Photography, Fine Art, Wet Plate Collodion, Alternative photography

Romas deprived even to call themselves as Roma

with 8 comments

_mg_6296_borut_peterlin.jpgThis week I’ve done also a reportage on Roma settlement at Dobruška vas in vacinity of Bramac tile brick company. With journalist Deja Crnović we visited them because an information leaked that there are plans that whole settlement is to be torn down and people resettled. I’ll finish the story tomorrow but let me tell you that I felt sick while taking picture of what kind of condition these people are living. This is really shameful for Slovenia in 21st century.
The most ridicules thing I’ve heard is that major of Škocjan Anton Zupet is categorically denying that Romas are autochthonous residents of municipality of Škocjan, because in year 1992 when population was counted, only ten Romas declared them self as Romas. Nonetheless Romas live there for at least two generations. Other declared themselves as Slovenians. Because of that Romas do not have their representative at town council and they are not legitimated for additional help. As far as I understand from all information that I’ve got and I’ve might be wrong but I think that this people were intentionally left to poverty with purpose to leave the settlement and the plan is that they should be moved to urban cities away from Škocjan. More information later. _mg_6217_borut_peterlin.jpg

_mg_6213_borut_peterlin.jpg Stream Mlaka runs through Škocjan and all sewage water and water from garbages runs into the stream polluting it seriously. In whole settlement there are only four houses with drinking water. Everybody else are getting water from a spring few kilometrs away, but many Roma’s drink water directly from the stream. _mg_6181_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6203_borut_peterlin.jpg Like_this_mother of eight children lives in this shanty with only polyvinyl roof above their heads. Her husband died just four days before I took the image allegedly because he was drinking that water._mg_6187_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6185_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6193_borut_peterlin.jpg And_her_children_have some really vicious rash on their hair. _mg_6315_borut_peterlin.jpg

Brigita age 44 is going everyday with her carriage and horse to water spring for a fresh water._mg_6250_borut_peterlin.jpg _mg_6243_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6166_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6077_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6087_borut_peterlin.jpgd203_6117_borut_peterlin.jpg The_house_of_Milan_Novak is very tidy, but cockroaches are all around. They also don’t have running water.

On the north side of Bramac factory there is a settlement of Jože Brajdič, which is incomparingly better. In that settlement about 50 people lives and they are collecting scrap metal and three man are employed at Bramac.

_mg_6073_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6076_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6041_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6047_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6045_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6043_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_5983_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6064_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6010_borut_peterlin.jpg_mg_6018_borut_peterlin.jpgJože_Brajdič_in_front of the house with papers proving that he’s owner of the land and one house has legal papers. When he build his house 20 years ago everybody was prasing him as a Roma who wants to “civilize” and now there are this rumors that his house will be torn down.

d203_6122_borut_peterlin.jpgAfter a murder happened on 5th of June 2005, all windows in the settlement have a net over the window, preventing another bomb attack. d078_4233.JPGd203_6126_borut_peterlin.jpg A picture of the house where murder happened on the day of the murder and two years later.

Here are pictures concerning the murder in June 2005 when Janez Šuler throw a hand grenade in a bedroom of mother of five, killing mother and her daughter. Two years after the event only murderers were caught. Who was a person who ordered a killing is still unknown. Liljana Novak age 25 said that she heard a rumor that they will be resettled already a month before a bomb attack that night of June 2005.


Written by Borut Peterlin

9 February, 2007 at 00:15

8 Responses

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  1. Yes, you are right: This is really shameful for Slovenia in 21st century.

    There is not much to say, just: SHAME SHAME SHAME!


    9 February, 2007 at 06:31

  2. Borut, this is typical for Slovenia nowadays. It is very hard to see from within and some historical and geographical distance helps a lot. You had great experience living abroad and traveling abroad so you have that. Most of Slovenians don’t. Most of them are xenophobes. What counts is typical Slovenian blue collar look and feel. Everything else is evil. Being successful white collar worker, foreigner, or member of the minority (Serb, Croatian, Bosnian, Albanian, Roma …) are actively persecuted (sometimes officially, sometimes unofficially) for being different. Successful white collar workers are unproportionally overtaxed and demotivated for being successful to the extreme. For example, good paying white collar worker can pay 16 or more times in taxes and benefits contributions then typical blue collar worker, yet they enjoy the same poor benefits out of it. All of it because some “social rights”. On the other spectrum, the same people that enjoy these benefits paid by others are complaining about Roma people receiving even greater benefits as their own. Situation is so bizarre that even those “pure Slovenians” who barely contribute anything to taxes and are net beneficiaries from the system are complaining about Roma people who get the same benefits or more. They don’t realize that themselves are living on the expense of others.


