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"The Gypsies in Plovdiv" by Shivam Thapa

Aug 19, 2016

Shivam is a young photographer from Nepal and currently based in London who approaches photography with a documentary intent. In his images we discover a pleasant proximity to his subjects, resulting in honest and hearty images that gently convey his message. “The Gypsies in Plovdiv” portraits the lifestyle of this community in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the second largest city in the country and where 4.9% of the population are Gypsies. Regarding the making of the series Shivam comments: “I really enjoyed the moments that I spent in the neighbourhood (ghetto). The community is very friendly and they were always asking me to take their pictures because they thought that I was journalist. People still live in slums, [where] there are apartments without doors or windows, [and] even though they are living in poverty, I was so surprised that I was invited for a cup of tea in each street.”

 

Following we present a short interview that we had with Shivam:

 

am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?

ST - My name is Shivam Thapa and I was born in Nepal. At the age of 12 I moved to Portugal, currently living and working in London. I have completed my degree in Multimedia Engineering. At the moment, I work as a customer assistant in a Retail shop.

 

am - How did you start in photography?

ST - I got inspired by a friend.

 

am - What inspired you to make the series “The Gypsies in Plovdiv”?

ST - To find out if there is still a similarity between the Roots (Rajasthan Gypsies) and the European Gypsies.

 

am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?

ST - I like all the photographers from “Magnum Photos”.

 

am - How would you describe your photographs in 3 words?

ST - Travel, Documentary, Portrait.

 

am - When you are not taking pictures, what do you do?

ST - I like to play my ukulele and Gaita transmontana. And explore around the city.

 

am - If you could travel and stay in a place for one year, where would you choose to go?

ST - India.

 

am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment?

ST - Phantom Planet - California, it reminds me my teenage days.

 

am - What’s your favourite movie?

ST - 1 Litre of Tears (2005 Film).

 

am - Who’s your favourite author?

ST - None. Sorry, I don’t read books at all.

 

am - Do you have any project in mind that could be a personal or professional challenge?

ST - I think Larung Gar, it has been closed for tourists now.

 

am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

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