The Village Genius: Astonishing Photos Of Soviet Life Found In An Abandoned House
In the spring of 2016, film student Victor Galusca was exploring a sleepy village in his native Moldova when the 23-year-old noticed some photographic negatives in the rubble of an abandoned house.
The discarded pictures were the life’s work of Zaharia Cusnir, an unknown amateur photographer who died in 1993.
The villager had struggled professionally under the communist regime and battled alcoholism, yet he left behind some of the most brilliant portraits of rural life ever captured on film.
For the past three years, with the permission of the photographer’s daughter, who dismissed her father’s work as “garbage,” Galusca and his photography teacher have been cleaning and scanning the stunning find, which they released on a website in January.
Galusca, who is a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Moldovan Service, agreed to share images here showing his discovery of one of the greatest chroniclers of life behind the Iron Curtain.