Roman Zakrevskyi. The Gaze

Epigraph:
Look into the eyes from which you hide your gaze.

What we see:
This is a display of photo portraits of the Roma from Chernihiv region. The photos are untitled so that you could immerse yourself in the world of the characters’ souls.

Why:
From time to time, we see reports of attacks against the Roma for quite ridiculous motives.

Romaphobia is a type of xenophobia. It entails rejection, fear, aggression, condemnation of the Roma people and their way of living, social behavior. People try to avoid meetings, communication, physical and social contact with the Roma regardless of their age, gender, social status, appearance, education, occupation.

Due to stereotypes, many Ukrainian citizens of different nationalities tend to believe that the Roma can only steal, engage in divination, begging, singing and dancing. But these stereotypes are just the tip of the iceberg of Romaphobia. The problem is much deeper and it’s rooted in the process of raising children of non-Roma nationalities. It is here that the bricks of the foundation are laid, on which the rejection of the Roma in its various forms is based.

At the same time, for more than a thousand years, representatives of this nation have preserved their language, culture and traditions. And scholars still cannot understand how, despite the nomadic way of life, the Roma people managed to preserve their national identity.

About the organization:
Romano Drom CSO was launched in 2003. The purpose of the organization is to promote revival of national culture, language, traditions of the ethnic Roma living in Chernihiv and Chernihiv region. Also, one of the priorities of the organization is to protect legitimate social, legal and age interests of the Roma. Romano Drom in cooperation with international and Ukrainian organizations and foundations helps Roma Holocaust victims receive legal, financial and humanitarian aid. Many projects of the organization are aimed at overcoming Romaphobia and discrimination against the Roma national minority. Romano Drome pays particular attention to perpetuating the memory of the Roma genocide victims. The organization is best known for erecting a memorial at the site of the mass shooting of Roma in Chernihiv during the World War II.

This exhibition was organized with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the project «Memorial Artifacts of the Roma People» «The Road of Tears», which was implemented by Romano Drom CSO. The materials of the exhibition relay the perspective of the authors and do not necessarily coincide with the stance of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Year of creation 2019

BIO

Roman Zakrevskyi – a Chernihiv native, a photographer. Works mainly in Chernihiv. Has been engaged in art photography since 2008. For him, photography is a kind of force that turns familiar things into unusual, opens the hidden and hides the pronounced.