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Issue 535 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

January-February 2022

Romani lives matter

Despite centuries of shared history, Europe continues to marginalize and oppress its Romani citizens with very little pushback. This edition explores why, taking as its starting point the death of a Romani man in police custody in the Czech Republic earlier this year. But you will also read compelling stories of resilience – and resistance. In Glasgow, for example, the organization Roma Lav is building cross-community solidarity. So, be incensed, be enraged – but be inspired too. Elsewhere in this edition, Kasturi Chakraborty shines a spotlight on the brutal treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, while author Isabel Allende speaks of the power of fiction to teach us about our history.


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Included in this issue

Illustrations: Jason Ngai

‘It’s a liberation struggle for us’

After centuries of government exclusion a new generation of Romani activists is fighting back. Conrad Landin profiles three...
A Roma woman demonstrates outside Ostrava Municipal Hospital in the Czech Republic on 11 September 2020. She is taking part in a demonstration calling for the enactment of a law to compensate women who were unlawfully sterilised. VLADIMIR PRYCEK/CTK PHOTO/ALAMY

‘They will take my daughters’

Europe has a dark history of policing Roma women’s wombs. Cyrine Sinti investigates attempts to redress forced sterilization in...
The Czechoslovak photographer Josef Koudelka began capturing the lives of Roma across Europe. After photographing the events of the Prague Spring in 1968, Koudelka re-located to the UK, and continued his Gypsies series in countries including France and Spain. His book Gypsies was published in 1975 and re-published in an expanded edition in 2019 (Thames & Hudson). Photo: Czechoslovakia, 1967 MAGNUM/JOSEF KOUDELKA

Go west

Yaron Matras examines the evolution of language and culture during the Roma’s 1,000 year journey from the Indian sub-continent...
Dale Farm has become a famous site for Gypsy,  Roma and Traveller communities – as well  as for violent evictions at the hands of police.  As part of the Drive2Survive campaign, this  summer protesters visited the site to stand in  opposition to the UK’s Police, Crime, Sentencing  and Courts Bill, which is set to place further  criminal curbs on travelling people.  HUW POWELL

The ground beneath our feet

Jake Bowers argues for the rights of travelling peoples to live and move through the landscapes they call home.
A Romani mother and daughter in Hajduhadhaz, eastern Hungary, 22 March 2011. The town’s Romani population has been subjected to vigilante patrols at the hands of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party, which came second in the 2018 parliamentary elections. BERNADETT SZABO/REUTERS

Do Romani lives matter?

Conrad Landin travels to the Czech Republic to chronicle a death untold.

How British colonizers caused the Bengal famine

Jason Hickel shines a different light on a catastrophe that killed three million Indians.
Ladi (left), pictured with a relative, a Congolese  Mavrovouni resident is feeling the pressure. SEBASTIAN SKOV ANDERSEN

Rule of silence

A hard-line regime in Greek refugee camps is making life harder for the migrants within them, as well as aid workers who want...
Solidarity from the street: a march takes place in Ramallah, West Bank in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against their administrative detention by Israel. AHMAD AL-BAZZ/ACTIVESTILLS

Prisoners of occupation

Palestinians continue to be brutalized in Israeli jails, despite international criticism. Kasturi Chakraborty speaks to...

Hall of infamy: Mamady Doumbouya

Mamady Doumbouya, the latest snout at Guinea’s trough.
Farmers in India have led the way restoring soils and boosting yields. JAKE LYELL/ALAMY

Soil – the climate fix that COP forgot

Danny Chivers digs into a major Indian farming project that pulls carbon from the air – and increases yields for farmers.

What if…we took money out of politics?

Frank Formby shares his vision for better representation.
Yinka Shonibare sits in a wheelchair smiling

Spotlight: Yinka Shonibare

The acclaimed – and playful – sculptor Yinka Shonibare impresses on Subi Shah his love for cultural exchange.

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