I spent several months in 2011 searching the internet for photographers of Romani heritage, for an MA research paper on the question of whether they would represent their culture differently to gadje – or non-Romani – photographers. I largely drew a blank, which was interesting in itself…the essay, if anyone’s interested, can be viewed OVER HERE.
So isn’t it just typical then that within a few months of me finishing my MA, Artur Conka should get in touch, having been given my name by another photographer. Artur is a very talented young Roma photographer from London and of Slovakian origin, who has made a beautiful film about the notorious and poverty-stricken ghetto that the bohemian neighbourhood of his early years has become.
We’ve met a couple of times now and I was keen to fit his voice and perspective into my project – since this whole body of work is a reaction against the tired stereotypes dredged up in photography and the mainstream media about Roma.
Please click HERE to hear my interview with him about his family’s migration, and to watch his moving and shocking film about life in Lunik IX.