Hope / Amnesty International photo exhibition Le Havre / L’air du Thé
in January 2014
Contrary prejudice, Roma are not nomadic like Gypsies, sintis, manuschs or others travellers… who like to move from one place intraltul, Roma are sedentary people. They are economic refugees. Being expelled, are forced
Often leave the country where they settled in slums, without water and electricity. Living conditions in camps in France and other Western countries, in relation to the conditions of comfort that we know are amazing. But they are still much better than here in the west of Romania regarding the Roma settled in Havre.
Contrary to another misconception, they want the soul to integration.
Children, who represent two thirds of the camps in Havre, are all attending school. Adults only want to work and are open to any offer of employment. And this according to the agreements signed between Romania and France, which still limit their access to certain professions.
Began to be organized literacy classes which have been specially trained community activists. In the past five months, Roma evictions Le Havre suffered sometimes by simple threats, sometimes with processions of vans filled with cops, sometimes police officers wearing masks.
Here expulsions :
. camp Quartier de l’ Eure,
. gardens of St. Augustine,
. former factory Lipton – Fralib, abandoned
. sports ground of IUT Le Havre, left
. La Lézarde camp,
. Air Liquide filling just left.
Usually police are accompanied by excavators and bulldozers broke. It happens even to the cabins to simply disappear without explanation.
In early winter, the Roma in Havre or sheltered in two abandoned buildings and immediately threatened to be expelled. Buildings will always be rebuilt.
A group of Le Havre county associations was formed to defend the cause of the Roma « emergency accommodation is time . » Actively involved in people’s health, children’s education, this group brings an important food and material support. This group consists of political parties charities, associations and unions.
Amnesty International Group 151 is of course involved.
In France, shortly after the expulsion was an exception. In 2013, it became the rule. Systematic and massive, it touches including settlements.
Camps installed before without problems neighborhood. National policy context is obviously the main cause in the majority. Eviction has become the only response from state and local authorities will to integrate Roma in full contradiction with the ministerial circular of August 2012 ( *), which brings great hope for people threatened with eviction.
So double language on the one hand, a beautiful circular to relieve humanists, on the other hand, an iron hand to meet electoral trend of the moment. Recently published report by Amnesty France bears a title signifies, is called « condemned to wandering . Eviction of Roma in France » available on your website or blog Amnesty France Havre amnestylehavre.wordpress.com In an open letter to the Minister Interior , on 27 September 2012, Genevieve Garrigos, President of Amnesty International France said : « Based on our research, hundreds of Roma were expelled after – ministerial circular of 26 August and the evacuation of several camps, as currently applied, inconsistent with international law, particularly on individuals involved actual consultation, information and appropriate notification and relocation of the solutions proposed to guarantee the right of people not to become homeless as a result of expulsion. » ( * ) ministerial circular of 26 August 2012 on anticipating and supporting the evacuation camps.
. Carol and Veronica Madalin Madalin son, his wife Christina, Marcella and her son Marcel, and Sirbu Ruble, Sorin and Sonnia, Sever and Cornelia Stellian and Mariana, Remus and Loura, Josip and Cornelia, David and Ana Marin and tearing and their children and many others… I’ve forgotten… I hope you will forgive me.
. Staff members with who I sometimes share the same problems of Roma.
. Dominique Rougeventre, head of Amnesty International Group 151 who believed in this adventure and who trusted me.
. Boris Tesnière cafe patron « L’Air du Thé » which also trusted me in a context not really sure. We find on its facebook http://www.facebook.com/LAirDuThe page.
Sirbu ‘s desperation in the last photo says a lot about the situation of Roma in Havre. He and his family were expelled after a week. Everything must be rebuilt. We are on the eve of winter and the sun rises more slowly. At 8:30, the kids are clean, on time and happy to go to school. Maybe it’s on expulsion…
Photographs are only a small part of the mission of immersion that I was hired six months to Roma di Havre. We had to tame each other. Before you can take pictures for me, as I had first to be accepted as a photographer all.
Was a ritual between us, bring pictures from the previous session and then can take the camera to a new session of shooting. I took hundreds of portrait photographs that are now arranged in pocket wallets.
A trust has been established between us. Sometimes it happened to go with some precious photos of their memories, to repair them or to increase.
From these photos, I was invited to her cottages, apartments, abandoned places where they took refuge, we shared food together some time in their lives everyday. These Roma have found place in my life , maybe I had left a door ajar…
Traduction par Harold Luch, avec tous mes remerciements.