Nikon Photo Contest 2012-2013

Category B Photo story:3rd place

ROMS a camp on the doorstep of Pari

Pierre Faure



My series is the result of one year spent with these people. I am very pleased to be able to show this work through a event so prestigious as the nikon contest.

(the whole title is: ROMS a camp on the doorstep of Paris.)I made this series in a city of the suburb of Paris during the year 2012.Huts being very small I used especially the 28mm ais.This series illustrates the difficulty of the daily life of fifty Rom families from the town of Dorohoï in northeastern Romania, living on wasteland in the suburbs of Paris.

These people are economic migrants : steadily falling living standards over the past twenty years, coupled with a total absence of hope for the future, have pushed them to leave Romania.
They earn more in France (through busking, or the recovery of scrap metal) than they would as farmers back home, even though their living conditions are not so good. Their stay abroad is seen as an investment. As for all migrants, their priority is to put some money away to send back to their home country, with which they maintain close and regular ties – trips home are common, especially during important holidays.
They are not nomads : in Romania they live in houses, mostly in the country. But in France, they are forced to become itinerants because of expulsions from squats and slums.
Living altogether on the same patch of wasteland in a slum is not a normal way of living for them, but a product of their migration. It is a way of ensuring their own safety and it facilitates mutual support between the families.