“East Winds” project is a portrait of the Romani Diaspora through Ioana’s family, a gypsy matriarch whose 15 children are dispersed across Europe, between Romania, France, Germany and Spain. The exodus, far from being a journey to the promised land, is an arduous journey marked by every sort of suffering. Strategies to adapt to everyplace and maintain a lifestyle similar to that at home depend on the means, the laws and infrastructures of each country.
Romania is the point of departure and return of Europe’s Roma people, widely known as gypsies. A lack of job, the imposed marginalisation, the discrimination and a strongly-rooted culture have forced the Roma to become nomads, more in order to survive than through choice.
In the summer of 2010 the French government ordered the mass expulsion of thousands of Roma. Some members of Ioana’s clan had to leave France with an expulsion order, others voluntarily to avoid expulsion.
The encampment where Ioana’s children were living in Barcelona was dismanteled, so they decided to move to Lille, although they know that could be expelled as other members in the past.
The streets of Barcelona become a supermarket for Ioana’s family members, who inherit what no one wants. They collect metals for smelting, things for the third-hand market or for re-using in the exodus or Romania.
After being expelled from France, last destination is Dormund. Life in a flat is much better than in a caravan. A precarious job and social benefits help, although uncertainess remains due to new policies of German Government.