'Romani Lives' and 'To One's Name'
ROMANI LIVES is an initiative that aims to portray the lives of European Romanis in the XXI Century, fostering debate about the situation of the biggest ethnic minority in Europe.
Romani Lives consists of two parts, the first part is shown at all partner cities and approaches the most unknown side of the current Roma society, showing a more modern view of this community and throughout an exhibition that combines, historic photography, documents, objects and contemporary photography. The second part is called TO ONE’S NAME and was curated for the exhibition in Vienna.
ROMANI LIVES tries to move away not only from the image of outsiders, strongly connected with poverty, but also from stereotypes that show Roma people like “free creative geniuses” only apt for dancing and music. Both images contribute to isolating Roma in current European society and do not show the real life of European citizens with Romani origin that attend school and university, hold jobs in public and private sectors, and are rarely travellers anymore.
TO ONE’S NAME focuses on what it means to belong to the Roma community, to be called by this name, what really belongs to Roma, and to the name “Roma” in historic, cultural and socio-political terms. The contributing artists, activists, and theorists address the urgency to openly challenge the misunderstandings, stereotypes, and controversies surrounding the names used to address Roma people, the relevance and meaning of the term “Roma,” and the reasons for the reluctance to its use both among non-Roma and some Roma communities. The curatorial concept of this project attempts to rupture the closed circuit of critiquing only the perpetuation of stereotypical representations and the continuation of ambivalent practices of marginalizing the presence of Roma within public space.
The exhibition is completed with education programmes for children and young people, artist workshops, specialized seminars and a show with Roma artists’ performances.
TO ONE´S NAME
Curated by Suzana Milevska
Curatorial assistance: Patrick Kwaśniewski
Artists: Saša Barbul, Marika Schmiedt, Alfred Ullrich, Pedro Aguilera Cortés, Eduard Freudmann, amongst others
Production of exhibition: IG Kultur Österreich
Design: Carlos Toledo, Eva Dertschei