    9 February, 2007 at 23:04

  3. Allied forces after 2.WW admitted that they’ve made a strategical mistake to proclaim they are fighting against Germany, Italy and Japan instead proclaiming they are fighting against fascism. Majority in Nazi Germany were not fascist, but they fight for their country.

    I’m not an expert in history, but my point is that fascism (xenophobia, racial intolerance…) is independent from politics, religion or nationality. It is a based on inferior complex and although individuals might think they are superior from certain group of people, they believe that just to mask their inferiority. Man with peace in his heart does not feel an urge to prove his power to anybody, whereas teenager by years or by mentality does feel an urge to invent enemies and prove themselves and others how strong and smart s/he is.

    Yes, there is a lot of xenophobia (I call it fascism) in Slovenia and in our mentality is no different then Serbs, Croats or other “great” nations. But the most fascist country of all is certainly USA not to mention the harm that Bush’s regime has done to the population of the world.

    I agree with your last two sentences. I even faced a very xenophobe person with the fact that s/he retired with a fraud.


    11 February, 2007 at 18:20

  4. The thing is – at least I saw that way – that most of the Slovenians are as they would live in this little bubble, not knowing anyone around, just care for themselves, their little home and car.
    As little USA. Check the news, there is so little foreign news, cause people don’t care, what is happening outside the border.
    I really don’t know what brings people to this kind of thinking- smallness, society, family??
    Most of the people would say just: get a life!


    11 February, 2007 at 20:19

  5. You can’t mix xenophobia fascism. Fascism is right wing collectivistic ideology oposing socialism, liberalism, democracy, and individualism. It is more then obvious that degree of personal and financial freedom (liberalism and individualism) as well as democracy in USA is far above majority of the European countries.

    You can check UN “Most Livable” countries (UN Himan Development Index) and find US far above countries such as Slovenia and majority of European countries. Or Index of Economic Freedom 2007 where US is #4 and Slovenia #58 (behind countries such as Kuwait, Oman, or even Botswana.

    While I would agree USA has seen better days regarding it’s freedoms it is still far from your claims.

    Yes I am somewhat biased living in the US Southeast region which used to be very racist but I can tell you first hand that situation is changing. Do we still see racial and religious profiling? We sure do but as a member of minority I can tell you that the opportunities are given to people willing to work hard. Which is more then I could say about my native country. I could never have the chance to support my family, be able to afford a house (I pay mortgage for it) or even further, I could never even dream of being able to help others the way I can here. I can look around and pick a kid or two to adopt just because that kid needs a home and because I can offer one. I don’t have the luxury of grandparents lending or giving me money and I don’t have to rely on parents to help with my living situation either. But I digress.

    The point was that freedom is not free. I agree that our (US) government is treading on the path of sacrificing freedom for safety but I am sure the path will be short lived and once we get a new Republican (Gulliani for example) or Democratic (Clinton-Rodham for example) president things will turn back to more normal path. However it will never be normal until other countries continue to fall behind and not step up to the plate where they should. Things here change with a pace that is unbelievable compared to the glacier speed of change in Slovenia where socialism is still a prevalent force regardless of misconception that you are now living in a “neo liberal capitalism” (which you are far from it).


    11 February, 2007 at 20:49

  6. Sure, I agree that xenophobia and fascism are two different things. I’m sorry for my clumsy language, but I’m lacking words even in my native Slovenian to explain my point. I’ll try to make my point by using metaphors.

    Car and tractor are two different things, but if you consider how both devices run, you realize they are very similar things. They both use the same principle how to work and they both use the same fuel.

    My point is that xenophobia and fascism use the same principle and the same fuel, but on outside they do appear as two different things, which they are but they are very compatible. Sort of best friends.

    Considering USA I have no doubt that it is the best country considering the benefits for it’s citizens. I’m saying that considering globally USA and it’s individualism made and it’s still making huge damage to human rights issue to environmental issue, not to mention disgusting word “collateral damage”.

    We need to find out new term that would be free from political past and in it we could fit in intolerance of 21st Century from Slovenian xenophobia to USA colonialism. On the end of the day it uses the same fuel (inferior complex) and has the same syndromes.

    I’m looking forward of presidential elections in USA much more then presidential elections in Slovenia, because president of USA does affect my life much more then president of Slovenia.



    12 February, 2007 at 09:21

  7. […] Last week I’ve visited two Roma families that are living on their own land in Semič, Slovenia. They are isolated from Roma and Slovenian community. I saw a lot of Roma communities but they were surely the poorest. They are even poorer then Roma in Dobruška vas. […]

  8. […] More about terrorists killing Romas you can read on THIS link. […]

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