The Kids from Lunik IX

Collection with 39 media items created by Transterra Editor

23 Dec 2013 16:00

Lunik IX is an apartment complex in the southwestern suburbs of Košice, Slovakia. Originally build as home for middle-class families with a capacity of 2,500 people, the Slovakian government started to resettled thousands of Slovakian people affiliated to the Roma minority in the 1990s. Today Lunik IX is home to an estimated number of between 6,000 and 8,000 Roma making it the largest Roma community within Slovakia.

Over the years Lunik IX evolved into an urban slum. The unemployment rate is nearly 100%, inhabitants aren’t able to pay their water, gas or electricity bills. The waste disposal isn’t working, inhabitants constantly throw their trash right out of the window.

Several buildings are in an unacceptable condition and at risk to collapse. Between my last two visits one complex has been demolished for ‘security reasons’. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous high level even starting to harm the town’s ground water. Only during certain hours a day people are supplied with freshwater.

The children from Lunik IX are the first who suffer from these horrible conditions and they should be the last to blame for their situation. Lunik IX is overcrowded, more and more flats become uninhabitable, winters are long and cold. Open fires inside the flats, rat plagues, diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

Kids Slovakia Europe Lunik Photo Essay Featured Co...

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The Kids from Lunik IX 3
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma kids drawing in Lunik IX's kindergarten. A state-run oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 6
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl in Lunik IX's state-run kindergarten. An oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 8
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl happily drawing in Lunik IX's state-run kindergarten. An oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 15
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A Roma boy is standing on a balcony of one of Lunik IX’s abandoned flats. The garbage thrown out of the window has already reached the first floor.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 20
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Lunik IX kindergarten. An oasis in the middle o poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 21
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 23
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

While I was photographing Roma kids in Lunik IX this young boy grabbed an old VHS tape from the dumpsite and started to imitate me.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 27
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A young Roma boy is on his way to collect tap water, which is only available during certain hours.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 30
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Josip, a teenage Roma boy is standing in front of the house he is living in with his family. Electricity is not working and during winter Lunik IX’s inhabitants heat with self-made ovens.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 33
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl sitting on the stairs of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 34
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl sitting on the stairs of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 35
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A young roma boy is searching the dumpsite for valuable clothing and other stuff that still can be used.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 36
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma kids play in the back of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings next to a several meter thick layer of garbage. The garbage’s toxic level is even starting to harm Kosice’s groundwater.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 37
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

The apartment buildings of Lunik IX where up to 8,000 Romas live under harsh conditions.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 38
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Karmena is a teenage Romni living in Lunik IX. Devastated and frustrated she is standing in a recently abandoned flat in Lunik IX. More and more apartments become uninhabitable.