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Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Life of the Roma on show in Carmarthen
Detail from an image of Roma people showing a woman cooking and a man looking out from under a tiled canopy - Ana and Zsolti, Petofi Settlement, Sajokaza
Two artists based in SW Wales visited Budapest and north eastern Hungary to document the life of Roma families on film and with photographs

It took years of work, lots of determination and an old transit van to help put together this exhibition on the lives of Roma people in Hungary.

Working in 40 degree heat, SW Wales artists' Tina Carr and Annemarie Schöne, carried equipment for miles to document stories from this minority.

On show at Carmarthen's Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Once We Were Birds, explores the identity of the Roma.

The show's title relates to a story about their nomadic origins.

Although there are Roma people living in different parts of the world, ten percent of the Hungarian population are Roma and in recent years their community has been subject to violent attacks, and even killings.

Now they face long-term unemployment and dreadful, dreadful poverty and racism.

Tina Carr

The award-winning artists met local people in their homes with the help of the Roma Parliament - see their work in In pictures: the Roma in Hungary .

They stayed at campsites in Budapest and travelled in their converted van to a settlement in north east Hungary.

Tina Carr said: "The Roma situation is different in every country of Europe. In Pembrokeshire, the Roma is the largest minority.

"In Hungary they were settled and employed, but when the regime changed in 1989 they were the first to lose their jobs.

"Now they face long-term unemployment and dreadful, dreadful poverty and racism."

"We would not have believed it, had we not seen it first hand."

She added that on one settlement they visited more than 1,000 people had to use five standpipes for all their water.

Tina said: "We've just heard that the Roma Parliament wants to show the exhibition in the Eighth District.

"It was always our intention to take it to Budapest. That's the way we work, you don't just take, you give back."

"This is only the beginning as far as we're concerned, but we desperately need funding."

In pictures: the Roma in Hungary
22 Jan 10 |  Arts & Culture
Romas made to leave house in city
26 Aug 09 |  Northern Ireland
Growing marginalisation of Hungary's Roma
29 Aug 09 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Hungary arrests over Roma murders
22 Aug 09 |  Europe


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