Roma Community in Kiskoros
My grandmother lived in Kiskoros, Hungary a small town of 15,000 population. While visiting her I met people from a small Roma community that lived there. I first met the children and they took me to meet their parents in their houses. The living conditions were dismal and it showed clearly how marginalized their lives were. Being a Social Worker, and having worked with marginalized communities,I was very interested in their plight and wanted to document their lives. I admire the strength of will of the Roma people to survive despite all the discrimination they have experienced since they left India, hundreds of years ago.There are about 10 million Roma people living in Europe in many countries with the largest communities in Rumania and Spain. The Roma people were also victims of the Holocaust during WWII, but after the war both the European countries and the Iron Curtain counties denied the Roma survivors any recognition or aid. The recent admission of Eastern European countries to the European Community have not made any difference in their history of discrimination. While discrimination against Roma is widespread throughout Europe, In Hungary it has worsened. Both people and government have become hostile and violent to the Roma’s and other minorities. During the Communist era they also lived marginalized lives but they were not officially persecuted. Recent violence in Hungary included the murder of 2 men and 2 children, where the government ignored the crime and blamed the Roma “customs” for it. To really address the Roma situation would require an extensive article and research. Here I am just trying to give some information as to why I was interested in photographing them in this small community. When I photographed this extended Roma family, I wanted to show the dignity and substance in their daily lives. I wanted to celebrate their courage, trust and kindness towards me when they allowed me to photograph them.