Deserve Dignity Photography Exhibit

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“Deserve Dignity” photo exhibit of the Roma peoples on display at the West Hollywood Library.

The City of West Hollywood, The Remote Control Charitable Foundation, The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Water Tower Records premiered the photo exhibit “Deserve Dignity,” on International Human Rights Day, Saturday, December 10, 2011. The exhibit will be on display to the public through Monday, January 30, 2012 at the West Hollywood Library during regular library operating hours. The exhibit captures the lives of the Roma people in the settlements of Eastern Slovakia.

“This photo exhibit calls attention to the persecution of the Roma in Europe. It reminds us of the importance and indivisibility of human rights,” said West Hollywood Councilmember John Heilman.

About the Exhibit:
Europe’s estimated 10 million Roma are its largest ethnic minority group. Most live outside of mainstream society, are subject to gross human rights abuses and are denied their equal rights as citizens. Slovakia was among the first countries where the National Democratic Institute launched its Roma initiative and it has one of the highest concentrations of Roma citizens living in poverty and isolation, mainly in the eastern part of the country. NDI has implemented an initiative to promote political participation among Roma in six countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Zoë Zimmer poignantly captures the lives of the Roma in these settlements. With an authentic and distinctive selection of 25 black and white photographs, Zoë’s lens exposes a wide landscape that will allow an international audience to better understand and appreciate the lives, struggles, and aspirations of the Roma people.

About Zoë Zimmer:
Zoë Zimmer began her career as a model at the age of 14, and worked internationally until she moved onto fashion photography at the age of 21. Now, she is based between Los Angeles and London. In 2010, she worked on campaign to raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was spearheaded by Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos-Horta. In July, she traveled to eastern Slovakia with her father, composer Hans Zimmer, to photograph the Roma people in order to highlight the important work of the National Democratic Institute.

About West Hollywood:
Every year, the City of West Hollywood hosts an event to commemorate International Human Rights Day. West Hollywood is passionate and creative in its approach to City government and has established itself as a leader in many of the critical social movements over the last twenty-five years. The City has led the way in the fight against HIV and AIDS; rent control and affordable housing; LGBT rights; human rights and civil rights; women’s rights; Seniors; protection of our environment; and animal rights. The City of West Hollywood is proud of its unique and diverse population of 36,000 which includes members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community; Seniors; Russian-speaking immigrants and an emerging Latino population.