Roma across Europe face severe discrimination, are deprived of education and employment, and often live in extreme poverty. But these problems aren’t the only thing that defines them.
"How do you make seen what is unseen, or capture a truth the world can’t—or won’t—see from the surface? This has always been the challenge of documentary photography and filmmaking: to dive below the surface and bring these truths to light.
In November of last year, I traveled to Slovakia with documentary photographer Björn Steinz to document two Roma neighborhoods in eastern Slovakia. The Roma are the largest—at around 12 million people—and most disadvantaged ethnic minority in Europe. Throughout the continent they face severe discrimination, are deprived of education and employment and often live in extreme poverty.
This is easily seen if you visit one of the isolated settlements typically situated on the outskirts of otherwise normal cities and towns in Europe. Conditions vary from bad to worse, as running water, electricity, or any kind of infrastructure are often lacking. But we would be remiss to assume that these problems are the only thing that characterizes the Roma."