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viernes, 6 de febrero de 2009

Raul Ross and the Urban Gypsies

The Latimer Road caravan site is not a place that you come across by accident. Hidden away behind a concrete jungle of flyover, railway tracks and high brick walls, the closest it gets to nature are a few scrubby shrubs and fenced in patches of green. Even the gravel path leading to the site looks unpromising. Lined with piles of junk, empty carcasses of cars, tumble down workshops and scrap yards, it looks like a path that goes nowhere. But round the bend the debris clears and reveals two rows of caravans neatly parked in concrete parking lots.

Each caravan a wonder of specialised workmanship costing tens of thousands of pounds. Inside is meticulously tidy. Getting behind the stereotypes is not easy - gypsies keep themselves to themselves. 'People outside treat us so bad - like aliens. That's why we don't bother much with them' says 20-year old Bridget.

While Bridget admits that the odds are stacked against their culture, she is adamant she will continue to live as they do. The road ahead toos and fros from one concrete site to another with snatched moments of borrowed time as a real traveller. But this is the closest she will get to real gypsy life in Britain. For her, the other options are no options at all.

To get the idea of a womans life with these travellers I spent the day with them for Company Magazine.

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