RCC Presents The Roma – from ‘extra’ to ‘ordinary’ Project

19th June 2014

6.30 - 9.30pm

Romanian Cultural Centre


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Roma – from ‘extra’ to ‘ordinary’
A Roundtable Project
19 June 2014 | 6:30 – 9:30 pm |  Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ
ADMISSION FREE | Booking is essential at bookings@romanianculturalcentre.org.uk
The exhibition runs until 6 July 2014 | Mon – Fri, 11.00 am – 6.00 pm | Admission free

Romaphobia, the discrimination against people called by turns, GypsyTigani 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 with The Roma Support Group

Curator: Violeta Vajda (University of Sussex and Institute of Development Studies)
Advisory Board:   Alina Șerban, Nicu DumitruAugustin Bârcea
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 



25 JUNE | 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Film Screening: OUR SCHOOL (2011| 93 mins)

Dirs. Mona Nicoara & Miruna Coca-Cozma | USA / Romania / Switzerland
This is the bittersweet story of three Roma children from a rural Transylvanian village caught up in an initiative to integrate ethnically-segregated Romanian schools.
Shot over four years, the film follows Alin, Benjamin and Dana who begin their journey with high hopes of a better quality of education, and of making new ‘non-Roma’ friends at the city school.

Followed by a Living Library with:

Alina Serban (Actress)
Nicu Dumitru (Project Manager – Terre des hommes)
Artur Conka (Photographer)
Ewelina Pawlowska (Roma Community Support Worker)

In its initial form a ‘living library’ is a mobile library where the ‘books’ are live people with knowledge about a given subject. Visitors are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan” about those life experiences and the challenges and achievements involved.
Our ‘living library’ is designed as an event to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding about Roma people.  By capturing people’s stories the human library puts visitors to our exhibition face to face with the life experiences of Roma people, which we hope will have a deep impact on those who attend.


26 JUNE | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Workshop: Roma integration and evidence-based policy-making (RIEP)

Roma integration and evidence-based policy-making (RIEP) is a unique opportunity for a focused dialogue between researchers and professionals from different knowledge areas to progress understanding of effective evidence-based practice and policy-making. This workshop has been made possible through funding from the European Academic Network on Romani Studies.
For more details about this, please contact Dr Annabel Tremlett at: annabel.tremlett@port.ac.uk