Photo exhibition “We, the Roma”
October 21, 2019 - April 22, 2020
At the barn of the Seto farm a photo exhibition “We, the Roma” by Annika Haas is displayed from October 21.
We, The Roma by Annika Haas
As a portraitist and a documentary photographer I am drawn to portraying people in the environments they create – the tight, closed, yet safe places humans inhabit. The environmental “cocoons” the minority groups dwell in give their inhabitants the distinctive appearance that can be reflected in photography. It is not easy to get into the homes of the Romas. At the beginning you have to get into their hearts and souls.
The Roma people are Estonia’s least known and most mysterious minority. We know that they live in Estonia, but only they know HOW. Like Jews, the fate of Gypsies has been rough – they have always been haunted, discriminated, and destroyed, but, unlike Jews, they have never been fully rehabilitated so the discrimination of Roma people continues. The public tends to mistrust them and regards them suspiciously, although they don’t know their habits and traditions. This documentary glimpse into their homes as their Safe and Sound environments is not judging this tiny nation that is excluded from the society both socially and economically. This photo series is a self-reflection of Romas and their homes that they themselves offered to me. And I found poetry at their homes what I felt needed to be shared.
Annika Haas is a documentary photographer based in Estonia. She studied Finno-Ugric languages in the University of Tartu (BA 2000) and simultaneously attended photo journalism courses at Tartu Art College (1999–2000). She has also taken courses in professional photography and documentary photography in London (in 2003 and in 2012). Since 2007, Annika Haas has managed the activities of the art house ambulARTorium. Since 2015, she has been the portrait and documentary photography editor in Estonian photography magazine Positiiv; she has been member of the board of Estonian Association of Press Photographers in 2012–2015. Now she is teaching documentary photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2018-...). The works of Annika Haas have been exhibited and recognized in Estonia and abroad, and she has been a winner and finalist of several international photo contest; she has been awarded the Grand Prize in Estonian Press Photo 2014 contest (2014) and won in the Feature Photo category of the same contest twice (2010, 2017). This year she was awarded the third prize in a Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards portrait competition (2019).