For the Dignity of the Roma people

Roma communities are considered the largest minority in Europe. Their lives have been politically threatened for centuries. Threatened by those institutions that protect them on paper in the morning, defame them in speeches at noon, and support the political murders committed against them in the evening. Recently, this happened again when 46-year-old Czech Roma Stanislav Tomáš was brutalised by police in Teplice, Czech Republic on 19.06.2021, and succumbed to his severe injuries. The Czech Interior Minister and Prime Minister did not only protect the police brutality, they also made derogatory comments against Stanislav Tomáš. Over 350 Roma organisations and solidarity networks are demanding clarification.

Elsewhere in Europe, the situation is equally threatening. Germany, for instance, has recognised the Porajmos, the genocide of the Roma perpetrated by the Nazi regime. Nevertheless, the memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism has been unprotected in Berlin, at least since 2020, when Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company, announced that it would demolish the memorial to build a city railway line there. Defamation, racism and their consequences are not shied away from in the media reality, which discusses weapons of words in the name of freedom of speech.

In this two-hour programme, SAVVYZΛΛR looks at those people who uncompromisingly defend their dignity every day, drawing strength in creativity. In the context of our current exhibition For The Phoenix To Find Its Form In Us - On Restitution, Rehabilitation and Reparation, we dedicate ourselves to the commitment of the participating artist Hamze Bytyçi/RomaTrial and the activist Josef Miker portrayed in his film. Their voices resound in resolute range, their determination carried by international emphasis. For the dignity of the Roma - yesterday, today, tomorrow, everyday: constantly.

Commemoration at the former internment camp in Lety, South Bohemia, 16.05.2015
Interview: Arlette-Louise Ndakoze with Josef Miker, in Lety, South Bohemia, 16.05.2015
Roma Day at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, 08.04.2016
2nd Roma Biennale 2021, artist talk, online panel, 08.06.2021

Justice for Stanislav Tomáš - Commemoration and Protests in:
Teplice, 26.06.2021
Berlin, Germany, 25.06.2021
Glasgow, Scotland, 24.06.2021
Vienna, Austria, 27.06.2021
NYC, USA, 27.06.2021
Priština, Kosovo, 06.07.2021