When I was between five and seven years old, my parents and I lived in Moldova. There I was confronted with Eastern European Roma for the first time. There were no Roma in Kazakhstan, where I was born.
I was fascinated by the colours of their skirts, their collars and the unkempt children who were allowed to play much wilder than I was. The Roma lived in huts on the outskirts of Chişinău. Later, when I emigrated to Germany, I began to research my family history and met the Cortorari on a trip through Romania in 2006. They live on the outskirts of the village of Bretai in Transylvania, Sibiu County. A small group of traditionally living Roma who were able to preserve their original craft, the forging of utensils made of copper, beyond the communist dictatorship and still move across the countryside in summer to offer their wares.
I visit the village again and again to take portraits of the inhabitants.

Forum für Fotografie, Cologne, 2016