Andrej Pešta was a photographer of Roma origin. He was born in Italy in 1921, from where he left after Mussolini took over Italy and turned the country fascist. Here he came into contact with local Roma and learned Romani language. At the age of twenty he entered the Svoboda army as a member of a tank crew. Until the end of the war, however, he fought in Italy on the part of the guerrillas. By believing he was closer to the communist idea and after the war he returned to Czechoslovakia. He worked as a driver or as a commissioner for the eviction of the Germans in Jeseník. In the fifties, after graduating from an industrial evening school, he became the head of various locksmithing operations. At the beginning of the 1960s he became a deputy at the Municipal National Committee in Spisska Nova Ves. In this area, he was also a part of the local Roma community, and he also married a Roma girl. At that time, he met with Roma Milena Hübschmannová, whom he introduced to his Roma environment. At the end of the 1960s, Andrej Pešta appeared in Moravia, where he joined the Gypsy-Roma Union and took part in publishing the magazine “Romano L'il”. This cooperation was interrupted by the Communist power which abolished the Union in 1973. He devoted himself to photographing the everyday life of the Roma. As one of them, he often had access to their homes or intimate moments of family life, and his photographs are a unique testimony to the life of the Roma. These photographs are now owned by the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, where an exhibition in his honour was also held in 2017-2018 and a book with his photographs and a life story was also published in 2018. The monograph "O Fotki" brings a different view of the Roma. On this instance, the Roma is also behind the lens and shows the world how it wants to be seen. Approximately seventy mostly black-and-white photographs map the life of the Central Bohemian Roma Andrej Pešta in socialist Czechoslovakia.
Date of death
Author(s) of this page
- Vrtálková, Anna
Holomek, Karel. "Andrej Pešta, zvaný Korádo." Romano džaniben, Summer 2007, 186-189.
Čopjaková, Kateřina. "O Fotki." Týdeník Respekt. Accessed August 17, 2018. https://www.respekt.cz/tydenik/2018/10/gauce-misto-mandlovych-oci-a-volanu.
Pešta-Corrado, Andrej, Jana Horváthová, Adam Holubovský, Tomáš Pospěch, Dušan Slačka, Milada Závodská, Jana Habrovcová, Karolína Ryvolová, and Eva Danišová. Andrej Pešta: o fotki. 2017.
Habrovcová, Jana, interview by Vrtálková, Anna , February 16, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection