South East Slovak village "Hostice" is the hometown of nine hundred people; ninety percent of them belong to the Roma minority.
After centuries of persecution, the attempt of the systematic extermination by the NS-Regime and the forced assimilation during the communist era, members of Europes largest minority, despite by the efforts of numerous NGOs and the often non comprehensible EU projects, remain in abject poverty and marginalized societies.
I accompanied the austrian NGO "Direkthilfe Roma" on their short trips to Hostice - documenting the living conditions of
the locals and getting a personal picture of the situation. Again shocked about what I´ve seen i wanted to help active with my own hands. So it came that we´ve opened the "Roma:Lounge", an
caritative event-venue in Vienna which generated thousands of Euros for the people of the Hostice region.
Photography I 2009-2010
Jarovnice is situated in Northeast Slovakia. 1998 the worst floods in Slovak history destroyed over 2,000 houses and killed 63 persons. The floods hit the Romani-Settlement in Jarovnice the hardest & the most casualties occured there.
For my diploma project about minorities in Slovakia i made my first steps into a Roma-Settlement without knowing someone there. Slovak people with whom i spoke about my intention of making portraits in Jarovnice told me horror stories about the brutality of Gypsies & that they at least will steal my money. What i experienced were dozens of very obliging people who all wanted to invite me fur lunch. The following selection was part of the exhibition "13/14 Slovensko" which was shown in the Austrian Culture Forum in Bratislava 2007.