The New Gypsies.
Photographs by Iain McKell.
Prestel, Lakewood, 2011. 128 pp., 80 color illustrations, 8¾x10¾".
Historically despised the new Gypsies are there by choice, not heritage. Unrelated to the Roma, the movement began in 1986 when a group of Post-Punk Anti-thatcher protesters headed out of London into the English countryside. McKell followed these New Age Travelers to the West Country and over the years he watched them become a hybrid tribe - the new gypsies - present-day rural anarchists, living the subversive lifestyle in elaborately decorated horse-drawn caravans. Known as 'Horse-drawn,' the new gypsies share a desire for sustainability, a love of self-reliance and a disdain for the trappings of contemporary life.
For more than a decade McKell has focused his lens on travelers of all ages: parents, children, couples, and loners. With sensitivity and honesty, he captures a way of life that seems at once romantic, strange, beautiful, and simple. The result is a deeply insightful portrayal of a culture that eschews the traditional creature comforts of urban life in favor of the simplicity and freedom of the natural world.
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