Life of a Roma family living in Bosnia

15 images Created 10 Jun 2011

In a span of 5 days, I got to spend time with the Sualic and Ramic, two Roma families whose lives are intertwined. Osman Sualic with his 4 kids(Dino, Dina, Endriana and Elma) live in a two room house in a dilapidated neighborhood opposite the Mittal Steel factory in Zenica, Bosnia. There is constant smoke coming out of Mittal Steel and that has affected the lives of the Roma's living in this neighborhood. Osman does some handy work everyday but does not have a job. In fact he suffers from chronic back problem and cannot work long hours. Dina, 20 the eldest daughter pretty much takes care of the house, with the help of Samira Ramic a neighbor who is more than a family to the Sualic's.
I documented the everyday life of the Sualic's and thus came across the ups and downs in their life. This essay is a visual story of a part of their life and also to show the life of a Roma family. Please note, my story by no means is trying to generalize this to all Roma's living in Zenica, Bosnia. But the living conditions of most Roma's in Zenica bare a similar fate.

It is a very male dominated Roma world with women held to the traditional role of cooking, taking care of the kids and being home bound. There is also high teen pregnancy among Roma's and Roma women who get married to non Roma's often are abandoned after having a baby and are left to fend for themselves. These Roma's are living on the fringe of the society barely making a living.
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