In 2015, following a European project implemented by the City Council, a landfill in Cluj was closed, so that many families working in the selective collection on waste, lost their sources of income. Their Roma origins, the low level of education and professional qualification, combined with family responsibilities, further hamper employment opportunities. Given that most of these families do not have alternatives for housing in other parts of the city or region, they had to seek to survive in the city. The struggle to ensure a decent life and a house becomes evident at a closer look, all taking place against a background of unemployment on a large scale, and the growing prejudices to Roma people among Cluj citizens.

Pâta Rat is an urban informal spatially segregated neighbourhood located near the closed city landfill of Cluj-Napoca, a badly polluted industrial area, about 6 km from the city, where about 300 families are living in houses with several lack of basic utilities.

The four communities in the area were formed after repeated evictions of Roma people living in central areas of the city and also inhabitants of nearby villages who went there to look for livelihoods in the landfill. The adoption of strong intervention from the authorities to disaggregate and relocate the population in Pâta Rat area causes discontent among several social and cultural agents working in the area. Life stories of people from Pâta-Rat and Canton Street incorporate historical processes of political change, economic and social disadvantages for Roma families and exacerbating differences between the majority and the marginalized.