Roma Christmas, Manchester.
“I think it’s simply beautiful and just goes to show what can happen when people start to write their own story, both for real and on the page.” Jake Bowers, English Romani journalist and broadcaster
So, the MA is done, Christmas is over and we’re well into the new year. 2012…where did that come from? The past month or so has been the kind of hectic where you have little to show for it, plus some much needed rest, recuperation and family time. I’ve had lots of lovely feedback about Elvira and Me, my collaboration with Ramona, which has been viewed more than 1,100 times in less than two months. Many people seem to have read it cover to cover, which is amazing. I’ve been thinking hard about where to go with this work – the problem with creating a book is that mentally it feels like a project is finished, even as someone’s life and struggles go on and the desire to document them continues. Ramona has become a close friend though so I think our collaboration will continue – albeit at a more sedate pace – as long as she wants it to. Perhaps the project will be expanded to look at other Roma migrants, possibly using a different approach to the photography, or perhaps not. Time will tell and much will depend on funding. So now comes the time to start taking photos again and building up my freelance business, after two quite intense but highly worthwhile years of study. Am I more photographer or more writer? I’m still not really sure, but maybe that question doesn’t matter as much as I used to think.