Grant #34

Roma Ecology

October 7, 2013

Little is known about the inner workings of the nomadic community that is Roma, but with this AWB grant, that’s about to change!

In Cosenza, Italy, over 700 Romani inhabit a public riverside camp spanning three separate neighborhoods, and the environmental and social impact on the larger Consenza community has not been positive.

In an effort to foster a relationship between the immigrant community and existing local ecology (social and natural), multi-media artist, ecologist, and educator Erica Hansen is introducing a project that will empower the Romani community to tell their story, their way.

Erica will offer a photography class to 20 of the Romani, asking that they document their everyday experiences within their camp, and in relation to their natural environment. Once completed, Erica plans to display the works in a public space, encouraging everyone living in Cosenza to engage in discussion.

Says Hansen, “The community looks and functions more like a settlement than a transitory nomadic space; and in that reality, I as an artist endeavor to celebrate the strengths of their nomadic past while supporting the development of a new voice for the community equally grounded in social and ecological concerns for the place in which they reside.”

Learn more about Erica’s work at!

Category: Documentary, Photography, Travel



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders