Irish Traveller’s 2018
Returning to the Irish Traveller community a year later I realized that things are slowly changing!
My project gives insight into the life and values of this large marginalized community in Ireland. The Irish Travellers are a beautiful group of people living traditional gender-based roles. Family, lifelong bonds, and God are most important to them. For many, there is a daily struggle for survival. For others, their lifestyle has become more ‘settled’ living in encampments set up by the government. The men sell horses and metal scraps to make a living. Women take care of their children and their caravans.
I had an opportunity this time to interact with many younger women at their encampments. Many of the younger women told me they planned to wait to marry, they wanted to work before marriage, have smaller families, and hoped to move out of caravans into government houses. One young housewife just had her tubes tied after her 5th child. She was thrilled for me to photograph her “last ‘baby. Another couple chose to have only 1 child. In the previous generation, women married in their teens and had very large families, averaging 12-15 children. With research on this community showing extremely high rates of domestic violence and suicide, I found this new way of thinking to be a positive lifestyle change.
I use photography as a tool to change stereotypes and explore social issues. I hope my images create an impression of emotion, curiosity, caring, hope of mankind and dignity of our universal connection. We need to increase our conversations on global diversity