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The poor among the poor The Roma, Eastern Europe’s forgotten people

There are six million gypsies in the Balkans, of which two million are Romanian. Sedentary or nomadic, the Roma uphold traditions that often struggle to be accepted. Yves Leresche photographed their daily lives.

Demonised and hunted, the Roma have experienced a long history of persecution. The most traditional among them continue to work in small trades, but the majority have struggled with unemployment since the fall of the Soviet Union. Some of them try their luck in wealthier countries, but they are generally repatriated in the end.