Down With Light

Manpreet Romana

Danish School of Media and Journalism

Gare De Nord, Bucharest, Romania, 2014: Deep below the center of the city of Bucharest, lies something more than brick and mortar. It simultaneously marks survival and death. Since Romania's communist reign dating back to 1966, individuals who endured the antiabortion mandate lead unique lives. In 1989, when communism fell, they retreated into the city's tunnels. Here, they make a living by trading scraps for basic amenities, provided by a man they call Bruce Lee. The tunnel is home to the children of a dark age. These children grew, and as parents, they bore another generation that lives and breathes in the same squalor. Hepatitis is rampant, unclean needles has led to the spread of HIV, and tuberculosis seems like a seasonal bug in comparison. They are the devil's rejects in such light, or the lack thereof. Within the tunnel's walls, they depend on substances to keep them going. They keep a sense of community alive despite all disparities. It is a family that I met, and yet, there is no saying how many members this family has or how long they will, or can, hold against the tide of changing time and their own demons.