Jacques Debot, aged 62, is a Gypsy writer, lecturer, author of "Blog Romstorie: La vie des Roms et Gens du Voyage",* and a regular contributor to the independent French news site Mediapart. "Gypsies can rarely identify with what is said and written about them. Too many 'recognised experts' have spent only a few hours in a shantytown and a few evenings at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. Gypsies get talked about, but it's rare that anyone talks with them and rarer still that they get to speak for themselves. I've been a carpenter and a parliamentary assistant; I've always kept in close touch with my own people, and with the 'others' as well, and worked for mutual understanding, acceptance and peaceful coexistence."