RCC Presents The Roma : from 'extra' to 'ordinary' Project

19th June 2014

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On the 19 th of June RCC hosted the private view of 'The Roma: from 'extra' to 'ordinary' exhibition (A Roundtable Project) by Violeta Vajda.

Romaphobia, the discrimination against people called by turns,'Gypsy,'Tigani'and many other pejorative names is on the increase throughout Europe. Current media representations of Roma people and their communities strengthen rather than transcend entrenched prejudices and are not generally set up as opportunities for reflection and learning. The Romanian Cultural Centre is proud to present a series of events that address the Romaphobia issue with the aim of engaging visitors in a wider debate about Roma culture.

Roma  from 'extra'to 'ordinary' contrasts Romani history with the reality of everyday Romani life. The exhibition aims to highlight both anti-Roma prejudice and the ordinariness of Roma people's reality and activism, hoping to bring a new dimension to the debate surrounding the Roma from Eastern Europe. Through a series of parallel events, the exhibition opens up the space for a cultural dialogue that challenges visitors' preconceived ideas about Roma people and becomes a space where learning between Roma and non-Roma people can happen in non-exploitative ways.

This exhibition starts from the premise that we can only accurately understand the Roma if we make a conscious effort to stretch beyond our historically constructed prejudices about them.Roma  from 'extra'to 'ordinary' does not cover up the history of oppression that has resulted in negative and distorted images of Roma people in the media, both in the UK and in Eastern Europe. At the same time it seeks to show how Romani lives are not so different from those of everyone else, with a focus on the banal and everyday, rather than the sensational.

In designing this exhibition, the curators have tried to create a space where Roma people feel safe to show themselves and their culture in ways that makes sense to them.

Note:We use Roma as a political term adopted by Romani activists throughout the world in the fight for their people's emancipation.

Exhibition in collaboration withThe Roma Support Group

Curator Violeta Vajda (University of Sussex and Institute of Development Studies)

Advisory Board: Alina erban, Nicu Dumitru, Augustin Brcea With the special support of:Rachel Humphries (University of Oxford), Dr. Annabel Tremlett (University of Portsmouth), Tania Gessi (Roma Support Group) Special thanks to artists: Ciara Leeming Artur Conka

Photo credits: James Rice