the walking people

a look into the hidden culture of ireland’s nomadic ethnic minority

I went to Ireland to meet and document the people known as Travellers, or Mincéirs as they refer to themselves. With a fellow photographer who befriended many of the community and has been photographing their lives for 15 years, I was able to enter a usually closed and guarded ethnic minority. Although they have no written history, it is thought that they separated from the “settled” Irish over a 1,000 years ago. Most are found living on the sides of roads in caravans in ad hoc encampments in family clusters, surrounding the cities and countryside, where they keep trotting horses and ponies, breed lurchers (greyhounds) and terriers, and raise their large families. They are religiously devout, holding fast to traditions despite facing extreme discrimination, hostility and the effects of living lives often in despair and poverty. Although they make up a small percentage of the overall population in Ireland, they have a significantly higher rate of suicide and alcoholism, and their average life span is under 60 years due to hardship and inaccessibility of proper healthcare.

This is currently an on-going project for me.