Photographer: Stanislava Novgorodtseva
Title: Russka Roma
Location: Russia, Bryansk region
Period: 07/2020 - 07/2021
Category: Solutions

According to the 2010 state census, about 220 thousand Roma live in Russia, but unofficial statistics points at 800 thousand people. This difference is explained by the fact that many Roma families do not have documents; in this case, they simply do not exist for the state system. Roma are one of the most disenfranchised and discriminated groups of the Russian population/in Russia. The reputation of Roma among the ethnically Russian population is largely based on stereotypes - their image is associated with theft, fortune-telling and begging. One of the places with a high concentration of Roma is the village of Velichka in the Bryansk region. Here, in a house abandoned by the previous owners, Vika and Raj live on 35 square meters - their 9 children, 2 daughters-in-law, niece and 2 newborn grandchildren.

Raj and Vika are half brother and sister. Her birth mother left Vika in someone else’s house immediately after birth. When Vika was 18 and Raju was 16 they got married. The 36-year-old Raj has a passport, the 38-year-old Vika lives without documents. Both of them cannot read and write, however, they want their children to receive an education.

Despite poverty and the existing stereotype, Raj is not ready to steal to earn money. - his blood mother was a professional pickpocket and spent most of her son's childhood in prison. Raj does not want a repetition of the history for his family.

Russka Roma 1

The oldest man in the family used to be called a baron When the leader died his eldest son inherited his title and position Today the baron is a rarity In the photo the father of Raj and Vicka is Nikolai br

Russka Roma 2

Children play with piglets near the pen Kolya the twin brother of Raj has a small farm

Russka Roma 3

Milan 11 years old I would like to marry a Russian but not soon I still want to take a walk

Russka Roma 4

Children after fishing br

Russka Roma 5

If a horse has been stolen one should say three times Tell me O Nivaseha by the hand of a child Where is my horse Pure child pure like the sun Pure like water pure like the moon Pure as the purest

Russka Roma 6

From left to right Sonya with her cousins Zara and Diana Their house is next door and the children spend all the time together Raj has 9 children and his twin brother Kolya has 10

Russka Roma 7

18 year old Diana cleans the house Diana is Raja s daughter-in-law married to Ruslan they recently had a daughter Romals believe that it is not worth sweeping out the garbage from the house after sunset it can get in the face of a passing spirit so the cleaning is finished before sunset

Russka Roma 8

Brothers on the school playground

Russka Roma 9

Dima 12 years old I feel sorry for my grandfather mom and dad because they cannot find a job I will grow up I will help I will go to Moscow with my grandfather I will find a bride I want to become a football player or a taxi driver

Russka Roma 10

Christina 13 years old I don t want to get married A man is scolded beaten for nothing swear and smoke I want to become a pastry chef

Russka Roma 11

Raj s house at night

Russka Roma 12

Raj and Vika with their grandson