In 2000, the Polygone, a gypsy settlement located in Strasbourg, France was declared substandard and unsafe. The city had to build 200 new conventional houses for this community who had been used to living for 40 years in their caravans or old houses built by themselves. This massive destruction not only affected their housing but their lifestyle : having barbecues with members of their families, living with their elders, letting the children play outdoors... I had already met these families in 2009 for a first series of photographies dealing with tolerance towards Manushes, Sinti and Roma. When I came back 7 years later and spent 6 months with them before their houses were destroyed, I felt an intense emotion of loss. In this series, I aim to show their feeling of dejection mixed with the joy of spending their last days on the settlement. This work is a tribute to the travellers's lifestyle in Strasbourg as well as a collective memory of the Roma, Sinti and Manushes' values.
AUTHOR: Jeannette Gregori FRANCE
Jeannette Gregori was born in 1967 and now lives in Strasbourg, France. She studied photography at the University of Fine Arts, Indiana, in the US and the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. Chance ad curiosity led to her getting to know a group of Romai families settled along a departmental road in Alsace, France in the summer of 2009. Her work since has sought to depict the engaging characters she came to know from these families and the humanity she saw in these people in the face of prejudices. Today, if she remains attached to this cause, she gradually opens to other society topics over the course of her experiences. Photography allows her to give the invisible in today's society some recognition . She also teaches photography in high schools and brings young students to produce photographic works associated with creative writing.