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Images of Shutka

Photo essay: A day in the life of Skopje's most famous suburb. by Dana Wilson and Adem Ademi 19 March 2007

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The main street of Suto Orizari leading to the market and center of this municipality on the outskirts of the Macedonian capital Skopje. With an official population of 22,000 (estimates go as high as 35,000), Suto Orizari (popularly "Shutka") has its own elected council and member of parliament.

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Erdogan Iseni, 32, mayor since 2002 of the predominantly Romani municipality, stands in front of the 15th-century stone bridge in the center of Skopje. "Roma need to start being accepted as equals. Roma are excluded, but in order to become excluded they first need to be in the system. They were never accepted and are isolated as opposed to being excluded."

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A young boy guides geese past an Albanian-owned food store. People from many nations live and work in Shutka including Albanians, Turks, and citizens of the other former Yugoslav republics.

Always the hottest source of pure Romani music in the Balkans, Shutka is a place where the lack of finances doesn't stand in the way of respect for tradition and lavish weddings.

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Ferki Demirovski, 24, in front of the government building in central Skopje, where he works as an advisor to one of the two cabinet ministers in charge of attracting foreign investment. He has been in his current post for six months and lobbies for the Romani community. One of his projects in the planning stage is a coal-gas plant in that would employ 400 in Suto Orizari. "If you compare [Macedonia] with other countries it is heaven for Roma."

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Jeva Hasan, 20, Zejnep Demir, 28, and Shefije Emin, 18, have all worked for about a year in a Turkish-owned shoe store. The owner says the girls are like his own daughters.

People come from all over Macedonia to shop in Shutka's sprawling open-air clothing market. More than 5,000 salespeople work here, earning 100 to 200 euros a month.

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Zoran "Zoke" Jordanov, 36, executive director of Equality for Gays and Lesbians (EGAL) in Macedonia, Suad "Johnny" Ahmed, 28, and Safet Jasar, 30, peer educator and outreach worker, at EGAL's Shutka branch, MSM (Men Sex With Men). Jordanov says that serious research on Romani sexual behavior still needs to be done, but he estimates that 60 percent to 70 percent of Romani men under 30 have sex with other men, and says that the MSM office sees up to a dozen visitors daily.
Dana Wilson is a photojournalist based in Prague.

The text was written by Adem Ademi, a journalist with the Macedonian television station A1.
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We would like to invite you to meet Kathryn Thier, a recognized expert and instructor of Solutions Journalism from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.


Join us to learn more about the connections between investigative reporting and Solutions Journalism and discover the impact that bringing the “whole” story has on communities. Kathryn’s keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion on bringing the solutions perspective into reporting practices with Nikita Poljakov, deputy editor in chief of the business daily Hospodářské noviny. Nikita is also head of the project “Nejsi sám” (You are not alone), which uses the solutions approach to tackle the issue of male suicide. The main program will be followed by an informal wine reception. 


The event will take place on Monday, 25 March at 5 p.m. in the Hollar building of the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences (Smetanovo nábřeží 6, Praha 1). The event will be in English. 


Attendance is free upon registration - please, fill in the registration form.


Feel free to check out and share the event on Facebook.





Moldovan diaries

The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.

This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes. 

It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.

© Transitions Online 2019. All rights reserved. ISSN 1214-1615
Published by Transitions o.s., Baranova 33, 130 00 Prague 3, Czech Republic.