'Gypsy invasion': a critical analysis of newspaper reaction to Czech and Slovak asylum-seekers in Britain, 1997

Colin Clark, Elaine Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following Canadian efforts to prevent Romanies from Slovakia and the Czech Republic entering its territory, in October 1997, Romani families from the former Czechoslovakia started to arrive at the port of Dover in Kent, England. They were attempting to claim political asylum in the UK due to the high levels of institutionalised racism and discrimination which forced them to flee their home countries. The reactions these families received from most sections of the British press were vitriolic and overtly hostile. It is this newspaper coverage that will be unpacked, examined and critically discussed in this article. Importantly, we regard the newspaper texts not simply as material for a contemporary case study, but as an object of analysis which is both a product of a particular historical moment, and simultaneously a recent manifestation of a longer historical project to construct Roma people in censuring and censorious ways. For all that, our analysis reveals very little of the struggles and experiences of these asylum-seekers, but everything about British xenophobia, anti-Gypsyism, and the (a) British way of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-47
Number of pages25
JournalRomani Studies
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

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