Home > The scientific research at the IDEMEC > Workshop Gipsy presences (Présences tsiganes)

Workshop Gipsy presences (Présences tsiganes)

Leader : Marc Bordigoni


The creation of this workshop is the logical continuation of the previous work made during the last four-year research contract (2008-2011). It is organized as annual meetings between senior researchers, PhD students and, sometimes, people from outside the research community. Over the years the exchanges have enlarged the comparing area and now, Italian, Belgian, Brazilian or Portuguese researchers participate in these workshop.
The workshop "Gipsy presences" aims at exchanging about experiences and analysis from ethnographic studies and/or original historical sources (such as the French overseas territories’ archives). Exchanges are based on an annual chosen theme. Among the subjects already discussed are the following: "Institutions as a meeting area", "Circulating through Europe and Latin America", "respect" and "Gipsy presence in archives in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain" (this last topic had received special funding from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2009-2010).

The workshop "Gipsy presences" can use a unique documentary collection in France. For several years we acquired many books and documents (French and foreign) and got great donations of books and documents by individuals (Dr. Ely Collection, father Valet). This action received a special funding from the CNRS in 2010 to purchase books and series of reviews on the market of used books into Europe.

The research and documentation gathering works initiated and coordinated by the workshop have a particular meaning at that time when, in many Gipsy communities, it can be observed a transformation of the relationship with family and event memories (World War II and the internment in France, french repatriation from Algeria). A younger literate generation wants to take ownership of a past that can only be accessed by numerous and complex archival sources. This is in itself a change in the identitie buildings and in the relationship with the world of the Gadjo (non-Gipsies) or with politics. There is an increase of Travelling way of life even though 95% of Gipsies are sedentary while maintaining a culture of Moving (H. Asséo). The appropriation of the past can at once bring out the idea of a unity (in front of the Gadjo) and be an opportunity to distinguish themselves again (among the Gipsies communities themselves). These phenomena can be observed, for example, in the development of the Pentecostal trend, or in the diffusion of the worship to Sara, firstly provencal (Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France), which has increased in the last 10 years among the brazilian Gypsies.

News of this research

TELA-TCHAÏ (Martha Winterstein : 1909-1993)

Tela Tchaï was a movie actress before consacrated herself for painting.
Gérard Gartner reconstituted his course of life from different archives.
The extracts of her book, Plasticiens tsiganes (...)

Read more

Collection of official texts

Workshop Gipsy presences

On the occasion of his book’s publishing Gens du Voyage. Droit et vie quotidienne, a collection of french official texts related to the Travellers communities has (...)

Read more


Workshop Gipsy presences

Documentaries are a huge part of documents about the Travellers communities. As well as for other sources of informations, the workshop Présences tsiganes tries to (...)

Read more

The Saint-Marcel Eysseric collection

Workshop Gipsy presences
The Saint-Marcel Eysseric collection comes from a Haute-Provence photographer (1860-1915). It is now property of the Archives départementales des Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. (...)

Read more