December 4th, 2013

BBC blog piece: challenging Roma stereotypes

I was given the chance to write something about the motivations behind my Roma photo project and the Side Gallery exhibition (just over two weeks left!) for the BBC website’s photo blog earlier this week. I’m interested in trying to challenge the prevailing stereotypes of Roma – or the ‘single story’ of poverty and hopelessness – by working with willing individuals and families to document their experiences over long periods. It’s a collaboration but of course an uneven one – I am in ultimate control and that responsibility is something I take quite seriously. If you’re interested you can read the full piece by clicking on the image above.

I got mostly very positive reactions on social media but was certainly quite relieved when I saw the piece had gone up without a comments facility underneath, as I don’t always have the stomach for the nature of feedback which tends to be left under stories on Roma. I received two direct responses by email though, which illustrate the polarised nature of any debate over Roma and underline my point that we desperately need to challenge the stereotyping of these communities.

See my efforts at my Roma project website over here.




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2 Comments on “BBC blog piece: challenging Roma stereotypes”

  • john macpherson says:

    It’s just so easy to ignore the actual photographs, and the positive story they tell, and substitute your own prejudices.

    The second commentator’s opinion tells me very little about the morals, work ethic or attitude of the Roma people, but a hell of a lot about their own narrow minded outlook.

    There is a certain irony in the fact that the author feels representative of the “normal society” that the “generations of social workers” have failed to integrate the Roma into. Hardly surprising given this level of prejudice.

    Keep the good stuff coming Ciara.

  • Ciara says:

    Thanks John, I agree. This lady has completely missed the point of my article… and pretty much proves what Roma people who do want to integrate and give their kids opportunities are up against
    Great to hear from you

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