At the end of November, as part of our project, we organized a happening in a coffee shop at Piata Romana in collaboration with the employees of the establishment.
We wanted to test the reaction of the public part of the ethnic majority that is usually present in these places when confronted with the racist exclusion from a public space of a Roma woman dressed in traditional clothes. Generally, Roma women and especially Roma women that dress traditionally face exclusion from different public spaces, street harassment and violence from the part of the ethnic majority. Thus, we wanted to see how the clients present in the coffee shop would react to such a situation. If they stand in solidarity or not with the Roma woman and what is their general attitude.
A Roma woman has been insulted, has been touched without her consent and has been excluded on racist grounds from a public space. Faced with such a situation, the clients that witnessed it not only did not question or challenge the employee’s decision and actions, but they clearly refused to talk to or to support the Roma woman. The prevailing attitude in the coffee shop was one of ignoring the incident with people laughing and keeping their eyes glued to the screen of their mobile phones.
These kind of reactions constitute a complicity often encountered in the racist and misogynistic society that we live in.