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Ostrovany 2nd visit, April 2014

The village of Ostrovany, some 50 km north of Kosice. In 2010, the local council decided to construct a 150 metre long, 2.1 metre high wall separating Roma from Slovaks. The local mayor, Cyril Revak, shrugs off accusations of racism. 'The villagers had all sorts of fences around their gardens anyway and fruit and vegetables were being stolen and their gardens wrecked. I told the villagers to ask for official permission to build a concrete fence ... and when they got it, we financed the project. He asserts that no one is being prevented from using common walkways and roads. Some of the Romani residents seem unperturbed by the wall. 'We don't mind the wall' says a local Romani resident, 'the children always went to the gardens which is why they built the wall. Since then there are no problems.

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A_WALL_RUNS_THROUGH_IT_025.jpg
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Copyright: Bjoern Steinz, OKA2 PHOTOGRAPHY, www.oka2.com
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ROMA // SLOVAKIA
The village of Ostrovany, some 50 km north of Kosice. In 2010, the local council decided to construct a 150 metre long, 2.1 metre high wall separating Roma from Slovaks. The local mayor, Cyril Revak, shrugs off accusations of racism. 'The villagers had all sorts of fences around their gardens anyway and fruit and vegetables were being stolen and their gardens wrecked. I told the villagers to ask for official permission to build a concrete fence ... and when they got it, we financed the project. He asserts that no one is being prevented from using common walkways and roads. Some of the Romani residents seem unperturbed by the wall. 'We don't mind the wall' says a local Romani resident, 'the children always went to the gardens which is why they built the wall. Since then there are no problems.