November 22nd, 2011

Elvira and Me – final

So. It’s over. I’ve submitted all my MA work and now just need to physically hand my book in on Monday. Most importantly for me though, this afternoon I’ve given Ramona her hardback copy – which I wanted to do before I shared it online. The reaction was very positive and I am so glad I had the project translated into Romanian (cu multe mulÅ£umiri Daniel ÅŸi Dorothea!) because members of her family were immediately able to check it out for themselves…who knows, maybe they will learn something about her.
But now I’m doing that thing which I so often do with my own work – I’m mentally over it before I’ve even showed it to anyone. The dissemination part is something I am fairly weak at, since if I’m honest I shoot/cover stories primarily to indulge my own curiosity. I stick things on my blog and show them to the few colleagues I know well but beyond that am never quite sure what to do with my personal work. Anyway I think this is actually the first time that I’ve been truly proud of a body of work, and I finally feel I’m really saying something worthwhile – no doubt because this project is a collaboration – all I’ve done in this case is act as facilitator, supporting someone else to represent themselves. I intend this to be the start of a larger body of work on the UK’s new Roma communities.

Please check out my book layout.

If viewing on Issuu is a problem, you can download the low-res pdf from here.

A couple of short clips of Ramona talking can be seen below – she has such an amazing voice that it seems criminal not to share her words. These are not part of my MA submission….


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Related Posts: Romania outtake , while in Romania I took a few portraits…, So it’s happening… , Romania outtake 2, Photo interviewing , Is giving a load of prints to someone who is homesick a good idea?, happy snaps , And back…, A photo drive, Major project/the family album

5 Comments on “Elvira and Me – final”

  • This is fantastic Ciara. I’ve just read the whole thing and was really moved by the Ramona’s story. What an amazing lady. Is there no way she can bring her daughter to the UK?


  • Ciara says:

    Thank you, yes she is a very strong and very intelligent person. I have a lot of respect for her.
    I think the question of her daughter is tricky – you ask the obvious question of course and I’ve asked it myself.
    But her daughter almost belongs to the whole family now, if you understand me – her parents in Romania, her brothers and their partners – they all live as one extended family, and this is the most important thing in their culture.
    I think it’s a bit emotionally fraught..the question of whether to bring her over here, but separate her from the rest of her family (and they from her) when her mum works full time anyway…to put her in a step family (including other young girls) with all the tensions that will entail…

    I think she’s weighing it all up but very conflicted about it all and scared of making the wrong decision for both her daughter and her mum….Ramona’s mum dotes on that little girl.

    I think it’s all a bit complex.

  • Rosa says:

    Beautiful story. I love it!
    Sincere congratulations.

  • Ciara says:

    Thank you so much. Really glad people are appreciating it!

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