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From the project
‘Between Yesterday and Tomorrow’
Colour C-Type print. Fuji Crystal Archive Paper
Guest edition selected by Fiona Rogers of Firecracker
Mona Simon is a London based documentary photographer. She studied in Bremen, Havana and London, and has won various awards for her work, including the Portrait prize in this years ‘Photographers giving back’ award. Her personal work focuses on issues of cultural and social change including migration.
Mona belongs to a vanishing German so called Transylvanian Saxon and Hungarian minority, living in what today is Romania. Growing up in a multicultural environment taught her to appreciate cultural differences, values and traditions. She was 10 when the Communism collapsed and almost the entire minority decided to immigrated to Germany.
About ‘Between Yesterday and Tomorrow’
Romania has the largest proportion of Gypsy people in the world. It’s estimated that two million people or 5-10% of the population are Roma. Romania joined the EU in 2007 but many gypsy customs are outside of EU regulations working on hundreds of years of tradition and ritual.
‘Between Yesterday and Tomorrow’ shows the Caldarari gypsies, a community who has settled down on the brink of a former saxon village in Transylvania. They have built enormous houses to demonstrate their wealth to the rest of the world but also to each other.
Every Caldarari has the surname Caldararu which means tin or coppersmith. The Caldarari work in the same handcraft since many hundreds of years, they make their money from forging buckets, kettles, pots and boilers for distilling alcohol.
Like many Gypsy Communities the Caldarari live in a rigorous patriarchal society, property will always be inherited by sons and childhood engagements ensure that their children remain in the caldarari community, therefore girls usually leave their families in a young age to get married to the son of an adequate Family. School education does not mean a lot to them, as the most important value and foundation of their culture is to be good in their traditional hand trade, which they won‘t learn at school but from their families, as they say.
New submissions deadline coming soon
Contact will be taking submissions for our new festival of photography and multimedia, Night Contact. We are looking for interesting and innovative bodies of work to be projected as part of the festival. More info coming soon. Find out more.