Roma People by Mugur Varzariu


Roma people of turkish origins, as seen in Eforie Sud on October 7, 2013. Regardless international pressure to stop such practices, local authorities continue to forcibly evict the remaining Roma people, two weeks after the initial displacement. On Friday 27, 2013, local authorities in Eforie Sud proceeded to forcibly evict more than 100 turkish Roma people, leaving almost 60 children, mostly under 10 with no shelter, facing extreme weather conditions and lack of food.
Roma people of turkish origins, as seen in Eforie Sud on October 7, 2013. Regardless international pressure to stop such practices, local authorities continue to forcibly evict the remaining Roma people, two weeks after the initial displacement. On Friday 27, 2013, local authorities in Eforie Sud proceeded to forcibly evict more than 100 turkish Roma people, leaving almost 60 children, mostly under 10 with no shelter, facing extreme weather conditions and lack of food.

In 2006 Mugur started to wright on various political and social issues.

Four year later, when he turned 40, he decided to become a documentary photographer and in the same year he embraced the Roma cause dedicating most of his work to help end the plight of this ethic group nobody seems to care about.

Giving young generations an example of the amazing things you can achieve and change by being good keeps Mugur going every day. In less then 100 years Roma people will repress the majority of the population in Romania. By contributing to the inclusion through education and fight against discrimination he is hopping for a better future for his country.

Romanian kids of Roma origins play football as seen in Poaina Negustorului on March 18, 2013. In today's Romania there are many barriers facing Roma in access to health care, including structural disadvantages resulting from the operation of general policies and administrative practices such as the disproportionate exclusion of Roma from health insurance; barriers to access to health care and other disparate impacts on the health of Roma stemming from continuing discrimination in other areas such as education, housing and employment, as well as from discriminatory practices by health care practitioners.
Romanian kids of Roma origins play football as seen in Poaina Negustorului on March 18, 2013. In today’s Romania there are many barriers facing Roma in access to health care, including structural disadvantages resulting from the operation of general policies and administrative practices such as the
disproportionate exclusion of Roma from health insurance; barriers to access to health care and other disparate impacts on the health of Roma stemming from continuing discrimination in other areas such as education, housing and employment, as well as from discriminatory practices by health care practitioners.

Despite lack of interest from local and international publications, most of Mugur’s work since 2010 revolves around Roma people. For 6 years he extensively covered the abuses against the Roma community in Baia Mare, a city in the Northern part of Romania. This body of work became the reference material for Amnesty International (used for 2011 and 2012 country reports) and it was used in Court by the National Council Against Discrimination (the wall was declared an act of segregation at the end of 2013).

For months Mugur was the only one present there. His presence, as recognized by the community, prevented the demolition of Craica, an informal Roma settlement, against mayor’s promises during the electoral campaign in 2012. In 2012, he suggested AI to organize with a PR agency he recommended the first educational campaign on human rights.

Roma kid shelters himself from the rain with an improvised plastic cover pulled over the few belongings they were able to salvage before demolition, as seen in Eforie Sud on September 29, 2013. On Friday 27, 2013, local authorities in Eforie Sud proceeded to forcibly evict more than 60 turkish Roma families, leaving almost 60 children, mostly under 10 with no shelter, facing extreme weather conditions and lack of food.
Roma kid shelters himself from the rain with an improvised plastic cover pulled over the few belongings they were able to salvage before demolition, as seen in Eforie Sud on September 29, 2013. On Friday 27, 2013, local authorities in Eforie Sud proceeded to forcibly evict more than 60 turkish Roma families, leaving almost 60 children, mostly under 10 with no shelter, facing extreme weather conditions and lack of food.

During seven years of social activism and human rights defending, Mugur drove more than 100.000 km, spent tens of thousands of euros and thousands of hours working in the communities  or promoting the vulnerable groups causes. Through his direct implocation and hard work, Mugur was able to:

Limit the evictions of the Roma people living in ramshackle dwellings on Craica, an informal Roma settlement in Baia Mare, against mayor’s statements that he will buldoser down the whole community, if elected in 2012. Five years later the community is still standing.

