"STIGMA” resulted from two years of work and over fifty meetings of photographer Adam Lach and the authors of the interviews Katarzyna Dybowska with the family of Romanian Romas living in the encampment in Wroclaw. This work was already seen and appreciated i.a. on prestigious competition Picture of the Year International in 2014.
The book “STIGMA” tells the story of 60-person family of Romanian Romas living in the encampment in Wroclaw. This is not another chapter of colorful legend about gypsies – there are no caravans, no campfires, no dancing and singing – there are people with remarkable stories. This group of nomads, depended on never-ending looking for a better world, unawarely influenced by the mass culture, struggles with the same worries as every modern man.
“It’s easy to fight for the rights of people who scream loud. It’s harder to see the ones that aren’t demonstrating. By narrowing the photographed places only to Psie Pole – a part of the district of Wroclaw occupied by Roma slums – I’m taking away the possibility to observe the Romas while doing what’s commonly seen as their every-day reality – beggary and theft. With the family, separated from the rest of the society, they appear as completely different people - opposite to the typical image. They struggle not only with hard everyday life but also with the city authorities and with the neighbors. Among the citizens of Wroclaw they are seen as beggars, thieves and swindlers what causes repeated acts of aggression. Any operation of the city authorities that is supposed to solve the problem of Roma, leads to intimidation and the attempts of eviction. Above all “STIGMA” is the tale about family, relationships and emotions of the people who, in spite of everything, seem to be happy and calm. It’s also an attempt to analyze the shape of present-day family in the borderland of tradition and modernity.” – Adam Lach
The form of the book creates the complementation to the verbal layer – it’s thick, irregular and often uncomfortable for the viewer. The narration of the story adopts film characteristics - surprising the viewer with the culmination of emotions and sudden calmness. “That’s their world – disorganized and random – completely different from our regular modern reality” – the authors point out.
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