Ciara Crocker

Ciara Crocker is a photographer based in New York City. At 22 years old, she has spent time living in Massachusetts, Ireland, and New York and holds both US and Irish/EU citizenship. Having recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ciara has worked in the areas of fashion, commercial, portraiture, and most recently documentary with her new project “And that’s the truth.” A Portrait of Irish Travellers.

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Rooted in a lifestyle of nomadism dating back at least 1000 years, Irish Travellers today do not travel anymore. Originating in Ireland, Travellers consist of about 40,000 with large communities in the UK and US as well. Defined by their history of living on the road along with an impenetrably strong family-centric community, a particular attention to the Catholic Church, and their language “Cant”, Irish Travellers thrive within their own distinguished culture.

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Though England recognizes Irish Travellers as a cultural minority, Ireland does not formally ac-knowledge the ethnic distinction between Irish Travellers and “settled” Irish. In an effort to remove Travellers from the road during the 1960’s, “halting sites” were built for the relocation of Traveller families. Though many still live in sites today, the economic prosperity during the era of the Celtic Tiger in the 1990’s gave some Travellers enough upward mobility to move on into independent houses. A seemingly positive change, the transition away from the road, away from their commu-nal environment, and assimilation into “settled” Ireland, now presents many new challenges for Irish Travellers. Combined with the longstanding external oppression that Travellers face, this newly iso-lated lifestyle has lead to a dangerous degree of internal oppression within Traveller individuals. Constituting less than 1% of the Irish population, the suicide rate among Travelers in Ireland is now seven times higher than that of non-Traveller Irish citizens. In attempt to escape these struggles, many “assimilated” Travelers today choose to not identify with their culture in hopes of avoiding prejudice and remaining in competition for jobs.

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Despite the rapid changes in lifestyle for Travelers recently, Irish Travelers remain rich with their own history and character. It is a captivating community that leaves every thought and emotion out on the line in their everyday fast-talking, quick-witted banter. Frequently tacked on at the end of a thought or statement in conversation, the title of this project comes from a colloquial phrase used by Irish Travellers to reverberate ideas, experiences, and their pride in the assured manner that de-fines them.

Crocker--25_o Crocker--19_o Crocker--16_o Crocker--17_o Athy-1-2_o Monasterevin, co. Kildare, Ireland. July 2013. Ballyfermot, co. Dublin, Ireland. August 2013. Ciara Crocker Ballymun, co. Dublin, Ireland. August 2013. Ballyfermot, co. Dublin, Ireland. August 2013. Ballybough, co. Dublin, Ireland. June 2013. Trim, co. Meath, Ireland. June 2013.

To view more of Ciara’s work please visit her website.