A Bohemian Artist Travels Across Europe By Trading His Photographs

FIVE countries. TWO months. ZERO money. Only photography.

Andrei Runcanu is a Romanian actor and photographer whose artworks focus mainly on portraiture, fashion and performances photography. After a single scroll on his website you realize his art’s no ordinary. Most of the portraits picture his scene fellows, actors with powerful inner passions and hyper-expressive faces. Maybe that’s one of the reasons his photography speaks so much to us.

Almost a month ago, Andrei decided to leave all that behind. At least temporary. He packed his camera, his vision, his bohemian dreams and he left home, trying to turn that adventure we all crave for into reality. “My Trade Trip” is the name of his ongoing project. Andrei Runcanu plans (and succeeds so far) to travel to Europe’s several countries without any money, but only by trading his beloved pictures.

'Alina's Place, Amsterdam', by Andrei Runcanu

‘Alina’s Place, Amsterdam’, by Andrei Runcanu

Here’s how it goes:

“My plan is to travel across Europe with ZERO money in my pocket and live just from trading photography services. I will be video & text documenting the entire trip, with the goal of finding out if it’s possible to live like in the old days, without the use of money. […]I will be taking organized and impromptu jobs without ever asking for money. I will only accept as pay a place to sleep, meals or transportation tickets.”

'Gina & Merel', by Andrei Runcanu

‘Gina & Merel’, by Andrei Runcanu

'Margot', by Andrei Runcanu

‘Margot’, by Andrei Runcanu

'Marthe', by Andrei Runcanu

‘Marthe’, by Andrei Runcanu

We don’t really know what’s behind the monitor, behind his gorgeous photo-series taken so far on the way, but Andrei’s plan seems to work. He already passed through countries like The Netherlands, Belgium and France, he visited cities like Amsterdam, Bruxelles or Paris, places where he met new people and immortalized them in his art. And all without money.

Andrei plans to visit also Spain and Italy, traveling through cities like Lyon, Barcelona or Milano by the end of August. “MY GOAL is to meet a lot of new people, take hundreds of photos from different environments and cultures and document the possibility of surviving in a world where you can live by trade”, he says. “The result will be a documentary and a gallery of all the photos I took along the way”.

'Rebecca & Marie', by Andrei Runcanu

‘Rebecca & Marie’, by Andrei Runcanu

'Serena', by Andrei Rucanu

‘Serena’, by Andrei Runcanu

'Marthe in the subway', by Andrei Rucanu

‘Marthe in the subway’, by Andrei Runcanu

'Marisa on The Rooftop', by Andrei Rucanu

‘Marisa on The Rooftop’, by Andrei Runcanu

There are ways you can support Andrei’s journey. You can hire him for a photoshoot and pay him by giving a place to stay or sleep, food or transportation tickets. You can also support by giving him a bed if you know he’s in your city, or if he isn’t, you can contact him and tell him to come by. He will reward you by taking your pictures and make you part of his documentary. Or you can share his story, like we just did. Details here.

Andrei, resting in Amsterdam

Andrei, resting in Amsterdam

If you want to be up-to-date with his journey, you can follow Andrei’s Instagram, Facebook page and read his trip’s journal here.

Good tailwind, Andrei!

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Romanian self-taught writer, based in Cyprus, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. Writing for almost a decade, he is agnostic, supports a censorship-free society and reads way less than he wants.

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