Lenka Hoffmannova

Photographer
 
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Location: Šumperk
Nationality: Czech
Biography: My name is Lenka Hoffmannova and I live in Šumperk, the Czech Republic. I was born in industrial town Ostrava in northern Moravia. My grandfather was the master in a coalmine. My father was a turner in the development department of... read on
My photos are from the Gypsy International Day celebration in Olomouc (April 2016). Gypsy people are the largest minority in the Czech Republic, about 400 thousand people, about 4%, and I think there is large discrimination and almost no solution for them. I love their culture and spontaneity. I was invited to Olomouc to celebrate the International Roma Day in Olomouc too.

I was born in Ostrava where a lot of Gypsies from Slovakia settled after the WWII. There was exterminated almost the whole Gypsy population in the Czech Republic during the WWII. I lived in Ostrava and in Havířov in my child- and younghood. There came a lot of Gypsies from Slovakia to this industrial region some of them were my classmates. In Havířov town near Ostrava I and my family had Gypsy neighbours and their oldest daughter, the same age, was my best childhood friend. Her family helped me a lot. 

As I know Gypsies in the Czech Republic came from Slovakia. They couldn´t speak Czech properly, so their children were and still are sent to special schools with no possibility to continue their aducation. As I know a lot of Gypsy people have problem to get accommodation, job or study at university, because they are mostly very poor and are on welfare. The Czech government is trying to solve this bad situation, but not too successfully.

I am very sorry that almost 90% of the Czech Republic population refuses living, attending school or sitting next to Gypsy people and I think it´s very bad situation for the future. I want to show the Gypsies´s life not only to our majority.

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