Photography is my way to be exposed to “the other”. Unconditionally. It is a means to put off my guard and let go of the defenses that I have been trained to have as a member of contemporary society.

This is why I wanted to find and get close to those that live outside the borderlines. To try to find out what it means to be an outsider. And who is really the outsider? Is it them, the “Gypsies”? Or is it us?

It was Jimmy, their dominating leader, who guided me into their world, even though he hesitated in the beginning. Despite the fact that I was the outsider to them, a “balamo” as they say, they welcomed me and shared their food, their music, their joys, their stories.

Outside of our society and marginalized throughout the ages, the Roma live a life of their own. They confided in me their greatest fear,  a sound: the rumble of the bulldozers, that could one day be sent to crush their humble homes, dismantle their precarious existence and demolish their precious dreams.

Photography leads me where I would not have gone, thanks to the warmth and trust of those whose lives I have briefly observed, it has also brought me closer to myself.

Rapakousis Dimitris