Location: Purcellville, VA, United States
These photographs are part of an ongoing series that documents the lives, culture and traditions of the Irish Travelers, a forgotten people. The images reflect my personal interactions with the Travelers I have met and followed through the years at various halting sites, and illegal encampments in and around County Galway and County Limerick, outside of Dublin and at the annual horse fair in Ballinasloe.
The Irish Travelers are an insular ethnic group that has lived on the fringes of mainstream Irish society for centuries. They live an itinerant lifestyle, with long traditions and gender-based roles that have been passed down from generation to generation. Discrimination is widespread, school dropout rates are high, domestic violence is rampant, and suicides are increasing. For better or for worse they are slowly changing and soon their old way of life will be lost to modern society. My goal in making these photographs is to document them and their way of life as it is now, and to display their unique heritage and unconventional yet historic way of living to a wider audience, in and outside of Ireland. They are mainly invisible to the Irish citizens, and they are desperate to have their stories of hardship heard and their unique culture appreciated and shared around the world.