As long as civilization has existed, there have been groups of people that choose to live outside of society’s structured living spaces. In 1986, a group of so-called post-punk, New Age Travelers gave up their normal lives in London to live a gritty, gypset life in the countryside of England. Nearly two decades after establishing themselves, their lives were captured and compiled into a book: The New Gypsies by Iain McKell
Traveling gypsies often battle their negative, outlaw image. This particular group of new gypsies are no exception; they are constantly finding themselves in trouble with the local law enforcement because they live beyond the constraints of a “typical” society. Setting up camp on owned property has made traveling life a challenge for these nomads, yet they continue to fight for their rights to squat. Photographer Iain McKell followed the group for years and has watched them transform into the hybrid tribe they are today– present-day nomads with the luxury of technology and social networking at their fingertips.
This juxtaposition of past and present is what makes these gypset travelers so unique. Their vehicles of choice are beautifully detailed horse-drawn carriages, making their trips not only authentic, but sustainable. This sustainability practice is coupled with an affinity for computers and solar-powered cellphones, making their tribe a technicolored fusion between the old and new world. Their choice of dress and decoration also reflect their predilection towards the unusual, yet functional, textiles and found items collected along their travels.