Young Roma photograph their lives in Govanhill

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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 though the lens of their cameras.

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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

All images copyrighted.

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