So keres, Europa?! (So what, Europe?!)
Cluj-Napoca, Romania – Conference Day #6
On Saturday, the last day of what turned out to be a full week of activities, came to its successful end leaving lasting impressions to all those involved . The participants finally presented the results of the 48-hours-actions on which they had been working on so eagerly in the workshops throughout the week.
Most presentations took place during a festival in Cluj-Napoca Central Park, however, some of the 48-hours-actions involved street activism in the heart of Cluj.
The “Invisible Theatre” took to the streets to see how people reacted to the scenes of discrimination. Based on personal experiences, the participants scripted short plays and acted them out in public spaces of Cluj-Napoca with audience and examined the reaction when they witnessed discriminatory situations.
The participants of “Gilave, Europa!”, led by the band Parno Graszt, taught each other different songs from the countries they come from. They then, performed together in the streets of Cluj as a musical group.
Similarly but at the same time different, “Rhythm through Difference” also presented their work in a street performance based on rhythms that use garbage and scrap objects from ecological footprint of local environment, music instrument, dance, voices to represent diversity, common language and common origin.
To bring not only sound but also colour to the streets, “U’re up – ExSPRAY’s yourself!” used street art painting and graffiti to express their opinions, ideas, and emotions. The colourful graffiti were also part of the vast exhibition of Changemaker messages and stories at the festival in the park.
“Create their lesson!” set up a mini campaign on the issues of discrimination and segregation of Roma in education and created lessons for Roma and non Roma families and teachers.
Educating people was also at the heart of “Learning History, Understanding Today: The Roma Holocaust”. The participants learnt to use historical research and using the tool of interactive exhibitions for educational purposes as they designed a temporary exhibition on the topic of holocaust by using different objects.The Holocaust also reflected in the exhibition of “Roma Superheroes and Romani Resistance” who presented survivors of the Holocaust as Roma heroes from history. They also looked at fictional Superheroes like Magneto who fell in love with a Roma girl and helped her to escape from a Nazi-prison camp and Scarlet Witch, a.k.a. Wanda Maximoff who was a Jew and Roma.
The participants of “Stories of Rights and Dignity” presented the current situation of the Roma community and the people of Cluj and Pata Rât in particular. Group collected local stories and faces to create a library of living books and enacted narratives.
The “Romani Handicraft”-group set up a mini-market and presented the handicrafts they had designed and produced during the week.
Three workshops focused on how bring attention to the Roma cause by getting media reflection.
The participants of “Pata Rât – Forced Evictions, Segregated Lives and Romani Resistance” were majorly involved in Friday’s solidarity march with the aim to design a strong public act of resistance drawing attention to the cases of eviction. “Together we are more!” produced a short film to combat segregation and discrimination and “Go Free 48 H” published a special edition of the ‘Go free magazine’.The festival not only gave a space to present the work of what was a very busy week it also was an opportunity for the conference delegates to celebrate themselves and to have a good time together before everyone would return home the next day. The young activists enjoyed music and dance together with the community of Pata Rât who had been invited as special guests.
Sheeba Kiran currently reports from Cluj-Napaco, Romania. She is the Law graduate from Strathclyde University, Glasgow. She is also Global Minorities Alliance’s Director of Women Empowerment. She can be reached on Twitter @sheebakiran7