ABSTRACT

The idea was to provide local Romani nomads with halting sites where they could stop temporarily with their caravans before moving on with their trip. Their creation was the product of a mix of positive and negative stereotypes that presented Roma, on one side, as free and fascinating nomadic spirits always on the move and, on the other, as dirty Gypsies who leave a garbage dump behind them. Roma have been long treated as inferior citizens, outsiders, individuals bearing a fascinating but dangerous culture, never as equal peers, preventing the deconstruction of the structures and of the stereotypes that inform their oppression. Housing is one of the sectors that have always been affected by anti-gypsyism and that, therefore, played a major role in the oppression of Roma. The division between an “us” non-Roma and “them” Roma represents its first manifestation, but anti-gypsyism can be traced in every sector of society where Roma are excluded or remain invisible.