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Photo Essays

Emanuele Nutile | Noroc Maroc

The figure of Christ is one of the few constants in their lives
[N]oroc Maroc is about a group of five Romanian Gypsies who have settled in Barcelona for more than five years, leaving behind really tough life experiences.
So. traveled in a Ford Transit to Barcelona, with seven other romanians, after they were expelled from Paris. To survive he began to engage junk, and the Ford was useful for that task.

Ex. is the soul of the little community, despite the harshness of his life is hard working, sociable and altruistic person. At each visit I did he gave me everything that did not sell of his junk. As for others, when Ex. was absent, they spent their money in cartons of wine and they ate the waste that they found in the trash. Lu., Ex.’s wife, is quite unstable, and she doesn´t speak Spanish, she communicated with me through her large bright eyes. She often disappeared from the camp some days for days and Ex. one time, because of his doubts, took her to Sagrada Familia’s cathedral and asked to God if the baby they are expecting was his child.
Em. was important for my immersion in the daily life of the camp. He speaks Italian and continually made jokes, he actually made So. his favorite joke victim subject, he makes everyone laugh.

Ma. is the “tata” (father) of the group for being the oldest. He spends the day drinking wine, and some mornings he takes the metro and goes begging in downtown. He speaks a few words in Spanish and bungle between different languages, because he had lived in different places such as Morocco, which has good memories and is the first to say “Noroc Maroc” (cheers Morocco!) each time it toast. Everyone has worked as laborers in the fields of half of Europe: Romania, Hungary, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany and even England. They were happy there, because despite the hard work they could take a glass of wine in the shade when the sun beat down, besides having a roof and hot food. They dreamed of saving and returning home to start a new life, but the loss of documentation and labyrinthine spanish and international bureaucracy forced them to build their own shacks on the outskirts of Barcelona.
In the eight months I’ve shared with them, they had to move countless times, with all that who entails (search location, transportation and construction). Have suffered multiple evictions by the police because they generally occupy vacant land. Starting from scratch is a constant in the lives of these people.

They cook with stove and cookware encountered in the trash
They share the same shack
For night lighting they use a gasoline generator
They don’t like go to supermarket without shaving
They spend a lot of time together around the fire
They sell the raw copper for buy food
Every day wandering in search of scrap metal with their buggy
They camped in hidden places
They dream to come back to Romania with some savings
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