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Gold 2021 People / Culture

Mincéirs (Irish Travellers)

  • Photographer
    Joseph-Philippe Bevillard
  • Agency / Studio
    Joseph-philippe Bevillard
  • Prize
    Gold in People / Culture

In March 2017, Irish Travellers group (known as Mincéirs in their language) have been formally recognised as an ethnic group after 25 years of campaigning. Today, they are still facing racism, discrimination, hardship by society and high suicide rates. Travellers are very proud of their culture. I want to represent these people through my photographs. My goal is to continue to work with these families as well as other members that I encounter, and perhaps let the settled people have more understanding of their unique culture.

Born in Boston, Joseph-Philippe started drawing and painting after he lost his hearing at the age of 3. He took up photography during his senior year at a private school in Massachusetts. In 1990, he enrolled at The Art Institute of Boston to study photography. After working for several major photo labs in Massachusetts in the last half of 1990, he moved to Ireland in May 2000. In 2010, he started a new project, photographing the Irish Travellers using a medium format camera with B&W films. In June 2018, Joseph-Philippe started a colour project on Irish Travellers using a digital camera.