The launching conference of the project Povești Nespuse – Untold Stories took place on the 18th of November 2015 at Café Boheme in Bucharest. Alina Şerban, the person who initiated the project was the one to present the project’s objectives, main activities as well as the reasons that motivated its development. The discussion revolved around the various ways in which, through the envisioned artistic activities and through research, the project can contribute to the visibility of untold stories regarding Roma slavery, how it can highlight the absence of the period of Roma slavery from the history textbooks and how it can ignite much needed conversations concerning the implications of this history in understanding the present-day social inequalities.
Alina Şerban presented the manner in which Roma stories and stories from Roma history remain untold, from traditional fairy tales to information regarding the cultural contributions of Roma individuals throughout history and the stories of historical Roma experiences. Moreover, she brought to attention the fact that the absence of information regarding Roma slavery in the history textbooks contributes to rendering invisible the Roma experiences and she mentioned the different ways in which artistic productions and research can remedy this situation, for example by producing audio-video educational materials on Roma slavery in particular and on the history of oppression and marginalization of Roma people in general. Alina Şerban also emphasized the link between the act of rendering this history invisible and the exclusions and marginalization experienced by Roma people in the present.
Several Roma and non-Roma activists, members of mass-media, members of Embassies and academics have participated at the launching conference of the project Povești Nespuse – Untold Stories. We thank them for their presence and their show of support.