Different Culture Photos - Roma London

Roma London is an exhibition by Different Culture Photos (DCP), a photographic collaboration between 10 teenage Roma women, photographer Manuela Zanotti and Jacob Garber of The Children’s Society. The work centres on developing audio-visual archives of the East London Roma community through self-portraits, voice recordings and documentation of personal circumstances.

Displaced from Eastern Europe and with families marginalised from British society, the Roma participants feel the group provides an important space where they can give voice to their own identities and situations. We put aside the only available representations of Roma people that show them as romantic and free or as living in desperate poverty. The young women document a crucial moment in their lives as they undergo many complex transitions: from girlhood into womanhood, from Eastern European segregation to attempted British multiculturalism and from passive outsiders to active participants in society.

The Roma young women are leading participants of the group, rather than subjects of a traditional photojournalism project. Not only are the Roma participants the main project photographers, they and their families define the terms of their representation in terms of both their personal and cultural priorities.

Mentoring discussions between the photographer and the young women often come back to the search for a “Roma” aesthetic. Some photojournalistic modes of representation are unacceptable to many of the young people and their families, which means they have to search for new ways to document what they want to show.

Self-representation using a large format camera is enabled by the professional photographic experience of Manuela Zanotti. Outside of group work participants use compact digital cameras to record their lives. The resulting images are an essential but currently missing element from the everyday lives of these young women and their communities. This normality is something the Roma have rarely had recognised by the wider community.

Different Culture Photos is funded by Mediabox and The Children’s Society.
Different Culture Photos - Roma London

Event Title: Different Culture Photos - Roma London
Postcode: Mile End Park, London E3 4QY
Further Details:
-Visit the Different Culture Photos blog" target="_blank"> -Visit the Different Culture Photos blog
Contact Email: jacob.garber@childrenssociety.org.uk