The Travellers



In 2011, German photographer Birte Kaufmann travelled through Ireland in a VW bus. It was on this journey that she first met 'The Travellers', a group of people who are part of Ireland's largest minority group.

A nomadic group, they have their origins in the tradition of migrant workers. When the demand for this kind of labour disappeared, they had to start looking for a new place in society. Their way of life, which includes hunting rabbits and an absence of running water, electricity and sanitation, is met with little acceptance by Irish society. Kaufmann explains: "The travellers live in a kind of parallel world with rules all of its own and traditional gender roles, a world to which outsiders have little access."

Over time, Kaufmann managed to gain the trust of these people and created her series from an insider's perspective. The images breathe freedom and evoke a feeling of timelessness while at the same time, the hardship and boredom that the Travellers have been facing since their childhood can be felt.


Images from The Travellers are currently on exhibition worldwide at the Goethe Institut in Mexico City (June 6 - August 22, 2014), at the Houston Center for Photography in Houston (May 9 - July 6, 2014) and at the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (March 12 - June 15, 2014).