Glasgow & West Scotland

Young Roma photograph their lives in Govanhill

face painting at Roma family celebration Image copyright Laura Balogova
Image caption Roma at a family celebration

Young Roma photographers in Govanhill

Seven young Roma from Govanhill in Glasgow have been photographing their lives.

Govanhill, an area which ranks among the most socially deprived in Scotland, has one of the largest concentrations of Roma people in the UK.

Since November 2017, the young Roma have been learning photography at creative workshops run by the Glasgow-based social enterprise Media Co-op.

Since then they have been exploring their homes and streets in Govanhill through the lens of their cameras.

Two teenagers standing on the staircase Image copyright Laura Balogova
Image caption Laura Balogova, 15, photographs her brother Marek and cousin Dana

Rahela Cirpaci, 20, who speaks seven languages including Roma and English says that, "people get the wrong idea about Govanhill. There's beauty here,"

young child in white outfit Image copyright Laura Balogova
Image caption Laura photographs her cousin Megan at a family christening

Fellow photographer Nikola Baran, 15, observes that, "there are so many things you don't look at, you would just step on them.

"I want to look at things more closely. Taking photographs makes you look closer."

Boys in the street Image copyright Nikola Baran

Karolina Olszewska, 14, wants to become a cabin crew or a psychologist.

She says: "People are friendly in Govanhill in some ways, but not in other ways.

"School is a great place to make connections across social divides."

Three boys in the street and one on a green bike Image copyright Sarah Milosiu

David Milosiu, 18, says he wants his voice heard.

"People do up their houses, but the rubbish in the street makes people think Govanhill is a dirty place," he says.

"I want it to be nice place. I wish people would recycle more and not leave things in the street."

Builder putting rubbish on the street Image copyright Isac Milosi

Professional photographer Robin Mitchell says teaching the young people has "been enormous fun".

He says: "While I've taught the young Roma technical and artistic skills about composition, light, and focus - I have learned from them about their lives and opinions, and seen their talents bloom."

Roma boy at a family celebration Image copyright Laura Balogova
girl eating pizza Image copyright Nikola Baran
Image caption Nikola photographs her sister eating pizza

An exhibition of their photographs called PhotoMessage opens at Tramway in Glasgow.

All images copyrighted.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites