Ake Ericson’s book, Non Grata, is an unflinching, unadulterated look into the lives of an unwelcome people, who are discriminated against on a daily basis in many countries. With his keen eye, ability to capture poignant moments, and dedication to photojournalism, Ake’s able to take the viewer extremely close to the situation. His stark black-and-white photos strongly bring to focus the harsh realities he’s documenting. The book is now available for sale, and works from the book will be exhibited at gallery La Moulinette in Montmatre, Paris from the the 20th of September until the 7th of October.
For over 8 years, I have been documenting the life of the Roma people’s daily life across Europe in 18 journeys. I began this project after visiting the southern part of Czech Republic where I witnessed vast discrimination. This moved me so greatly that I committed to photographing this vulnerable community of people. This commitment has taken me on a journey through Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Kosovo, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Spain and Slovakia to bear witness to these shunned societies. I have used photography to show the Roma’s living conditions and how they are deprived of political, economical, cultural and social rights. The other aspect of this project has been to show the difficulties the Roma have everywhere to win political influence and get a voice in the media.
In this long-term photo project, my vision is to continue to shed light on the various facets of the Roma’s life and struggles in Europe today.My genuine hope is that my photo stories can bring a better understanding to the world and help facilitate actions by politicians. My goal is to sustain this project beyond just being another Roma photo story, to dive further into the deeper stories that exist in the shadows of this community. My mission is to show not only show the tragic consequences of the Roma’s reality but also the positive aspects of the Roma being integrated into European life.
You can purchase Ake’s book here.