Romanian gets Sony World Photography Award for pictures of prison matrimonial rooms

A Romanian photographer has landed the ‚Photographer of the year’ at the Sony World Photography Awards, the biggest photo competition in the world.

Romanian Cosmin Bumbuț won the award in the Professional segment of the  Architecture category, for stills of prison matrimonial rooms in 35 jailhouses across Romania. The jury selected Bumbuț’s photo series, called the ‚Private Room’, from over 87,000 participants from all over the world.

The professional Romanian photographer started his series of images from Romanian prisons in 2008. „The Sony World Photography prize is the most important I have won. I am glad the pictures in the ‚private room’ series received international recognition, especially since I’ve kept wondering, ever since 2008 when I started this series, how it would be received and understood. The private room is destined for love and tenderness, but at the same time it cancels the idea of intimacy,” said the Romanian photographer.

His pictures will be on display at the Sony World Photography Awards 2015 in London’s Somerset House and published in the competition catalogue.

American John Moore landed the grand prize for his work Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital. Moore is a Getty Images special correspondents and has worked in over 70 countries.

In Romania, married inmates can get private visits every three months. They are allowed two hours in the private room, together with their spouse. If a prisoner gets married while in jail, he is allowed 48 hours in the private room, plus a visit each month in the first year of marriage. All these visits happen in the jail’s private or matrimonial room.  Since 2008, Bumbut has photographed all the matrimonial rooms in Romania’s prisons.

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(photo source: Cosmin Bumbut,

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