Children of Maticni

Children Of Maticni

Prague, Czech Republic, 2006-2007

I spent time photographing Romany people when I was living in the Czech Republic in 2006-2007 and revealed what is “the racism and discrimination” I found there. I started a project to highlight the Romany minority “who are stigmatized as `gypsies` by the dominant majority in the district of Maticni-Usti Nad Labem in Prague.”  Maticni is seen as a ‘gypsy` district and the local government built a wall there in 1998 to separate the Romany and Czech peoples. The reason given was to prevent environmental pollution caused by garbage left by the gypsies. But the main reason was the prejudice and the negative image that the natives had about `gypsies’. So the wall was constructed in order to isolate the Romany minority in Maticni. The wall is broken down in 1999 thanks to public reaction in Czech Republic. All social conditions affect “gypsy” children. There is a social organization, which organizes some activities for `gypsy’ children, but it is not enough.  Some cannot even go to ordinary school. Mostly they go to special training schools apart from Czech children. On the other hand, it was commonplace that Romany parents didn’t make a special effort to support their children.