment for WIRED Magazine in Glasgow, Scotland. In May 2013 he had an assignment for Beobachter Magazine.

Mugur’s images have been published by Le Monde, The Economist, The New York Times, Welt, Los Angeles Times, 6 Mois, Beobachter, Marianne. He exhibited for UNHCR, marking the WRD and the 60th Anniversary of UNHCR and his work on recent uprising events in Syria was screened at Visa Pour l’Image 2011. His photo-essay on the plight of Roma people in Romania was screened at Visa Pour l’Image in 2012.

Even though he only started as a photographer in 2010, he won the iReport CNN award 2010, he had his images selected among Daphne Angles (2010), Alexia Singh, Renata Ferri and Paul Romer (2011) personal choice at CPN (Canon Professional Network).

On December 20, 2011, he received a ‘Honorable Mentions’ distinction – UNICEF ‘Photo of the Year’ 2011.

He is the only Romanian photographer selected to be part of Canon Ambassadors Program as an Explorer.

Invited in 2012 by American and the Dutch Embassies to discus about the plight of the Roma community in Baia Mare. Invited in 2013 by World Bank to discuss about living conditions among vulnerable groups with focus on Roma people.

A newcomer to the ever growing numbers of photojournalists, Mugur has made himself known very rapidly, covering a variety of subjects in different countries for extended periods of time. He produced a large body of work over a very short time span. He has all the resources required to be a recognized member of the present time photojournalism community, as well as the drive to invest every effort in this endeavor. With good light inside the soul and outside in his photographs, Mugur, as a true advocate of change, hopes his images will highlight important human issues and persuade the viewers to step in and offer practical help to those in need.

To Mugur, and hopefully for all photographers, making a practical difference for the better for those in need through his pictures is the main target, the highest and only truly meaningful reward for his work.

“We claim we want to help when all we do is to run from one story to another…I say, let’s be redundant for a while and stay on the stories next to us until we really start seeing improvements. There are many stories that need our long term commitment. I choose to tell the story of the Roma people for it’s a story more relevant today in Europe than it ever was. Respecting the rights of the Roma people is something each of us can help others do. It’s not easy and it involves Romanians and Europeans alike”. – Mugur Varzariu



Mugur Varzariu, rumano de 44 años, no sabía manejar una cámara de fotos hasta hace cuatro. Hasta entonces, era estratega de marketing en grandes empresas y lo cierto es que no pierde ocasión de ‘vender’ su trabajo. La imagen es para él un “altavoz” con el que denunciar problemas sociales. Y no descarta usar otros, como la política. En sus primeros trabajos recorrió el mundo en busca de conflictos, como el de Siria, pero pronto se dio cuenta de que no tenía que salir de las fronteras de su país para encontrar injusticias. Las medidas que el por entonces presidente francés, Nicolas Sarkozy, tomó para deportar a los gitanos rumanos, le hicieron ver un conflicto del que, según él, nadie se estaba encargando. Ahora dedica prácticamente todo su tiempo a ellos: a denunciar los abusos que padecen y a hacer activismo para evitarlas. Varzariu hace aquí un repaso por algunas de las instantáneas más significativas de su todavía corta carrera como reportero.



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