Horses and Caravans by Frederik Rüegger, Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie
The English and Irish traveller communities face discrimination from many angles and are compelled to settle by the government. As a result, the nomadic lifestyle that has been a centuries-old part of their way of life is becoming more endangered than ever.
There are, however, several events where the travellers can freely live out their traditions, including the horse fairs that are held each year at Ballinasloe, in County Galway, Ireland, and Appleby, England. In 2023 I photographed at both of these fairs, aiming to capture an intimate and authentic portrayal of the lives of the traveller communities. This project is set to continue for 18 months, and my goal is to highlight their rich cultural heritage, unique lifestyle and the challenges they face. Through my photographs I hope to shed light on the social importance of these communities and help foster an understanding and empathy among my audience.