Stop the evictions in Caracal. When he first arrived in the community people had their luggages prepared, by the door, awaiting for the day to be evicted. Mugur assessed the situation and informed Amnesty International and ERRC. Three years later the community is still there.

Help relocate the evicted Roma people in Eforie Sud after the mayor left them with no roof over their heads, in plain field during orange code for bad weather. Four year later, the community remains unscattered amid mayor’s promisess to rid the city of their presence.

While neither Amnesty International nor ERRC were abel to react, Mugur helped limit the scale of the evictions in Focsani in 2015. In 2017 90% of the social houses are still ocuppied.

Visit schools, high schools and universities and deliver inspirational speeches aimed at breaking understanding bariers and stereotypes.

Roma people living in a social housing complex known as 'La Capace', threaten to be evicted by the city hall, as seen in Mangalia on September 3, 2014.
Roma people living in a social housing complex known as ‘La Capace’, threaten to be evicted by the city hall, as seen in Mangalia on September 3, 2014.

Mugur continues to monitor and constantly revisit communities like Baia Mare, Eforie Sud, Caracal, Mangalia, Cluj-Napoca, Focsani, Costesti, Piatra-Neamt. In most cases Mugur responds first to the call of the endangered communities and debriefs local and international associations, that later can step in and assist with legal support.

Romania is a ‘champion’ at violating human rights if we look at the cases filed against our country at The European Court of Human Rights. Discriminating and segregating against the Roma is probably at the top of that list. The right to adequate housing is constantly violated by the authorities. Freedom of movement is also violated as authorities forcibly evict 30 ore more years long standing communities, asking the Roma to return to their places of birth, or even worse, asking those that always lived there to leave as well.  To put an end to that Mugur has pladge his time, his resources, his talent all wrapped in extremely hard work. [Offcial Website]

Roma people living in a social housing complex known as 'La Capace', threaten to be evicted by the city hall, as seen in Mangalia on September 3, 2014.
Roma people living in a social housing complex known as ‘La Capace’, threaten to be evicted by the city hall, as seen in Mangalia on September 3, 2014.
Roma girl, Cobzaru Cami, looks out the window as her grandfather Cobzaru Pompilica talks about the difficulties of raising nine children, as seen inside a Roma social housing complex on Negru Voda Street in Caracal on March 13, 2014. On March 15, given the eviction notification received from the local authorities in Caracal, approximatively seventy Roma people where suppose to evict the apartments they occupied in a social complex on Negru Voda Street in Caracal, most of them for more than thirty years. By issuing the eviction notice, local authorities didn't consider any alternatives nor the right to adequate housing.
Roma girl, Cobzaru Cami, looks out the window as her grandfather Cobzaru Pompilica talks about the difficulties of raising nine children, as seen inside a Roma social housing complex on Negru Voda Street in Caracal on March 13, 2014. On March 15, given the eviction notification received from the local authorities in Caracal, approximatively seventy Roma people where suppose to evict the apartments they occupied in a social complex on Negru Voda Street in Caracal, most of them for more than thirty years. By issuing the eviction notice, local authorities didn’t consider any alternatives nor the right to adequate housing.
Some of the 15en kids of Petru Somei, a Romanian of Roma origins, as seen in Rosia on May 6, 2014.The Waldorf School in nearby Sibiu founded the Hans Spalinger School. It started in 1998 as a literacy program for children from the Roma minority, and in 2000, the initiative was officially approved by the School Inspectorate in Sibiu as a public Waldorf school, and was then eventually extended by a vocational course with the emphasis on agriculture in 2004. Unfortunately, all vocational schools were abolished in Romania in 2009 and therefore, the school has to fight for a new official recognition by the Ministry for its professional training. Since September 2010, the school also has a kindergarten class, which is supported by the Waldorf association and is additionally funded through donations from Switzerland.
Some of the 15en kids of Petru Somei, a Romanian of Roma origins, as seen in Rosia on May 6, 2014.The Waldorf School in nearby Sibiu founded the Hans Spalinger School. It started in 1998 as a literacy program for children from the Roma minority, and in 2000, the initiative was officially approved by the School Inspectorate in Sibiu as a public Waldorf school, and was then eventually extended by a vocational course with the emphasis on agriculture in 2004. Unfortunately, all vocational schools were abolished in Romania in 2009 and therefore, the school has to fight for a new official recognition by the Ministry for its professional training. Since September 2010, the school also has a kindergarten class, which is supported by the Waldorf association and is additionally funded through donations from Switzerland.

