The Kids from Lunik IX – part 3

The bright side of Lunik IX:

In the middle of poverty and social exclusion there is also a gleam of hope in Lunik IX, an urban slum in the middle of Europe where children have to live under undescribable living conditions (please have a look: The Kids from Lunik IX and The Kids from Lunik IX – part 2).

Since early 1997 the state run kindergarten serves as place of hope, joy, integration and safety for kids within Lunik IX. Anna Klepácová is the director of Lunik IX’s kindergarten and optimistic about the positive effects the institution has on the integration of Roma kids in Slovakia.

Compared to the images taken outside Lunik IX’s apartment complex one can easily identify the other, the bright side of Lunik IX in viewing the following images.

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A Romni is happily drawing inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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One of the kids major activity is drawing. Roma kids’ drawings from Lunik IX have been exhibited all over the world.

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Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Roma kids inside the kindergarten.

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Everyday the kindergarten teachers take care of up to 120 Roma kids – about 10-15 kids in a class.

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Dancing, drawing, singing, playing – learning self-confidence is one of the most important first steps.

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A young Roma boy is hanging up one of his drawings.

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Romni inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Roma kids and one of the kindergarten teachers are dancing.

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Roma boys showing their self-made Lego weapons.

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Roma kids inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Dancing Roma boy inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Showing thumbs-up. Happy Roma kids inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Romni inside Lunik IX’s kindergarten.

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Roma boys drawing.

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Anna Klepácová is the director of Lunik IX’s state run kindergarten, operating since early 1997.

Part 1: The Kids from Lunik IX

Part 2: The Kids from Lunik IX – part 2

For more images please visit:

website: www.michaelbiach.com

Follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelbiach

The Kids from Lunik IX – part 2

Part 1: The Kids from Lunik IX

Lunik IX is an apartment complex in the southwestern suburbs of Košice, Slovakia. Originally build as home for middle-class families with a capacity of 2,500 people, the Slovakian government started to resettled thousands of Slovakian people affiliated to the Roma minority in the 1990s. Today Lunik IX is home to an estimated number of between 6,000 and 8,000 Roma making it the largest Roma community within Slovakia.

Over the years Lunik IX evolved into an urban slum. The unemployment rate is nearly 100%, inhabitants aren’t able to pay their water, gas or electricity bills. The waste disposal isn’t working, inhabitants constantly throw their trash right out of the window. Everything that isn’t nailed down has been stolen and resold. Several buildings are in an unacceptable condition, at least one complex is at risk to collapse. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous high level even starting to harm the town’s ground water. Only during certain hours a day people are supplied with freshwater.

The children from Lunik IX are the first who suffer from these horrible conditions and they should be the last to blame for their situation. Lunik IX is overcrowded, more and more flats become uninhabitable, winters are long and cold. Open fires inside the flats, rat plagues, diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

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A Roma boy is searching Lunik IX’s garbage heap for useful things. 

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A Roma boy in the backyard of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings where tons of garbage were just thrown out of the window. Hundreds of rat holes are next to the dumpsite.

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A dog is walking through Lunik IX’s garbage heap.

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Josip, a young Roma boy from Lunik IX, is standing in front of the apartment building where he is living with his family.

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A young Roma boy is smoking a cigarette.

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Roma kids are burning garbage as pastime.

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A young Roma boy is standing in one of Lunik IX’s abandoned flats. The complex next to this building has recently been demolished.

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A Roma boy in Lunik IX. The toxic level of the dumbsite starts to harm the town’s ground water.

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A Roma boy is posing in the stairways of an aprtment building. Windows have already been destroyed or stolen and resold.

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A Roma boy in Lunik IX.

Part 1: The Kids from Lunik IX

For more images please visit:

website: www.michaelbiach.com

Follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelbiach

The Kids from Lunik IX

Lunik IX is an apartment complex in the southwestern suburbs of Košice, Slovakia. Originally built as home for middle-class families with a capacity of 2,500 people, the Slovakian government started to resettle thousands of Slovakian people affiliated to the Roma minority in the 1990′s. Today Lunik IX is home to an estimated 8,000 Roma making it the largest Roma community within Slovakia.
Over the years Lunik IX  has evolved into an urban slum. The unemployment rate is nearly 100% meaning inhabitants aren’t able to pay their water, gas or electricity bills. The waste disposal isn’t working, inhabitants constantly throw their rubbish right out of their windows. Everything that isn’t nailed down has been stolen and resold. Several buildings are in an unacceptable condition, at least one complex is at risk to collapse. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous level, even starting to harm the town’s ground water. Only during certain hours each day people are supplied with freshwater.
The children from Lunik IX are the first who suffer from these horrible conditions and they should be the last to blame for their situation. Lunik IX is overcrowded, more and more flats become uninhabitable and winters are long and cold. Open fires inside the flats, rat plagues, diseases, malnutrition and bad hygiene standards are among the fatal things threatening the children in Lunik IX.

 

A teenage Roma girl is standing in a recently abandoned flat in Lunik IX. More and more apartments become uninhabitable. 

The apartment buildings of Lunik IX where up to 8,000 Roma live under harsh conditions. 

A young Roma girl is sitting at the entrance of one of the apartment buildings in Lunik IX. 

A group of Roma kids next to an entrance of one of the apartment buildings in Lunik IX.

Roma kids play in the back of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings next to a several meter thick layer of rubbish.

One apartment building of Lunik IX where up to 8,000 Roma live under harsh conditions. 

A teenage Roma girl is sitting on a balcony of one of Lunik IX’s abandoned flats. The rubbish thrown out of the window has already reached the first floor. 

The waste disposal isn’t working; inhabitants constantly throw their trash right out of the window. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous level, even starting to harm the town’s ground water.

A Roma boy is playing with his dog in the backyard of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings. Next to him lie tons of garbage which is thrown right out of the window by the inhabitants. 

Roma boys in Lunik IX. Ten year old Kevin has got his name tattooed on his right arm.

A group of Roma kids is sitting next to an entrance of one of the apartment buildings in Lunik IX.

A teenage Roma girl is standing behind one apartment building in Lunik IX where tons of garbage lie in the backyard.

A young Roma boy is on his way to collect tap water, which is only available during certain hours.

Adults and kids are gathering to collect tap water. The running water is cut off and tap water is only available during certain hours and organized by the police.

A group of Roma kids is playing in the entrance of one apartment building in Lunik IX.

A Roma girl from a ‘wealthier’ caste in Lunik IX is portraying.

A group of Roma kids outside one apartment building in Lunik IX. 

A Roma boy is playing in the streets of Lunik IX. Worse hygiene standards and malnutrition are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

While I was photographing Roma kids in Lunik IX this young boy grabbed an old VHS tape from the dumpsite and started to imitate me.

Part 2: The Kids from Lunik IX – part 2

For more images please visit:

website: www.michaelbiach.com

Follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelbiach