I am The Gypsy - Free as a bird
For over a decade, I captured the captivating life of the Gypsies in Perpignan (South of France) through my lens.
Each image tells a story, each snapshot a journey into their mysterious and colorful world...but in black & white!
The cobblestone streets of the historic quarter where they live in self-sufficiency, the nomadic encampments and their caravans, and the faces weathered by the sun and the harsh outdoor life bear witness to the richness of their culture, as well as the challenges they face in integrating into the rest of society.
Through my lens, I captured simple moments of everyday life, the wisdom-filled gazes, cockfights, and the pride of an often misunderstood people. I immortalized unbreakable family bonds and the resilience of this community, which finds strength in solidarity.
In this endeavor, I was aided and embraced by the community's leaders who appreciated my project. Over weeks, months, and years, I was accepted into this community, and doors opened, as did mouths and memories. I taught photography to Gypsy teenagers for several weeks, sharing my artistic experience, and the results were incredible; we held an exhibition together.
I also exhibited this photographic work at the European Parliament to highlight the Gypsy community to the institutions of the Union.
Each snapshot is an open window into an often unfamiliar world, revealing the dignity of the Gypsies in the face of life's challenges. My photographs pay homage to their history, their enchanting music, and their free spirit, reminding us that cultural diversity is a precious source of wealth for our society.
It was a wonderful experience, an ongoing journey, and I would be delighted to explore other Gypsy communities in Berlin, Bucharest, Stockholm, or England.
I'm still on the road for my photo reportages, just like them. It's a common ground and a starting point...