Saturday, 18 Jan 2020

Romane Thana – Places of the Roma

Exhibition project on the culture and history of Roma in Austria

English abstract

 Romane Thana – Places of the Roma/Romnia and Sinti/Sintize is a documentary and researchproject on the history and culture of the Roma in Austria. The present knowledge on Roma, the diversity of their groups and ways of life as well as their coexistence with non-Roma shall be made accessible to a wider public through exhibitions. Such mapping should also serve to pinpoint and mark blank spots on the map to enable subsequent discussion and research.
Romane Thana is vitally concerned with highlighting the different Roma ways of life, the organising principle being those places where Roma were permitted or forced to stay – for a shorter or longer period of time. The exhibition concept also covers the places of persecution, thus comprising the important but still widely unknown topic of the Roma Holocaust. The historical dimension of Romane Thana represents an attempt to reconstruct ways of life which have disappeared in the wake of both the physical destruction of the people themselves in the Holocaust and structural change. The current dimension points directly to the continuing problem of visibility, to the wish of many Roma not to be recognisable in order to provide (often alleged) protection from persecution and discrimination, and to the (in)visibility caused by the stereotypical expectations of non-Roma. The contact between Roma and non-Roma as well as the relationship between self-perception and social perception are core elements of the topic. Particular groups with particular ways of life (travellers, beggars) are perceived as Roma by the media and made visible in the context of social conflicts, while others (e.g. migrants from former Yugoslavia, Austria’s largest Roma community) remain invisible as Roma. The topicality of both this issue and the locality approach finds confirmation in recent conflicts all over the world.

Read more on the Project Website Romane Thana

Project Partners:

Akademie Graz

Initiative Minderheiten

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