From 6 March through 18 April the Noorderlicht Photogallery presents a personal photo document about the Roma by photographer Joakim Eskildsen. Between 2000 and 2006 Eskildsen travelled together with the writer Cia Rinne through seven countries to obtain more insight into the life and culture of the Roma. The result, The Roma Journeys, has been applauded internationally for its splendid photography, and is now to be seen for the first time in The Netherlands.
Joakim Eskildsen and Cia Rinne's trip began in Hungary and by chance expanded to include India, Greece, Romania, France, Russia and Finland. As Eskildsen and Rinne came to know more about the culture, language and living conditions of the Roma, their interest developed into solidarity. The countless profound encounters proved a great source of inspiration during the project. Eskildsen and Rinne often stayed for long periods as guests with various families and could work with their subjects' full confidence. The photographs reflect the intensity of the contact between the Roma and the photographer.
Together with the Calé, Sinti and other groups the Roma constitute Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Colloquially they are however all generally called ‘gypsies’. The Roma community has been wandering through Europe for six hundred years now, in search of a place to settle permanently. Right down to this day they must defend themselves against discrimination and distrust from surrounding societies.
Joakim Eskildsen (b. 1971, Copenhagen) completed his studies at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1998 and was for some time in training with the Danish court photographer Rigmor Mydtskov. Among Eskildsen's publications are Nordic Signs, from 1995, and iChicken Moon, published in 1999. The book The Roma Journeys (2007, Steidl), which appeared to accompany the exhibition, has captured several photography prizes including the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis (Gold) in 2009.
Opening Friday, 5 March, at 5:00 p.m. in the Noorderlicht Photogallery.