In the summer of 2010, the French government massively expelled thousands of people in just two months, August and September, after violent protests in the city of Saint-Aignan triggered by the death of a person of Roma ethnicity at a police checkpoint.
The Sarkozy government-issued deportation orders for all the Roma community that lived in camps. The order was executed immediately. The police turned up at the camps with a 24-hour expulsion order. Once the 24 hours had elapsed, they accompanied them to the Belgian border or deported them on planes with an agreement of no return to French territory.
Given the possibility of being deported, many families decide to flee in order to later return through borders that are more imaginary than they are real, given that the Schengen Agreement allows for free circulation across Europe.
This drama occurs every year and affects Roma from Eastern Europe. With no job opportunities, many are forced to emigrate from Romania and Bulgaria to more prosperous places within the European Union’s borders. France would seem a promising destination.
Eva Parey is a freelance photographer, journalist, and filmmaker based in Barcelona, Spain. She is specialized in documentary, photojournalism, travel, and portrait. She combines the assignments with her projects. She teaches photography at the Tecnocampus University of Mataró, also photojournalism in the UPF of Barcelona.
She is interested in everything photographic and journalistic but her main concern is the complexity of human beings living in modern and traditional societies. Her topics are focused mainly on social and anthropological issues. In 2008 she began to work with different gypsy families based in Barcelona, later she has traveled around Europe to countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Germany, and France, to understand the way of life of Roma people in their diaspora. Nowadays she is producing other stories in the Indian subcontinent, in the Middle East and the Pitiüses islands, also in Barcelona with different graphic coverages.
She has published in many media like El Periódico, Yo Dona, El País, El Mundo, Interviu, 7K magazine, Barcelona Metropolis, Descobrir Catalunya, Focus, Paris Match, Marie Claire, Life & Style, Esquire Latinoamerica, and many others. She contributes with different social organizations and NGO’s as FSG, ETP Slovensko, Vincle, ProInfants and Alkaria.
Part of her work has been exhibited in many galleries, cultural centers, and festivals, like Biennal of Xavier Miserachs, Outono Fotografico, DocField, Visa pour l’Image. She has been awarded with the III Scholarship “Photography and Society”, 1st Revela Prize, finalist of the XVI International Prize of Humanitarian Photography Luis Valtueña, Performance Humanity Photo Award 2015, among others.
She is a contributor to the french agency Sipa Press. Since 2012 she is a member of the Portuguese agency of photojournalism 4SEE.