The Roma Way

2009 – 2010

Belgrade, Serbia.
A large community has lived for years underneath the highway bridge that connects two parts of the city over the river Sava.
The city council decided to evacuate the whole settlement and displace the people into apartment blocks in the outskirts of the capital city.
They even put letters on the walls of the more solid houses, stating the inhabitants would have to demolish their homes within a certain time frame, or else they would make them pay for the bulldozers that the city would have to hire to do the job for them.
After most of the settlement had already been destroyed, some people were still there worried about where to go and how to get in contact with their former neighbors, friends and family who had been evacuated earlier.

Northern Romania.
I am visiting a village where my collegue’s father used to be the mayor of the Romanian part of the village. However the Roma part of the village is on the other side of the road, and has its own mayor, rules and atmosphere.
Still everyone is very welcoming and glad to see my collegue who is also known to the Roma habitants.

Arad, Romania.

Soroca, Moldova.
The famous Roma part of the city is located on the steap hill above the river, and it’s called the “Gypsy capitol of Moldova”.
There is a self proclaimed Baron of Soroca, and people here are telling me a lot of confusing stories about him, until one day I just meet him in the streets.
Roma people here are competing for the largest, most shiny and most expensive palast. Some houses are even replicas of famous palasts, like the Capitol in Washington.
However the palasts are more of a status symbol then an actual home to their owners and their families, and construction is often delayed and completion sometimes takes years, if ever…