Joakim Eskildsen – The Roma Journeys
Roma, Sinti, Calé, and other groups, often collectively referred to as Gypsies, form Europe’s largest ethnic minority. They are scattered far and wide -each group in its particular situation, with its own language and culture. During the course of history, Roma in Europe have been persecuted, expelled, and even enslaved. Many Roma today still have to contend with discrimination and are met with mistrust by certain population groups.
Between 2000 and 2006, photographer Joakim Eskildsen (*1971) and writer Cia Rinne (*1973) travelled through seven different countries in search of Roma. Their journeys took them from Hungary to India, from Greece through Romania, France and Russia to Finland. They often stayed for lengthy periods of time as guests with Roma families and delved deep into these people’s worlds. In many places, the route they took and the people they met were a matter of chance and curiosity, while in others, they were able to reach their destinations with the help of relief organizations. Often, it was not possible to plan where their journey would take them or what exactly they were looking for.
The Roma Journeys is a very personal document of these open-hearted and respectful encounters. The exhibition and the accompanying book provide a current, profound insight into the world of the Roma. Eskildsen and Rinne have illuminated many aspects of that world with an intensity that is rarely found.
The exhibition was curated by Thomas Seelig.