This is the blog of an independent documentary project about Roma migration and integration into British society by photographer and writer Ciara Leeming.
The work has developed out of a series of written stories published in 2010-11 by the Big Issue in the North, the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement, and a collaborative book project, Elvira and Me (see links).
My interest in Roma was initially sparked by living in a neighbourhood which has become home to significant numbers since Romania joined the European Union in 2007. The work does however also fit with my previous projects on indigenous Traveller communities.
Roma Britain is open-ended and will develop organically. Eventually I hope it will bring together a series of smaller projects which are participatory in nature, and use photography, words and audio to challenge some of the common stereotypes of Roma. This website is where I will share research and thoughts about my process, as well as the work itself.
Funding from Arts Council England and a Homelands Commission from Side Gallery in Newcastle is allowing me to expand this work. Support for the Elvira project came from the Lipman-Miliband Trust and the Big Issue in the North Trust.
Subscribe to an occasional newsletter about the work here
Please forgive the use of ugly copyright marks on some of the images on this site – this is down to repeated unauthorised use of my work to illustrate sensationalist or negative stories about Roma
Disclaimer: I am neither trying to speak for Roma people nor looking to replace old stereotypes with new ones. This project is merely a collection of vignettes featuring individuals who happen to be of Romani heritage and represents no one and nothing other than the people who have collaborated with me on the stories.