Project Untold Stories
Supported by a Grant from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Romanian Government within Programme PA17/RO13 Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage
Press Release Closing Conference
Untold Stories – Povești Nespuse
Thursday, 28th April, 15.00 hours, the Closing conference of the Untold Stories-Povesti nespuse project will take place. The project’s creator is Alina Şerban, Roma actress and artist. The project’s main concept was set up in 2014, to end the silence that dominated the Romanian public space regarding the history of Roma slavery in Romania and the diversity of unrepresented Roma experiences. The project officially started in October 2015 and in a very short time successfully developed a necessary platform for untold and marginalized Roma stories.
To the difficult times that we live in, when racism and xenophobia are rising in Romania and Europe, our project responds with art and knowledge. To the marginalizing of Roma histories we answer by placing Roma people and their experiences center stage. In this way we can listen, find out about each other, find out about our history and our cultures’ stories. Therefore within the project several cultural events were organized and a variety of materials realized: an evening of Roma fairy-tales, artistic happenings, the reading-performance The Great Shame, research articles on Roma slavery, a Book of Roma Fairy Tales, and multiple photo and video materials available at our bilingual website: www.povestinespuse.eu
The Evening of Roma Fairy Tales was a unique event that made it possible for the first time in Romania to rediscover the charm and magic of fairy tales orally transmitted from generation to generation, from Auntie Veta herself, our main storyteller. A room filled with children and adults, of all ages and coming from all social environments, Roma and non-Roma alike, enjoyed and applauded Auntie Veta’s stories. Part of the fairy tales Auntie Veta shared with us are available in a Book of Roma Fairy Tales available online in English, Romani and Romanian.
The Great Shame reading-performance is the first of its kind in Romania, addressing the history of Roma slavery from the perspective and through the words of Roma artists. The Great Shame performance had its very successful premiere on the 20th of February, on the Day of Roma Liberation in Romania. A history page was put forth, one that is missing from history manuals, collective memory and current discussions. The Great Shame performance gravitates around the idea of shame – a historical shame regarding a past for which nobody has taken responsibility, personal shame regarding one’s identity and shame of standing in solidarity with the Roma people in our lives. A shame that needs to be confronted and a great number of diverse people responded to our invitation by filling the space to its maximum capacity.
The success that our organized events enjoyed, both the Evening of Roma Fairy Tales and The Great Shame reading performance taking place with a full house, gave us the necessary strength to continue. We enjoyed the support of the national and international press (radio, TV stations, online and print media), of state institutions representatives and of Embassies from Bucharest, of Roma and non-Roma activists and of a great number and diversity of spectators.
Untold Stories will continue! We invite you to join us on the 28th of April for the premiere launching of two promotional videos, to receive our latest promotional materials in print, to find out more about our future plans and to mobilize together in solidarity, for further knowledge and promotion of Roma stories and experiences.
The Closing Conference of the Untold Stories-Povesti Nespuse project will take place Thursday the 28th of April, 15.00 hours, at Café Boheme (Caderea Bastiliei Street, no 11, Bucharest). To confirm your presence please write at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publicity and Communication
Untold Stories-Povesti Nespuse project