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Portrait Obsession: Reproducing Gypsy Identity through Photographs

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Abstract:

This article examines the importance Gypsies attribute to photographic images of themselves, suggesting that such images play a crucial role in the reproduction and questioning of their identity. Based on empirical evidence collected among Gypsy communities in the Lisbon urban area, the article tests its main hypothesis through a detailed analysis of two key dimensions: the photographic session as an intense interactive situation and the content of the photographic images. An analytical reflection concludes that the Gypsy photography phenomenon might be understood as a kind of ritual.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08949460902747925

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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