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"Nane Chavem, Nane Bacht" ("No Happiness without Children" )

Jeannette Gregori | France, Poland

Beautiful Magdalena, Czarna Gora, Poland

This series of photographies pays a tribute to the Roma and Sinti communities in France and Poland. Through poetic life scenes and children's evocative looks,  the specific values ​of the community unveil  : the respect of elders, life in the open air, limitless love with which parents lavish their children  ... In the background of these portraits, one can also read implicit issues like women's precarious social position, discrimination or difficulties related to housing. This series also includes pictures taken in 2017 and 2018 which show the living conditions of 170 Gypsy families in Strasbourg, six months before their houses were destroyed. The administration of the city judged the settlement unsafe and substandard and decided to raze it to the ground without taking into account how attached the people were to their houses, their memories and their lifestyle. Living in a conventional house, paying a rent and not being able to travel any longer will be a new way of life that Gypsies will find difficult to integrate. The pictures memorialize "the Gypsy soul"  in the environment where they had been living for 70 years. 

Chance seems to have led my curiosity to a field of Evangelical Manushes settled along a departmental road in Alsace in summer 2009. Yet the constellation of events that followed made me reconsider this twist of fate and apprehend it as the need for a work to be done for Roma communities. In view of the prejudices that still castigate the Gypsy, photography appeared to me as a means to restore its noble and engaging character, through scenes of authentic humanity. The series of evictions that would begin on our national territory in 2010 consolidated my artistic approach with a commitment for the recognition of the Roma's dignity. I was far from suspecting, at that time, that my photographic works were going to take nine years to be achieved in France as well as in the European Union member countries like the Czech Republic or Poland and that after seven years, as part of an urban redevelopment project of the City of Strasbourg, my steps would  take me back to the first field I had visited. On this occasion, I was able to meet, with emotion, the same families and children that I had photographed in my first series. The loop was complete, and even if I had not really decided it, my work was coming to an end. Relations with Gypsy families and associations made me realize, however, that beyond the photographic approach, a fabric of eternal friendship had been woven. 

E-mail : jeannettegregori@yahoo.fr

Home address: 11, rue Georges Rossdeutsch

67800 BISCHHEIM, FRANCE

phone number: + 33 6 08 48 80 06

website: www.jeanettegregori.com

instagram : https://www.instagram.com/jeannettegregori/

facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/jeannettegregoriphotographie

 

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