Wonderful, photo essay by Lena Mucha
[W]onderful is a story about the young Roma generation in the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain.
Beyond stereotypical paradigms about Roma people, this project gives a glimpse into the world of this generation whose future seems to offer little promise and where social stigma as racial discrimination and social exclusion are shaping their reality.
With around 60% aged below 29 years, Roma are a relatively young community. Embracing adult responsibilities very early and playing an important role in the economical activities of their families they learn to be adult at a very young age. Their strength and maturity stand in opposition to their fragility, their hopes and wishes of living a free childhood and youth within one of the oldest minorities of Europe.
Between tradition, patriarchal structures and cultural and social globalization, it is the need of achieving ethnical recognition and defining their identity what most challenges this generation nowadays.
Q&A with Lena Mucha
… a powerful medium to express and communicate my personal perception of the cultures that surround us. Yet, I think we should be flexible and able to adapt the language we use depending on the topic and what we want to communicate.
Photography and writing…
… are different media complementing each other. A photograph should speak for itself. Nevertheless, sometimes more specific contextual information is necessary in order to give a wider understanding of the documented issue.
Nevertheless, sometimes more specific contextual information is necessary in order to give a wider understanding of the documented issue. In the current era where we receive an overwhelming amount of visual material, we should be careful at the moment of consuming images and text, as written information can lead even more to misinterpretations of what we consider “true”.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
I very much appreciate the portrait work of Alessandra Sanguinetti, Pierre Gonnord and Joan Fontcuberta.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a german photojournalist currently based in Barcelona, Spain. I studied Social Anthropology and Political Sciences and worked several years on human rights topics in Colombia and Guatemala, where I started becoming a photographer in 2013.
My work focuses on stories related to human rights, gender aspects and social changes within societies and ethnic groups. My aim is to investigate and visualize those stories behind the images and challenge prejudices and preconceptions about “the others”. Photography, as well as anthropology, allows me to get a more holistic understanding of the cultures we are living in and therefore helps me to understand humanity a little more.
Lena Mucha (website), born in Germany (1983). Master in Social Anthropology, University of Cologne, 2011.Her interest in photography began whilst investigating the conflict in Colombia, covering assignments for NGOs and working in local newspapers. Since 2013 she lives in Barcelona. 2014 she won the first prize of the international photography contest Iber-rutas and was awarded the Albarracin Photojournalism Schoolarship. Her work has been exhibited internationally and published in El Pais and 6mois.