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Horsing Around at the Gypsy Mecca

Diana Patient photographs boys rapping and women discussing feminism at the Appleby Horse Fair.

by Diana Patient
02 May 2013, 8:00am

Appleby Horse Fair has been dubbed the Gypsy Mecca, because every year Romany and Irish traveller families travel for weeks, from miles away, to get to the little Cumbrian village to celebrate their culture, meet up with old friends and haggle for horses. It is the largest fair of it’s kind in Europe and the last great Gypsy gathering in England.

I have always been attracted to the romance of nomadism and therefore wanted to experience for myself, a culture that causes so much controversy just by living alongside our own. With the Gypsy council as my base, I slept in a tent and heard young boys rapping, traveller women heatedly discussing their gender's place in their community and fortune tellers selling the future for £20. The rest, I photographed. 

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