Aging Young
Project info

Aging Young

Uneventful scenes from the quiet life of a large roma family from Transdanubia, Southern Hungary, Central - Eastern Europe. A photographic series in progress since 2009.
The models of these environmental portraits are all immediate or close relatives. The girls crave for love and children. And so it happens, but differently . Get pregnant and drop out school young. Remain unskilled, unemployed.
Based on real life circumstances, but not with the aim of a documentary series per se, yet trying to elevate the subjects somewhat from a heavy ground with the power of aesthetics.
An extended version of this series is being exhibited in Aarhus, European Capital of Culture, 2017.
As the photographer, I did not care that my subjects were (or appeared) Roma, but rather that they continue to be themselves. My hope was to glimpse a bit of the shared experience of vulnerability, of longing and loss.

"Do not look for what they haven't got, but for what they do have, for even the most miserable one has got a treasure of the soul which you do not possess."
—Sándor Weöres, Hungarian poet

As poet Carl Sandburg wrote in the preface to The Family of Man:

People! Flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here are...the landless, the loved and the unloved, the lonely and abandoned, the brutal and the compassionate — one big family hugging close to the ball of Earth for its life and being. Everywhere is love and love-making, weddings and babies from generation to generation keeping the Family of Man alive and continuing...

Often the faces speak that words can never say. Some tell of eternity and others only the latest tattings. Child faces of blossom smiles or mouths of hunger are followed by homely faces of majesty carved and worn by love, prayer and hope, along with others light and carefree as thistledown in a late summer wing. Faces have land and sea on them, faces honest as the morning sun flooding a clean kitchen with light, faces crooked and lost and wondering where to go this afternoon or tomorrow morning...

—Tamas Schild