There's no place like home

by Claudio Menna

Roma communities are the largest minority in the European Union but their presence in old Continent’s story is completely neglected. Not only: the persecution against the Roma people that ravaged Western Europe are widely censored, as well as their slavery in some countries in South-Eastern Europe. Similarly their strength for maintaining a distinct identity and strongly characterized is generally misunderstood and their entrenchment in many local situations is ignored or underestimated. Surrounded and lost in history and in the Europe’s  geography, between  other populations, the Roma have built for themselves their own identities and their ' Europe '. A geo history inscribed in modernity, but completely absent from the books that tell tale.


C O U N T R Y ’ S    C A M P S


The Bosnian Roma call Italy "the land of the camps", meaning gypsy fenced camps.

They often do the begging, sometimes they steal.The run down  shacks burn. Politicians and citizens demonstrate.

The mayors are concerned.

In the last years in Italy the “Roma camps issue” has become a controversial topic; before of any forced eviction several humanitarian associations and organizations mobilize themselves to watch over and record every moment of these operations, as do since years Amnesty International which supervise to secure there’s any kind of abuse against the involved communities.

Often all the forced eviction in Italy not ensure to the involved people any emergency housing plan.





In Naples the Roma communities have an history strongly settled in jurisdiction at the point that has come by now to the 3rd generations of born in Italy. Children attend the district school and camps are visited every day by any kind of seller which, although in small proportions, created a real micro economy. Geographically Roma camps belong to those abandoned and out control suburbs where it’s easy to enter in tracks and systems ruled by local criminality.

In the last decades Roma Camps have been turned in huge open air dumps where local crime spilled every kind of toxic trash belonging to the big north companies for which saving money is a way of growth and economic salvation. Often small companies too take a role in this process using the Roma people as executor arm (taking advantage of the economic crisis and the lack of jobs), burying or burning the stuff to drain. Result was predictable: the fires of highly toxic stuff created dangerous environmental conditions, for the Roma community and for the local citizens. It’s common in these areas the strong smell of dioxin and other stuff emanate from the arson, and it’s frequent watch biogas releases from the soil.

Physical danger and the intolerance of citizens against Roma camps leaded authorities to move on with Forced Evictions.