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In Europe, most of the news about the Roma is negative, the media framing them as either victims or criminals. Few stories give a balanced account of this largely misunderstood minority. Bucharest-based photographer Octav Ganea sets out to show that the reality is more complex than the black and white portrayals. His Roma NOT in the News photo series tells very human stories of the Roma as decent and educated people.

Roma children are usually trapped in a vicious circle of prejudice, poverty and their parents’ traditional mentality. Many Roma families either do not see the value of education or cannot afford it. A study from 2010 shows that only 1 in 4 Roma children attend primary school. Less than 1% of the children that do go to school end up graduating from university. Shot in Bulgaria, the project looks at some of the Roma that fall into the precious 1% that seek higher education. The images reveal not only the perseverance of these young people, but the continual struggle again discrimination and rejection they face on a daily basis.

Roma Not in the News is one of the projects in the SEE New Perspectives Masterclass, organized by World Press Photo and Robert Bosch Stiftung.

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All images © Octav Ganea 2014

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