Social Documentary Photography – The Romani People In Beja, Portugal

A little girl plays while her brother and fahter take care of the family horse.

 

Editorial and Documentary Photographer Ricardo R Silva is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Embracing Roma‘. To see Ricardo’s stories and gallery of photographs click on any image.

 

Father. Mother and children. They all share a house with two bedrooms and a single bathroom.

Father, mother and children. They all share a house with two bedrooms and a single bathroom.

 

Inside the tent where he lives with his wife and child. No doors, no bathroom.

Inside the tent where he lives with his wife and child. No doors, no bathroom.

 

A couple with their newborn baby and their niece. the hole in the ceiling leaks water into the kitchen.

A couple with their newborn baby and their niece. the hole in the ceiling leaks water into the kitchen.

 

For centuries, Gypsy communities have been a part of the European territory. However they are still the most discriminated minority in Europe.
Portugal is no exception and throughout the country walls separate the Gypsy population from the non-Gypsy.
With a strong sense of Pride and Tradition, the Romani people is far from real integration.
The construction of social housing away from city centers has contributed to the rise of ghettos. The attribution of the Social Inclusion Income to many Gypsy families in addition to the usual preconception that Gypsies steal, smuggle and evade taxes has grown a feeling of discontent within the communities that has lead them to further close in on themselves.

 

Inside a family home. A total of six people live in this house.

Inside a family home. A total of six people live in this house.

 

A couple in the room they share with their newborn baby.

A couple in the room they share with their newborn baby.

 

Two boys play outside in the fields while a man aproaches to invite me into his tent.

Two boys play outside in the fields while a man approaches to invite me into his tent.

 

During the relocation, of Bairro da Esperança (Neighborhood of the Quarries) into Bairro das Pedreiras (Neighborhood of Rocks) in 2006, a 3 meter high wall was built to “protect” the Gypsy population. The population felt ostracized and with less quality of life. Despite having electricity and running water, their homes were placed 3 kilometers away from the city, without access to public transport or infrastructures.
After a complaint was filled on April 2010 by the ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) the European Comity ruled, in 2011, in favour of the ERRC: “Gypsy communities live in precarious conditions and the alternatives presented by government authorities have not been adequate.” For more on this case click here .

 

Members of the community stand behind the wall that was put up to isolate them from the city

Members of the community stand behind the wall that was put up to isolate them from the city.

 

At the entracne gate of Bairro das Pedreiras

At the entrance gate of Bairro das Pedreiras

 

Women standing outside.

Women standing outside.

 

Kids hang around outside with nothing to do.

Kids hang around outside with nothing to do.

 

Kids hang around outside with nothing to do.

Kids hang around outside with nothing to do.

 

Since the wall has been lowered to 1 meter.

 

A lone child stand in between the two parts of the wall. on the right the first version with 3 meters hight and on the left the 1.5 meters reduced version.

A lone child stand in between the two parts of the wall. on the right the first version with 3 meters high and on the left the 1.5 meters reduced version.

 

On assignment for Amnesty International we tried to access the situation.

For more on this subject click here.

 

See also:

Fisherman

Tua

By Ricardo R Silva

 

 

 


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