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A Mixture of Beauty and Poverty Is Abundant in This Roma Village

Ruti Alon | Transylvania, Romania

Suddenly she appeared. So surreal and beautiful.

Photographing the Roma community in small villages in Romania is difficult to encapsulate. As a Westerner, I seldom come across such a community. A journalistic approach may miss the whole experience. A factual description of the extreme living conditions such as sanitation, nutrition, education will not do justice. Concurrently, the physical beauty of the place and its people, the isolated location and its impact on the community’s economic conditions, value systems and culture does not tell the full story.

I wish to understand the individual and the community “raison d’etre”. The villagers are vulnerable and defenseless, they show no sign of investment in their ego, a society with no dreams and aspirations. They lack the element of self-awareness, where poverty and misery have depleted their energy and there is no way out.

The Roma is in a “raw state” of being, with no pretense, non-inhibited and has no shame. It is this nakedness that attracts me. It may very well be that my interpretation is incorrect, but that is exactly what I looked to understand and capture.

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