Slovak photographer Šymon Kliman received the European Citizen of 2012 award from the Information Office of the European Parliament (EP) for his exhibition devoted to ethnic Slovak Roma, called “Beautiful People”, the SITA newswire reported on September 21.
“I started to manage the [issue of] Slovak Roma because it is the lowest part of our society, which is simultaneously its mirror,” he said, as quoted by SITA, adding that he hopes the award will help him to continue in his work and realise his dreams, such as publishing his own book.
An exhibition of portraits of smartly dressed Roma from often neglected Roma settlements in eastern Slovakia was organised in Bratislava city centre in April. It has also visited the Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium and Mexico, the TASR newswire wrote.
The EP has been granting the European Citizen award since 2008, based on nominations submitted by the members of the EP in recognition of outstanding achievements or activities by Europeans that benefit Europe and lead to better understanding among its citizens, the TASR newswire reported.
The paradox is that Kliman was not nominated by any Slovak Member of Parliament, but by Swede Anna Ibrisagic.
“At first I saw the exhibition on the social network, and then on one of the Slovak [internet portals]; it immediately struck me with the contrast of beauty and those people, it seemed that these people are trying to say something through the photographs,” Ibrisagic said, as quoted by SITA, adding that they maybe tried the others to see them.
Source: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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