Photo Exhibition: The Life of Roma in Serbia

300 entries and 80 contestants resulted in 12 winners. On 21 January the winning pictures of Civil Rights Defenders photo contest “Under the same roof” will be exhibited in Belgrade. An exhibition that depicts the everyday life of the Roma population in Serbia.

During a month in late 2013 Civil Rights Defenders participated in arranging a photo contest in Serbia. People interested with photography were encouraged to document and depict the everyday life of Roma in Serbia. The response from the public was overwhelming.

“The response from the public is a success story in itself. But it also sends a strong message of support from the tolerant part of Serbian society, which has been given an opportunity to express itself”, says Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

Both the exhibitions and the photo competition are part of the project; “Strengthening visibility of the most discriminated groups in Serbia”, which is supported by the National Endowment for Democracy. The winners will also have their pictures printed in a special 2014 calendar.

The opening of the exhibition in Belgrade will take place at the UK Parobrod (Kapetan Misina Street 6a) 21 January and starts 4pm.

“Our aim was to build visibility regarding the everyday life of our Roma neighbours. Some of the moments captured are sad, some are happy, but all of them are authentic and touching”, said Goran Miletic.

The Roma population is, along with the LGBT community considered to be the most discriminated and threatened group in Serbia. About half of the Roma population lives in more than 600 informal settlements across the country, without access to basic resources – clean water, adequate housing, healthcare, education and employment.