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Tomasz Tomaszewski



Cyganie (Gypsies)
Poland    www.tomasztomaszewski.com

The origins of the Romany people remain unclear. A comparison of the language they use with Indic dialects seems to confirm the assumption that they came from the region of North-Western India, having abandoned it about the 9th century.

Today, the Romany population in Europe is estimated at about 12 million – a considerable majority of the 16 million living all over the globe. Traditionally perceived as strangers, surrounded by distrust, or even spite, they have always existed as isolated groups on the margins of developing European communities – even though their contribution to the general cultural heritage, especially in music, dance and various handicrafts, is unquestionable.

My journeys tracing the lives of present-day Gypsies have confirmed my earlier belief that little has changed for the Romany. It seems that we have not yet learned the lesson of tolerance towards people who live differently form ourselves. I strongly believe that my project explains man to man. It is addressed to everybody, especially to the young who, through these portraits, may better realize the absurdities of Holocaust, xenophobia and intolerance.

All the photographs where taken between 1999 and year 2000 in Czech Republic, England, France, Hungary, India, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and The United States.