“I live in the northern area of Bucharest. Every day on my way to work I used to pass by a public transport ticket booth. Among the middle-aged vendors, I saw a young man working there, focused on his job, very quiet and seemingly out of place. During breaks between serving clients he was usually absorbed looking at a laptop screen next to the counter.

I saw the same young man on other occasions, while I was waiting for the bus. Again his attention was directed at his laptop, at what looked like an application code. He had the same preoccupied look on his face even when he was out of the ticket booth, smoking or giving directions to passengers. However, he would never forget to smile at the end of a conversation. I was intrigued by this man and I asked myself: why would a young man work in this type of job while being interested in programming languages and coding? What would make him choose this job? What would drive him to be able to do this?

About one month later, on a quiet afternoon, I was coming home from work and I needed to recharge my transport card. The same young man was there again, inside the ticket booth. I said: “Hello, my name is Cristian Bassa and I am a photographer. Would you be interested in being part of a photo project?”

He was surprised, and with other passengers queuing to buy tickets, there was no time to explain what I had in mind. We agreed to talk about it again, which we did, in snatched moments, over the succeeding two weeks.

My project is about young individuals making an honest living and striving to build a future for themselves in Romania, a European country still lagging behind in development since 1989, the year of democracy restoration, where the gap between the upper and lower classes is more visible every day. It is a country where society, schools, the media and the internet feed the notion that working should not be the first option for young people; where many are mesmerized by the possibility of becoming rich and famous quickly, without effort.

He liked my idea. Soon after this conversation I started taking the first photos for the project. This is a part of his story. His name is Alex.”

Photos, text, design: Cristian Bassa
Editors: Ana-Cristina Irian, Philip Charrier
Publishing house: Editura Omnia Photo, 2019
ISBN 978-606-94598-1-2

Size: 24cm x 20cm Softcover with flaps.
Color offset print on matte recycled paper.
56 pages (English text, 20 photos, plus something extra)
Print run: 100 books, first 50 books signed and numbered.

Copyright © 2019 Cristian Bassa All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.

30 eur or equivalent in ron – as donation towards research & print for the next project.
Shipping: book is shipped in cardboard envelope; preferred method of shipping is by courier, with tracking, for Romania; postal services for shipping outside Romania, no tracking possibility. Shipping cost not included. You specify how you want the book shipped.

For other information and inquiries, please email me at

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