Since their exodus from India more than a thousand years ago, the Roma (widely known by the exonym “Gypsies,” increasingly considered an offensive pejorative) have migrated all over the globe. Klenz’s work — the first of its kind — features various “nations” of Roma in America, including the Kalderash and Machvaya, whose ancestors were kept as slaves in Eastern Europe for 500 years; the Xoraxay, whose people arrived in California after extended stays in Chile; the Mihais, who immigrated to the United States from Colombia; and the Ludar, who were forbidden from speaking their native tongue during slavery and therefore had lost the Romani language entirely by the time they encountered Klenz.
Beginning in 1990, Klenz spent several years following a number of families belonging to various “nations” of Roma and documenting their lives on black-and-white, 35mm film, and developing the film in her bathroom at home. With a foreword by Ian Hancock, widely considered the world’s preeminent Romani scholar, Hidden provides historical as well as social context for the book’s 120 photographs.
Book Specs: Hidden: Life with California’s Roma Families by Cristina Salvador Klenz published by Brown Paper Press April 2022 | ISBN: 978-1-941932-18-6 | 144 pages | Hardcover. Available here.
Cristina Salvador Klenz, a photojournalist, freelance photographer, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism degree majoring in Photojournalism (1986). Cristina’s documentary photography work on the Roma culture has been published worldwide.
She also received a National Endowment for the Arts/WESTAF grant for her work on the Roma culture. She was a grant finalist for the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the Nikon Documentary Grant. Her Roma images are in the collection of The Romani Archives & Documentation Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Founded in 2014, Brown Paper Press is an independent publishing company based in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the
United States — Long Beach, California.