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‘Here are the Gypsies!’ the importance of self-representations and how to question prominent images of Gypsy minorities

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Gypsy, Roma or traveller minorities remain a group that is still homogenized as the ‘other’. The European imagination continues to be entrenched in the spectacle of their difference – images of weddings, musicians, funerals and fights are fascinating and are thus prioritized. But what would happen if the cameras were given to these people themselves? What if they became the image-makers? This article examines how ethnic studies might contribute to breaking the mould of the exoticized Gypsy through self-representations. The study here formed part of an ethnographic project among primary school pupils in Hungary. Using the photo elicitation method, children were given disposable cameras producing 451 photographs that then formed the basis of interviews. The results reveal very few indicators that could be described as significantly or distinctively divided into ‘Gypsy’ or ‘non-Gypsy’ identifications, questioning the status of difference in discourses around such minorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1706-1725
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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