This series of photographs and images are a visual story of the Romani I have known and their struggle to maintain Tradition in the face of Modernity and ongoing racism and persecution. HIghlighting children from California to the Camp lands of Italy and France, these images represent over twenty five years of our relationship. My intention has been to see beyond the stereotype of “Gypsy” which limits our understanding of the Roma.
A Romany child stands in front of the family’s makeshift home, which is an old, discarded factory (via Reuters.com)
Hungary’s Roma clash with far-right paramilitary group - video
In 2011, members of a uniformed and armed rightwing paramilitary group moved into Gyöngyöspata, a small Hungarian village, ostensibly as a ‘neighbourhood watch patrol’. The village’s 450 Roma claim the real motive was to terrorise and drive out their community. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union filmed the rise of the far-right Jobbik party, the group’s political wing (via guardian.co.uk)
Around 100 street beggars remain in Finland
Around 100 street beggars from Romania and Bulgaria have remained in Finland for the winter. They have found shelter in overcrowded one-room apartments and on the streets as no new camp has been constructed. The National Bureau of investigation says some of the Romania Roma may be here against their will. However, claims of human trafficking are not being followed up as the Roma remain tight lipped.
Those working among the Romanian roma say that most of them stay overnight in small apartments housing dozens of people. In Vantaa, one person has given shelter to around ten people.
Each of them presents harrowing tales of difficult and poor conditions back home, and of their poor state of health. Thanks to the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, they are able to receive medical attention. At a day centre in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki, the street beggars can wash, cook and rest.
All say they beg money to help their children back home. It has cost them between 150 and 300 euros to get to Finland, they claim.
According to the National Board of Investigation (NBI), over ten people were convicted in Romania for human trafficking last year. They had brought people to Finland and forced them to beg, play in the street, steal or work on building sites for low wages. The NBI took part in the investigations.
Since last summer, investigations have not continued. Romanian’s living in Helsinki say they have not heard of cases of human trafficking. (via YLE Uutiset)
March commemorates young Romany shot dead in Czech town
About 200 people attended today´s funeral of a young Romany man who was shot dead in Tanvald a week ago, and a following march in his commemoration, which ended without any incidents in the afternoon.
After a requiem mass in the local church, accompanied by strong emotions, the crowd followed the coffin on its way to the Tanvald cemetery, from which most participants set off for the place where the 22-year-old man died to observe a minute of silence and lit candles.
Police officers, including an anti-conflict team, monitored the funeral’s course.
They closed the place of the young man´s death during the commemorative event. That is why the site remained closed to a group of people who wanted to protest against the uproar following the Romany´s death.
“He was far from innocent, they [Romanies] must know that we will defend ourselves, we will not allow ourselves to be robbed and attacked easily. We have children and we are starting to fear letting them walk in the streets,” a man from the group of critics told CTK.
Tension between the majority population and Romanies, whose number has been rising, has escalated in Tanvald, a town with 7,000 inhabitants, recently. Romanies have moved there from elsewhere in the Czech Republic and also from Slovakia. (via ČeskéNoviny.cz)
Stop Gender inequality in Roma communities
Model the situation as it looks gender inequalities in marginalized Roma communities. The document consists of hexagonal scene, analysis expert on gender equality and slogans Roma celebrities.
produced by: Gipsy Television http://www.gipsytv.eu
The owners of a pub in Hojsova Straz, west Bohemia, have to apologise to a Romany man for having placed a baseball bat with the text Against Gypsies in the pub, the Prague High Court ruled yesterday.
The Romany man rightly considered the presence of the bat in the pub discriminatory and an attack on his ethnic group, the court said.
However, the court did not adjudge the financial compensation of 150,000 crowns to him that he had demanded.
The Romany man filed a lawsuit for the protection of the person, but lower instance courts rejected it, arguing that this was not any discrimination, a racist attack or harassment over ethnic group and the colour of skin. (via Prague Monitor)
Italian girl’s rape claim sparks arson attack on Gypsy camp
A 16-year-old Italian girl whose claim that she was raped by Gypsies prompted a furious mob to launch an arson attack on a Turin Roma camp has admitted to police that she invented her story.
Hundreds of residents of the deprived Turin suburb of Vallette took to the streets on Saturday to protest after the girl, who has not been named, claimed she had been dragged behind a building and raped by two Gypsy men.
A splinter group of around 50 residents then marched towards a nearby camp where they reportedly called for all women and children to leave before throwing firecrackers and setting fire to caravans, shacks and cars.
Police officers evacuated the camp moments before the group arrived and no injuries were reported, but fire crews were unable to prevent the camp being destroyed.
The girl’s brother, who initially backed her story, arrived with police as the flames grew to announce his sister had confessed to inventing the episode, but his appeal to call off the attack came too late.
Italian daily La Repubblica reported the girl had promised her family she would remain a virgin until she married and lied about the rape after sleeping with her boyfriend. (via guardian.co.uk)
Confronting Hate Crimes Against Roma
http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/discrimination/pages.aspx?id=85 - From 2004 until 2009, Viktória Mohácsi was a member of the European Parliament— one of only two Euro-parliamentarians of Roma origin in a region with as many as 12 million Roma people. Mohácsi lost her seat against a backdrop of rising xenophobia, anti-Roma rhetoric, and antisemitism.
Mohácsi founded Desegregation, an organization in Hungary that monitors and records hate crimes against Roma and presses for stronger government responses to the rising tide of violence there. Mohácsi advocates respect for the human rights of Roma people throughout Europe and, despite death threats against her and her family, has devoted herself to ending the extreme violence, widespread discrimination, hate-filled popular rhetoric, and massive unemployment facing this increasingly vulnerable and marginalized European population.