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SDN Crisis & Opportunity Exhibit on Display in Chicago
Crisis & Opportunity: Documenting the
Global Recession at Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University,
18 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Tomasz Tomaszewski
Photograph by Tomasz Tomaszewski
Produced by SocialDocumentary.net in 2010, this show features the work of four photographers who are the winners of a call for entries on the global recession that SDN announced in September 2009.

Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict

Thursday, October 7, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-0008

Lori Grinker
Photo by Lori Grinker
Over the course of her 15-year project called Afterwar, documentary photojournalist Lori Grinker has traveled to thirty countries to investigate the after effects of conflicts spanning the past hundred years--from World War I to the war in Iraq. More>>

Call for Proposals: Production Grant for Photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project and Arts and Culture Program announce a grant and training opportunity for documentary photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. More>>

Spotlight on Roma
October 1, 2010

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Photograph by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
In this issue, SocialDocumentary.net presents a collection of online exhibits on Gypsies--or Roma--submitted to SDN over the past two years.
With the recent actions of the Sarkozy government in France to single out Gypsies for expulsion, these exhibits will help our viewers better understand the daily lives, challenges, and customs of this often misunderstood population. Gypsies are the most discriminated against ethnic group in Europe. They have no homeland and their nomadic nature often makes them ridiculed and hated by local communities. French President Nicolas Sarkozy claims to reduce crime by dismantling "illegal" Gypsy camps, but this is an age-old tactic used throughout Europe, targeting Gypsies as scapegoats for political failings and problems.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding recently stated this "is a situation that I had thought that Europe would not have to witness again after the second World War. ... Discrimination on the basis or ethnic origin or race has no place in Europe." 

'Satra'- The Roma of Sintesti by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Photographs by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert. Mia, a young Roma girl stands in front of a mermaid painted on the wall of a Roma home, in the old part of the Roma camp of Sintesti. Mermaids are very popular as wall decoration, but none within the camp knows the reason why they were first painted. 2004.

From 1990 to 2006 Sutton-Hibbert photographed the Roma Gypsy camp of Sintesti, Romania, documenting the lives, traditions, past times and look of the camp.

His photographs encapsulate a period of dramatic change in the camp, as the inhabitants leave behind the dark of the Communist years and embark on a fast track to the material wealth that their new-found opportunities have enabled.

The camp moves from being one of humble homes and traditional tents, horses and carts, to one where the new wealth (made by dealing in scrap metal) is spent on all things material--building fantasy homes and buying Porsche cars with cash. But the mindset of the people does not change; women are still denied an education and work opportunities, and traditional beliefs still sit uneasily with their new found desire to be thought of as 'Westernised'.

Click here to view the exhibit.
Right for Living
Photographs by Arthur Bondar

Arthur Bondar
Photo by Arthur Bondar. A woman that came from Russia two years ago and lives in the Gypsy village near Kiev.

This small village of Ukrainian Gypsies near Kiev was built in 2005 after the massive flood in western Ukraine. They lost everything in the flood: houses, gardens, clothes, and documents.

The government gave them $50 as compensation, which was not even enough for food. Now the village has 40 to 50 people living in it, but every day somebody comes and somebody leaves. Those who live in the village for a long time build Hybary (handmade houses) from pieces of carpet, linoleum, and wood to keep warm.

Gypsies heat the insides of these houses with Burzhuika (a small oven) or a small handmade fireplace. They earn money by cadging near the church, telling fortunes by cards or hands, or simply stealing. Children between the ages of 2 and 12 run all over the village. Some were born here, none of them have ever been to school. There are no medicines and nobody in the hospitals wants to speak with the Gypsies.

Click here to view the exhibit.
Nomen Omen - Destiny Lies in the Name
Photographs by Daniela Bazzani

Daniela Bazzani
Photograph by Daniela Bazzani. Women and children are the most affected by this isolation.

The problem of the "Rom" or Gypsies has deep cultural roots. A radical lack of alternatives, marginalization, doors to a different future shut tight. The inescapability of this condition is at the core of this project.

In the Rom culture, inter-generational relations keep traditional elements and codes -- the ethnic identity -- alive. Ethnic identification through self-perception -- the ability to identify oneself with one's ethnic group -- is quite strong among the Rom. The women, with their keen maternal instinct, raise their children to the same destiny, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle.

Returning from a village, speaking to Helena -- a 12-year-old child she had just met -- my Rumanian interpreter commented: "She says she wants to be a nurse when she grows up, but she will never become one."
It is difficult to change the order of things. Born a Rom, die a Rom.

Click here to view the exhibit.
Rom, Gypsy, Çingene, Qereçî, Gypthos, Zingari, Tigani, Basa

Photographs by Kemal Verul Tarlan

Photograph by Kemal Verul Tarlan
Kemal Vural Tarlan

Gypsies, often called Romani or Domari, are made up of two groups: the Ghorbati and the Nawari. Both groups speak a dialect of the Gypsy language called Romany, which is related to the North Indo-Aryan language of India. Their dialect, Domari, contains many Arabic words.
Gypsies call themselves Rom, which in their language means "men." Rom is derived from the Indian word Dom, meaning "a man of low caste who gains his livelihood by singing and dancing." The Ghorbati are named from the Arabic word, gurbet, which means "stranger." In the Arab world, Gypsies are called Nauar, hence the Nawari Gypsies.

Click here to view the exhibit.
About SocialDocumentary.net
SocialDocumentary.net is a website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore online documentary exhibits investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored oil workers in the Niger River Delta, male sex workers in India, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece. Click here to view all of the exhibits.