Art Works of artists who were selected from the International Open Call by the WRCA jury consisting of Isaac Blake (Romany Culture & Arts Company, Wales), Beverley Carpenter (Oblique Arts, Cambridge), Moritz Pankok (Foundation Kai Dikhas, Berlin) and Miguel Angel Vargas Rubio (ERIAC Barvalipe Academy, Seville)
An open series of colour etchings “Patterns”, 2018, 1 to 4 (5 unsigned), printed area ca 50 cm x 40 cm. Originally patterned white curtains, I made three colour plates of each and printed them overlapping. They are old patterns of lace curtains that my mother used to peddle in and around Vienna. I often accompanied her. In the period after World War II, there was still a symbiosis between the Austrian textile industry, Jewish wholesalers and the Sinti. Just as these overlaps made possible a temporary cooperation between these groups, this business model, which still dated from the pre-war period, was soon replaced by the large mail-order companies around 1971. At this time I also began to move in artistic contexts. Inspired by this, it led to an independent artistic activity. By means of visual art, I also succeeded in placing the concerns of Sinti and Roma in the social context. This did not only provoke favourable reactions. But it also led to many contacts with Sinti and Roma organisations.
Dan Turner creates pattern, Romani for signs, to map where we, the Roma and Traveller community have been and mark where we are going. With acts of travelling ground using film and digital media he creates pattern that reflect the 1st Roma Congress’s desire for a celebration of the vibrancy and transnational nature of Roma culture. He sees these signs as a metaphor for the Roma diaspora, how we established ourselves in the bare earth, growing in this new ground, re-imagining landscapes.
In this new video installation piece, a narrative structure constructed from segments and phrases from pre-existing artefacts such as film, photography and literature he explores how Roma Contemporary Art can be a model for its people, values and strong activism in tackling structural inequality. He includes elements of his work, family history and digital travels.
The artist creates a group of six Fleicher blocks in the body of which human artificial skeletal fragments are incorporated. These are covered with an earth-colored pebbled plaster layer and are hidden.
A Karligram will be created, a reminder against persecution – exclusion – discrimination and murder of Sinti and Roma. After an associated performance, the butcher’s blocks are covered with a layer of gold leaf.
The artist makes work based on the topic of diasporic memories. The painting and drawing will offer a prospect of transmitting the memory of Romany leadership and belonging without shared national borders or state-funded culture.
The first Romani Congress held in 1971 signifies a moment where Romani people from across Europe created our own space for political autonomy, making an active decision to occupy a position we deserve as a people. It represents resistance, and our ability to ‘take the mic’ when mainstream society isn’t ready to. As a young Romany person based in the UK, this event in history gave me the validation I needed to pursue politics, and permission to entwine my political life and my artistic creativity in a celebration of culture and identity. All parts of myself could peacefully coexist”.
Manolo Gómez Romero
The artist has lived in Barcelona since 1989 and started to work as an artist in 1992. He exhibits widely in Spain and generally throughout Europe. With his gestural, musical and calligraphic style, Gomez has found a fitting artistic expression for flamenco, expanding this culture with a new facet of abstract art.
Nihad Nino Pušija
INVISIBLE = SAFE
Nihad Nino Pušija (D/BA) was born 1965 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, is Art photographer. His work focuses on documentary and portrait photography and aims at capturing Roma identity in Berlin, where he has been based for the past twenty nine years, and elsewhere in Europe. Since 1992 working on different Art projects and photostudies. Supported by the nGbK Berlin (New Society for Visual Arts), Museum of European Cultures and Allianz Cultural Foundation. Main themes: politics of recognition, minority positions in contemporary artistic and curatorial practice, south-east Europe, refugees, conflict resolution, integration, inclusion and Roma in Europe. He was part of the 1st and 2nd Roma Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2007 and 2011. Pušija lives and works in Berlin. Statement I see art as an adequate medium to point out grievances. In my long-term photographic documentations I mostly focus on those who are marginalised in the European countries, among them many Roma. I supplement their photographic images with their personal and also background stories. Thereby I open up an inside perspective, which will hopefully change the perception of these groups in the long term. To reflect everyday life in Europe, I also combine various topics and photographic subjects. Focusing on this also allows me to orientate towards my artistic strategies. With every change of location one of my artworks comes to its natural end.
Jan Cibula, Grattan Puxon, Eva Davidova, Vanko Rouda, Zarko Jovanovic, Juan de Dios Ramirez Heredia, Ladislav Demeter, Faik Abdi have had a vision.
Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the World Congress, our vision is to demand again and forever to be seen in all states and societies of Europe as what we are, can be and will be.
RJSaK has elaborated a series of four posters as a manifestation for an open Roma culture in Europe and Switzerland. We would like to see Roma galleries, museums, libraries and archives open in the capitals of Europe in the future. It is important to us that the stereotypical images and prejudices finally disappear. This is only possible if we can show ourselves as we are and not as we are seen. RJSaK would like to enter this demand as an artistic statement for a moving, open Europe.
The artist, from North Macedonia is a poetess. The poem’s title is Romani diamant and it is written in Romani language. A theatre of shadows and creative art is performed by young artist and cultural activist Dzemiliana Abdulova during a reading of the poem. “NO ONE can take the soul of Roma people because their soul is a DIAMANT-strong, passionate, clear, valuable, rich, dazzling and unique”.
“The poem is showing feelings and thoughts about the first Romany congress, it”s heroes who looked for brighter future of Roma people all over the world.
At the same time, the poem honours the great “Ambassadors” of Romanipen, the first Roma intellectuals that have articulated the voice of Roma in the world by laying the foundation of recognition of Roma people”.
In the first videos the artist is making statues with Nevers, a silversmith.
“The third video is an inspiration for me Maladilem bakhtale Romensa because my mother was a flower girl she used to sell flowers. She was very talented in arts. She actually never studied art. Even i was very surprised that she could reproduce a portrait on paper using stencil. I don’t know about happiness but I think I should be happy, I study art in the university and I graduate”.