Photo competition about the life of Roma in the Western Balkans

Photo: Atdhe Mulla

Photo: Atdhe Mulla

To strengthen the visibility of one of the most discriminated groups in the Western Balkans, Civil Rights Defenders will organise a photo competition about the everyday life of Roma in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia.

“The Roma in the Western Balkans are often exposed to prejudice, exclusion and – in some cases – violence. The only way to put an end to this systematic discrimination is to get the communities in these countries involved and engaged. The first step is to raise public awareness through visibility of the Roma people’s every day life ”, says Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

The competition ends 30 April 2014 and until then the participants can upload their contribution to the competition-page on Facebook concerning the country where the pictures was taken. (Follow the links below). The project is supported by the the National Endowment for Democracy.

How the competition works:

1. A jury will choose the 20 best photos from each country. The photos will later be shown in exhibitions that open 9 May. These pictures will also be printed in special publications.

2. The jury will select the 12 best pictures for a calendar that will be printed for this occasion.

3. Following national exhibitions in each country, Civil Rights Defenders will organise a regional exhibition in Belgrade, portraying the three best photos from each country.

Participation pages on Facebook:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Photo: Kushtrim Ternava

Photo: Kushtrim Ternava

Why this photo competition is so important:

Less than 50% of all Roma children go to primary schools and only about 25% have completed the primary education. 71% is unemployed, which is nearly twelve times the rate for the rest of the population. Life expectancy is 15 years less than the rest of the population and 80% of the Roma population in Albania live in extreme poverty.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Less than 1% of the Roma population is employed in the public sector and only around 1,5% of the population in working-age has a job. Less than 35% of the children regularly attend school.

Macedonia: Despite the fact that unemployment among the Roma population is higher then 70%, the government provided few social services. Family’s also has a tuff time sending their children to school due to their inability to pay for books and other school related expenses.

Montenegro: 76% of Roma are illiterate, 80% doesn’t speak the local language, 90% are officially unemployed and nearly 40% has no access to public utilities. 90% of the Roma population live below the poverty level.

Categories: News.
Tags: Discrimination, Photo competition, and Roma.
Regions: Western Balkans.