The Dog-Eaters of Svinia

The Dog-Eaters of Svinia

Karl-Markus Gauß

Svinia, a town somewhere in Eastern Slovakia, in the outermost reaches of the European Union, a place that seems to have fallen out of time and off the map. This is the place where the outcasts among Europe's poorest gather, the Romany gypsies, relocated, persecuted and ignored for so very long that they have forgotten their own history. Even amongst the roughly 300 slum districts of Slovakia, Svinia has the reputation of being Hell on Earth.

Karl-Markus Gauß, chronicler of life in Europe's border zones, has travelled Slovakia several times in the past years, exploring the urban ghetto Lunik IX at the outskirts of the magnificent town of Kosice journeying to far-flung villages built on the poisoned grounds of abandoned chemical plants. He spoke to gypsies for whom begging trips to rich European countries are all that can be hoped for, and others who have sunk into complete apathy. And, finally, his long journey led him to Svinia where 700 people live, who are despised even by other gypsies as degesi, "dog-eaters", and untouchables.

"Karl-Markus Gauß opens our eyes." (Alexander Bartl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

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The Dog-Eaters of Svinia

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