Birte Kaufmann

"The Travellers"

The Travellers

My project “The Travellers” gives insight into the everyday life of Ireland’s largest minority group. This group has a nomadic origin, stemming from the tradition of migrant workers. As this tradition no longer exists, the travellers are looking for a new identity within the Western European society of the 21st century. Both the travellers’ traditions and their way of life are so different that they are met with little acceptance by the rest of the Irish society. They live in a kind of parallel world with rules all of its own and traditional gender roles, a world to which outsiders have little access.
   To this day, some traveller families live by the roadside illegally – mostly without electricity, running water or sanitation, even though the government has provided halting sites for the travellers where they can stay with their caravans. I travelled to Ireland with a VW bus in order to photograph the travellers the first time in 2011. I wanted to capture their way of life and their values in pictures. In doing so, I did not want to romanticize them, but rather show their everyday life. A life where people still hunt rabbits and where horses play a vital role. But it is also a life that contains hardship and boredom from an early age. Since my first encounter with the travellers, I have been in touch with one large family. Over time, I have gained their trust. Consequently, I was allowed to live with them so that I and my camera became part of their daily lives.

Birte Kaufmann

Birte Kaufmann is born 1981 in Germany. She lives and works as a freelance photographer in Berlin and Cologne/ Germany. She focuses on documentary photography related to social and society relevant issues. She studied photography at Ostkreuzschule fur Fotografie und Gestaltung in Berlin/ Germany. So far her work were shown in several solo and group shows and festivals in Germany and around the world. She won several awards like the CNN Journalist Award in the category Photo or the PDN annual and recieved the VG Bildkunst artist`s grant, the Wuestenrot documentary photography sponsorship award or the EPF runner up.


Place of Exhibition

Casa Esperança

More information soon.

Institutional Partners

Braga UM DGArtes GovernoPortugal