October 20, 2017
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

ROMA REFUGEES art and text by Lisa Reist

 

Although widely reported upon last summer, not much has been said recently of the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians who have been deported to be repatriated in Kosovo. Shortly following their independence from Serbia, Kosovo buckled under international pressure to accept Roma and other minority populations from various Western European countries. However, Kosovo does not have the infrastructure to support these peoples. According to the BBC, currently “unemployment stands at over 40%, with almost half the population below the poverty line and last December’s general election – the first since independence – was marred by serious fraud.”

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12492187)
A Human Rights Watch report released in October states that “Roma and related minority groups deported from Western Europe to Kosovo face discrimination and severe deprivation amounting to human rights abuse.”  Groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UNICEF have condemned the deportations, but the world seems to have lost interest in these thousands who have been sent packing to a land that is often completely foreign to them. One such child, pictured above, struggles with his “repatriation” in this short piece produced for the BBC by Andrew Lampard: http://vimeo.com/15042165