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Explore Queens’ gypsies in ‘Rom of Ridgewood’

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The Queens Museum of Art explores the mystical world of the borough’s Rom (Gypsy) communities, as seen through the lens of photographer Yale Strom, in the exhibition Rom of Ridgewood, on view through July 7.

This candid exhibition of photographs capture the Rom in their everyday surroundings—in church, at work, and in their leisure activities—and offers a rare glimpse into this unique and frequently misunderstood culture. Persecuted throughout Europe, many Rom have relocated to the United States, but live in semi-isolation to avoid further discrimination and preserve their culture without harassment. Out of necessity, they live and work among the gadje (non-Rom), but maintain a very low profile in their private lives.

Queens is a popular destination for many of the Rom immigrants, most notably the Ridgewood section, which has housed several generations. Rom of Ridgewood offers insight and understanding of this hidden community, while dispelling many of the romantic and negative stereotypes frequently attributed to the Rom. The exhibition consists of black and white photographs, books, and recordings and live performances of Rom folk music.

Yale Strom is an accomplished author, filmmaker, photographer and musician. He has made eight recordings with his two klezmer bands, Klazzj and Hot Pstromi, penned seven books including “Uncertain Roads, Searching for the Gypsies,” directed four documentary films and one feature film.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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