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Romanian kids of roma origins playing, as seen on Craica, an informal roma settlement in Baia Mare, on September 23, 2011. Some of these settlements, like the one on Craica, date back to early 90’s. They where always tolerated by the authorities who verbally encouraged Romas to build in the area while giving reassurance that nothing bad would ever happen to them. Yet, today, while campaigning on a hate ticket, the same authorities are planning forced evictions without other reasons than ethnic cleansing of the cities. 
Romanian kids of roma origins playing, as seen on Craica, an informal roma settlement in Baia Mare, on September 23, 2011. Some of these settlements, like the one on Craica, date back to early 90’s. They where always tolerated by the authorities who verbally encouraged Romas to build in the area while giving reassurance that nothing bad would ever happen to them. Yet, today, while campaigning on a hate ticket, the same authorities are planning forced evictions without other reasons than ethnic cleansing of the cities.
Dano Suzana, mother of 3 (Harco David Raul, Dano, Denisa Izabela and Harco Renata Raluca) seen in her one room apartment on Horea Street in Baia Mare, September 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins. The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Dano Suzana, mother of 3 (Harco David Raul, Dano, Denisa Izabela and Harco Renata Raluca) seen in her one room apartment on Horea Street in Baia Mare, September 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins.
The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Romanians of roma origins pose for the camera inside their ramshackle dwelling, as seen on Craica, an informal roma settlement in Baia Mare, on September 24, 2011. Some of these settlements, like the one on Craica, date back to early 90’s. They where always tolerated by the authorities who verbally encouraged Romas to build in the area while giving reassurance that nothing bad would ever happen to them. Yet, today, while campaigning on a hate ticket, the same authorities are planning forced evictions without other reasons than ethnic cleansing of the cities. 
Romanians of roma origins pose for the camera inside their ramshackle dwelling, as seen on Craica, an informal roma settlement in Baia Mare, on September 24, 2011. Some of these settlements, like the one on Craica, date back to early 90’s. They where always tolerated by the authorities who verbally encouraged Romas to build in the area while giving reassurance that nothing bad would ever happen to them. Yet, today, while campaigning on a hate ticket, the same authorities are planning forced evictions without other reasons than ethnic cleansing of the cities.
Dula Jani seen inside his apartment on Horea Street in Baia Mare, september 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins. The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Dula Jani seen inside his apartment on Horea Street in Baia Mare, september 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins.
The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Roma woman finishing laying laundry to dry outside her window on Horea Street in Baia Mare, September 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins. The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Roma woman finishing laying laundry to dry outside her window on Horea Street in Baia Mare, September 20, 2011. Following on his pre-electoral racist promises to segregate the Roma, Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Baia Mare, a city located in the Northern part of Romania, decided to build a wall around a complex of social houses, mostly inhabited by Romanian citizens of Roma origins.
The initiative was justified in mayor’s eyes, by the bad behavior of the Roma kids who allegedly throw rocks at the passing by cars and occasional traffic accidents reported in the area. The plan also includes adding video cameras and a police station to monitor the situation in the complex.
Romanian of Roma origins cuts a Mercedes to collect the scrap metal, as seen in Calvini on September 18, 2010. The Roma where offered money, by the french authorities, in return for their 'voluntary' deportation back to Romania.
Romanian of Roma origins cuts a Mercedes to collect the scrap metal, as seen in Calvini on September 18, 2010. The Roma where offered money, by the french authorities, in return for their ‘voluntary’ deportation back to Romania.

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