Martin Fotta is a senior researcher in the Department of Mobility and Migration, Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences, and PI of the Romani Atlantic project. Before joining the Academy of Sciences, Martin taught at the University of Kent and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Martin obtained his PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Martin has conducted research among Calon Romanies in Brazil. His monograph onCalon who specialise as moneylenders, From Itinerant Trade to Moneylending in the Era of Financial Inclusion (Palgrave McMillan, 2018) provides unique insight into the economy based on debt and credit from the point of view of credit providers, contributing to an understanding of the global expansion of financial services over the past few decades. He has recently finished two collections that reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Romanies, both co-edited with Paloma Gay y Blasco. Romani Chronicles of COVID-19: Testimonies of Harm and Resilience (Berghahn, 2023) provides  diverse perspectives about the shock, confusion, and devastating effects of the pandemic on Romani lives, while Ethnographic Methods in Gypsy, Roma And Traveller Research: Lessons From A Time Of Crisis (Bristol University Press, 2023) reflects on recent methodological changes in Romani ethnographic research, such as moves to decolonise Romani-related scholarship, shifts in  researchers’ roles, and new forms of collaboration.

In addition to his Romani-related research, Martin is interested in transformations of the welfare state and cash transfer policies. In 2015, he received three years of funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and explored the ways in which cash transfers and other welfare payments have impacted indebtedness among Brazilian peasants.

In the Romani Atlantic project Martin will trace how the place of Romanies within the Portuguese-speaking South Atlantic shifted depending on specific historical contexts and in relation to other peoples and cultures. To this effect he is pursuing primarily archival, but also ethnographic, research across four sites of the Lusophone Atlantic: north-east Brazil, Portugal, Angola and Cape Verde.