Project Description

The Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse project aims to document and to promote Roma culture and identity. It supports an increased awareness of the cultural and social history of the Roma population in Romania through artistic events and research.

The initiator of the Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse project is
Alina Şerban
a Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduate
Roma actress, author and producer of theater plays and artistic productions

Alina Şerban has initiated the Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse project, implemented with the support of the Romano ButiQ Association, in order to promote Roma history and cultural diversity and to raise awareness regarding reclaiming Roma culture and identity.

How do we reclaim an identity? How can we reclaim an identity when fundamental parts of history remain untold and when the links between the past and the present are not being discussed? What are the roles we play in the struggle to reclaim an identity, in the continuing or the changing of some histories? What are our stories? Who is telling the history? Whose history is being told and how?

When the only voice being heard is that of the ethnic majority and there are only a small number of artistic productions that talk about the Roma history and culture in Romania, we are faced with a situation that renders the diversity of Roma experiences invisible.

The Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse project endeavors to highlight marginalized Roma historical and cultural perspectives that are rarely in the spotlight. Through this project we popularize Roma stories and fairytales and we support the research of the 500-year-history of the Roma slavery in the Romanian Principalities, while at the same time emphasizing the links between past Roma slavery and the present-day marginalization. During the following months we will also set up and promote artistic productions that center on Roma history and perspectives.

The main result of the Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse project will be the publishing of an online collection of  Roma fairytales, that will be available in three languages, namely Romani, Romanian and English. In addition, the website will host articles showing the results of our research, articles about Roma slavery in the Romanian Principalities and the ways in which this history is recognized and understood within different communities: academic, clerical or activist etc. We will discuss the connections between how this history is or isn’t claimed and the struggle to claim or not an ethnic and cultural identity in Romania today. All these will become the basis of the cultural and artistic events that are to be developed during this project and that will culminate in the setting up of a theatre event.

The project’s website will host presentations, photos and audio-video materials about the activities that will be carried out during the project Untold Stories – Poveşti Nespuse.