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3rd Place Winner / PhotojournalismBACK TO GALLERY
In a Europe challenged by unprecedented migratory flows, a growing urgency to preserve national identity burns not only along borders but also inside, forcing minorities into ghettos. Like wounds, these need to be healed, prevented from infecting what is around them, closed. Roma communities count in 2019 more than 11 million people, and Stolipinovo, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, is today the biggest Roma ghetto in Europe. Formerly an ordinary district during communism, Stolipinovo was turned into a ghetto with the event of democracy and the resultant privatisation of industries. Historically subjected to prejudice and racial discrimination, its alleged 75,000 inhabitants with Turkish and Muslim cultural roots live in squalid decay and daily social emergency, in contrast with a strong community-based social structure and system of traditions. In an atmosphere of generalised awakening of nationalist sentiments, Stolipinovo is a portrait of systematic discrimination in Europe in our century.