Joakim Eskildsen: Roma Journeys (Roma from Hungary, Greece, Romania France, Russia, Finland and India)
*the thing I most appreciate about Eskildsen’s series is the abundant camaraderie and strength of the women.
** Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym “Gypsies”, but Roma or Romani are their proper name. Although still debated, it is generally thought that they migrated from India and to Europe roughly 800 years ago. However, the “Roma” are not a single, homogeneous group of people. The Indian origin and affiliation of the Roma is most obvious linguistically by the language still spoken by many members of this heterogeneous ethnicity. But the Roma consist of various groups, which are labelled with different ethnonymes – self designations as well as external designations: Arlije, Calé, Gurbet, Kaale, Kalderaš, Lovara, Manuš, Sepečides, Sinti, Ursari, etc.; many groups also use the self-designation Roma.
In some Eastern European countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria, they form up to 12 percent of the total population. The Roma are also numerous in Turkey, which has about 2.75 million Romani. Other European countries with large Roma populations include Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Spain and France. Though concentrated in Europe, there are also Romani populations on every occupied continent — about 1 million live in the United States, and roughly 800,000 in Brazil.
Photojournalist Joakim Eskildsen recently teamed up with TIME Magazine to document the diverse country of Cuba. Since most Americans aren’t allowed to travel to Cuba, the pictures offer a rare glimpse into the everyday life of Cubans. Joakim writes:
I immediately fell in awe with the complexity of this country. The more you learn about the situation and how people are living, the more difficult it becomes to understand. It was like learning to view the world form a Cuban angle that kept surprising and inspiring me.
Joakim Eskildsen’s latest body of work explores the poetry of place through the different homes to which he has moved his family over the past seven years, on display later this week at the 17th edition of Paris Photo.