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Gypsies. Different People, Just Like Us.

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Beyond the stereotypes and cliches, little is known to most of the world of the customs and traditions of the Gypsies. Traditionally perceived as strangers, surrounded by distrust, they have always existed in isolated groups on the margins of developing European communities. But their contribution to the general cultural heritage, especially in music, dance and various handicrafts, is unquestionable.

I have tried to make a plea for tolerance towards those whose lifestyles, religion, and rituals differ from our own. My journeys, tracing the lives of present-day Gypsies in ten countries, have confirmed my earlier belief that little has changed for the Romany. It seems that we have not yet learned the lesson of tolerance toward people who live differently from ourselves.—Tomasz Tomaszewski

Tomasz Tomaszewski is a press photographer whose work has appeared in Stern, Paris Match, GEO, New York Times, Time, Fortune, Vogue, Die Zeit and Elle. He’s been contributing to National Geographic for over twenty years and has published 18 photographic essays for the magazine. Tomaszewski currently teaches photography in the United States, Germany, Italy, and Poland, where he is based.

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

Gypsies Tomasz-Tomaszewski photography

  • This is so gritty and a fantastic window into a new world.

  • gary

    Somebody needs a new dog. That one is broken.

  • So much taboo in one article!

  • Hard work. Note: I really like the density, the nonconform picture geomretry. It pulls you into the story. Thank you.

  • Marionismybaby

    is that a dog being dragged around by a kid in the 8th picture?!!!

  • shahnyboy

    Stereotypical shirtless & hairy mustachioed gypsy man,
    Beautiful woman dancing outside a cafe,
    Little girl smoking a cig under the mother’s eye,
    Gilded young bride visibly doubtful,
    Young boy dragging a dead dog,
    another one making out with his,
    Doll laying on the metal roof,
    Kids being reckless,

    Cripple hunched over his crunches holding a photo of a saint,
    Skinny dipping in the lake with an emaciated horse skinny,
    Women opening a bottle with the tooth next to one lost in likely similar attempts,
    Funeral of a grandmother,
    Funeral of a young boy dressed dapperly in tux & surrounded by grief.

    I fail to find a single compelling stories here.

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