Lunik IX - inside the biggest Roma community (de facto getto) in Slova


Lunik IX settlement is located in the suburbs of Kosice. It is inhabited by 4000 to 4500 people. Living conditions are truly nightmarish. For now, the electricity is back to the settlement but there is still no gas or running water.
The buildings and little, provisory houses are in real ruins. The garbage is everywhere. In all this, some people try to have a normal life (send kids to school, work, and try to keep their houses clean) while others only destroy, drink, take drugs and simply do not care. The majority of them live from social help, receiving around 200-250 Euros monthly per family.
There is a little church (Catholic mission) in Lunik IX, that provide help to few families, a school which almost 1000 kids attend, and a doctor for the youngest Lunikers.
Because of the tragic living conditions and lack of education, health standards are very poor as well. Diseases are spread easily, starting from head lice, hepatitis, scabies, up to meningitis, not to mention different kinds of drugs some of them are addicted to (even as young as 8 years old kids).

Roma people make 10% of Slovak population. Yet, in the recent report, human rights activists’ groups started the country still fail to integrate and educate Roma children.

lunik ix, slovakia, kosice, gipsy, documentary, photojournalist, photographer, serbia, vladimir zivojinovic, photography info
Lunik IX is a settlement located in the suburbs of Kosice, Slovakia. It is inhabited by 4.5 thousands of Roma people. Living conditions are truly nightmarish. There is no gas or running water, buildings are in real ruins, garbage and waste are strewn everywhere.

Lunik IX is the biggest Roma community in Slovakia, and - unfortunately - de facto a ghetto, Kosice, February 2017.

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lunik ix, slovakia, kosice, photographer, vladimir zivojinovic, photography, photojournalist, documentary info

This is the only building own by Roma community of Lunik IX. The rest is own by the city. Together with NGOs, the community will slowly change the old, crumbling buildings into the new ones and will make Roma people the owners of their houses, Kosice, February 2017.

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lunik ix, kosice, slovakia, photographer, vladimir zivojinovic, photojournalist info

Roma people make 10% of Slovak population. Yet, in the recent report, human rights activists' groups stayed the country still fails to educate and integrate Roma children. Some of them do not go to school at all, some – are facing institutional segregation.

Here, boys playing outside in the Lunik IX settlement, Kosice, February 2017. 
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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photojournalist info

Some of the youngest inhabitants of Lunik IX attend the holy masses and classes provided by the Catholic mission in the settlement. There are various meetings during which the children learn not only religion but also what is good and what is bad, Kosice, February 2017.

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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info

Catholic mission has established a small church and a school in the settlement. They have regular masses every Sunday. There is also a school where kids can prepare themselves for first holy communion – they play, they read Bible, they sing, Kosice, February 2017. 

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vladimir zivojinovic, lunik ix, slovakia, photographer, photography, photojournalist info
Julian has been living in Lunik IX for 36 years. He and his family
try to keep their house clean and well-maintained. Unfortunately, it is not an easy task because of the leaking roof. Walls and ceilings are covered with mold so every summer the family repaint them all. They also remove linoleum from the floor, ventilate and clean their home thoroughly.

Julian has been worried about vandalism and aggressive inhabitants of Lunik IX. He tries to protect his home from possible attacks by putting a metal grid at the entrance, Kosice, February 2017.

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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info

Lunik IX settlement is located in the suburbs of Kosice. It is inhabited by 4000 to 4500 people. Living conditions are truly nightmarish. For now, the electricity is back to the settlement but there is still no gas or running water, Kosice, February 2017. 

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vladimir zivojinovic, photojournalist, photographer info
A mother is holding her 10 months old baby in their provisory house in Maslickovo.
Maslickovo is a field, called also an "illegal settlement", few steps away from Lunik IX. When Kosice's authorities decided to demolish some of the Roma houses, people moved to the field and built provisory houses, Kosice, February 2017. 
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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info
A 10 months old baby is sleeping in a provisory house in Maslickovo settlement. There are 6 more people living in this house of 2 rooms – grandfather and grandmother, mother and father, and two little brothers.

Like elsewhere, there is no heating in the rooms and the baby has to be kept in the warm suit inside the house, Kosice, February 2017.

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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info

Roma people love music and dance. Here, a little dancing party is taking place in one of Lunik IX's apartments. The house is full of people – family, neighbors, guests. Despite the situations and living conditions, they try to keep their good moods and enjoy life, Kosice, February 2017. 

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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info

Marija goes to a public school for Roma children in Lunik IX which is attended by many kids from the settlement. The most important for them is to learn Slovak language and mathematics. Some of the children, if they show interest and motivation, can go to the school in the city. Most of them gain an only basic education, but there are few others who go further, Kosice, February 2017.

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vladimir zivojinovic, photographer, photography info

Lunik IX settlement is located in the suburbs of Kosice. It is inhabited by 4000 to 4500 people. Living conditions are truly nightmarish. For now, the electricity is back to the settlement but there is still no gas or running water, Kosice, February 2017. 

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