Thursday, 26 March 2009

Serbs and Roma

I have spent the last week going through some of my work from Kosovo and Serbia and distributing it to the agencies I work with.
One of the observations I made when I was living in Serbia was that throughout all the conflicts the Serbs had, it was surprising to see the peaceful and respectful relationship they had with their Roma population, specially in comparison with much of Eastern Europe. Obviously, this was of no interest to any news media at the time and even less now.

The principal music festival in Serbia is The Guca trumpet festival, which is the largest indigenous folk festival in Europe. It brings together Serb and Roma musicians and in many ways Roma music is embedded into the Serbian identity. Rarely does a celebration not involve a Roma band.

Below is an image from the Zastava car factory in the central town of Kragujevac. A large number of Roma worked at the factory, which finally closed down last year. The last image was also taken in Kragujevac, and is at Gypsy Ball held in the main hotel.

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