Thomas Francia

Sinti-A Family Portrait
Location: Bologna
Nationality: Italian
Biography: Thomas Francia is born on 13 febbruary 1994 in Castelnuovo ne' Monti and he is a freelance photographer based in Bologna, Italy. He starts to get intrested in photography at 19 years old, when he move to Bologna. He get the Art Graphic... MORE
Public Story
Sinti-A Family Portrait
Copyright Thomas Francia 2023
Date of Work Oct 2016 - Ongoing
Updated Feb 2020
Topics Black and White, Children, Civil Rights, Community, Daily Life, Discrimination, Documentary, Education, Family, Freedom, Human Rights, Parenting & Family, Photography, Photojournalism, Relationships, Sinti

Linda was born in Modena, like her father and grandfather too and, despite their are in Italy since generations facing discrimination and social exclusion, today their situation, though improved, remains tainted by hostility. She lives in the nomad camp of Castelnuovo Rangone, with her parents, her four sister and their families, creating a community  where the constant sharing of spaces and personal assets and the strong sense of mutual support characterizes and sustains not only  life within the camp, but also the way of life of Sinti tribe.   

The Sinti were a nomadic ethnicity until the middle of the last century coming from the north of India and settled throughout Italy and in the rest of Europe. It is a people that since ancient times has faced discrimination, high rates of poverty and all kinds of persecution, like the incredible treatment reserved for them during the Nazi period, where the Sinti were deported to concentration camps or massacred in the host countries. 

Today the different Sinti communities are now an integral part of the European territory where there is the search for a real integration with the local culture, despite a sudden increase in intolerance and fear towards the different. Italy is the European country where intolerance towards Roma and Sinti is more widespread, in fact, it is the only country in Europe where the camps exist, created to solve the housing emergency of Roma and Sinti citizens.

Despite their difficulties to get a real integration with local communities,  and the hostility brought over their culture that  doesn’t allow them to get a permanent employment to the near factories, suffering is not part of their identity and everyday life. The faith in evangelical religion, which  is becoming more rooted thanks to the increasingly frequent cults and baptisms inside the near camps, the children play time, collective lunches and  family gatherings, encompasses this reality with a great feeling of happiness and quietness

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