Visual representations of Roma people: moving beyond stereotypes

  • Tremlett, A. (Speaker)
  • Sanna Nissinen (Speaker)
  • John Oates (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description of Activity

Stereotypical portrayals of minorities have resurfaced in a Europe struggling to deal with new migration flows, divisive politics and an increase in racism. The attitudes towards Roma (sometimes referred to as ‘Gypsy’) minorities are a prime example: the recent surges of negative media images have impacted on both public perception and policy initiatives. Negative visual representations are also an inherent part of a discriminatory culture. However, whilst we know the effects of negative images, there is no clarity as to what ‘non-stereotypical’ images might look like. Moving away from stereotypes is not an oppositional process. As Paul Gilroy says, anti-racist movements often fail as they use “narrow categories” that mirror the reductionist categories used by racist ideologies themselves (Gilroy 2002: 249). Research shows that a focus on the ‘everyday’ can produce alternative images. The co-presenters in this paper have collectively over 2,000 images produced during everyday research with Roma people. Combining their data and knowledge provides a unique opportunity to create a deeper understanding of alternative ‘non-stereotypical’ images in order to challenge misrepresentation and racism. The findings will serve as a resource for researchers of minority groups and a range of publics including journalists, policy-makers and charities.

This is linked to the funded project British Academy Small Grant ‘Visual representations of Roma, moving beyond stereotypes’, Running August 2017 – August 2019.
Period27 Jun 2018
Event titleInternational Visual Association 36th Conference: Visualizing the Political Process
Event typeConference
LocationEvry, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • visual culture
  • representations
  • Stigma
  • Minorities
  • Ethnicity
  • Photo elicitation
  • Exhibition
  • Audiences