Gender roles within this society are conservatively defined: women are married off when still young, expected to bear children and attend church regularly. Any divergence from this established path is impossible. If a young girl defies these rules she is excluded from the community. In contrast, the men deal in business, drive cars, smoke, have multiple relationships at the same time, and are often violent.
Gender roles are imposed at a young age: fathers are proud when their under-age sons drink beer and smoke. There are few rules for the youngsters: they decide how long they can stay awake and whether or not to attend school. The heavily made-up faces, high heels and tight dresses worn by women for the festivities have a serious background too: there are no other times when they can meet a man alone. This is the time to catch a man’s attention. What appears exaggerated and excessive in our eyes, is actually essential for Roma women. (dek)
All images on this page © Jeanne Taris
Equipment: Leica Q with Summilux 28 f/1.7 Asph
Read the full article Les Gitans de Perpignan in LFI 7/2019.