Wschodni Express: ”Romani homes. Life of the Drohobych community” | opening of the exhibition

24.06.2021 | 14.00–15.00  Między Słowami Bookshop, Rybna 4/5

The opening of the photography exhibition presenting the Romani people of Drohobych and a meeting with the reporter Mariana Makimowa (alias Eva Rayska)

The exhibition of documentary photos by the reporter from Drohobych, who records the daily lives of the Romani people, subtly reminds us about neighbours who live around us but often remain unnoticed. Until the early 20th century, Drohobych consisted of three parts: Ukrainian, Polish and Jewish. The Polish satirist Marian Hemar named Drohobych „One and a half city” – semi-Polish, semi-Jewish, semi-Ukrainian. However, an important part is missing from this cultural triangle – the Romani. The Romani community in Drohobych consists of at least 200 families. Most of them inhabit the outlying district of Mlynky.  The author’s interest in the Romani people sparked when she met the local Rom, Artur Lokatush and got to know the complicated story of his life:  born with cerebral palsy. He fell into drug addiction, from which he later recovered. Today, he sells flowers at the local market. For the Romani community, he remains a stranger („gadjo”). The black and white photographs capture the lives of the adult Romani and their children.

Marianna Maksimowa (alias Eva Rayska) – b. 1991 r. in Drohobych; she’s a reporter, writer, translator, artist, the director of the Cross-Border Central and Eastern European Literary Festival „Authors’ Reading Month” in Lviv. She’s a holder of the „Gaude Polonia” scholarship, a programme of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. She has won awards and distinctions in several contests. She focuses on reportages and essays and has published her pieces in magazines, such as „Historia Lokalna”, „Kultura Enter”, „MediaLab”, „Ukrayinska Pravda „, „Ukrayinsky tyzhden”,, and others.