Bite! magazine » Roman Babjak

I Wanted To Make Them Beautiful

Today: rerunning Šymon Kliman’s gypsie portraits, made in the Tatra Mountains. Kliman: “To me, gypsies are a beautiful and proud people, whose cultural identity has almost been destroyed by the communist regime. They lost a big part of their identity, language, independance and cultural background. In the fifties the Slovak goverment killed their horses, forbade them to travel and study and forced them to stop their crafts. The gypsies in my photographs live in the worst possible conditions around the town of Kezmarok in the Tatra region. In the village of Velká Lomnica, two thousands people live without running water and sewerage. Despite of these slum-like living conditions, their homes are always tidy and clean. And everybody has at least one set of beautiful clothes for special occasions. I asked people to wear these when I photographed their portraits. I wanted to make them beautiful.”

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