So Nakhlo is a phrase in the Romani language meaning, “What’s happening” or “What’s the news?” both in the interrogative sense of “What’s happening?”, and in the idiomatic sense of “[This is] the news.”
So Nakhlo, the Barvalipe Blog, offers a moderated, inclusive platform to Critical Romani Studies artists, curators, cultural entrepreneurs, activists, and scholars, to publish their ‘knowledge productions’; i.e., op-ed pieces, arguments, articles, addresses to their peers, colleagues and fellow creatives, to interrogate the ‘usable’ past, challenge the present, and embrace the future. The notion of the “usable past” comes from Van Wyck Brooks and, more recently Lois Parkinson Zamora; rewriting the collective memory and reshaping the Romani past to grapple with the trauma and triumph that Romani and Traveller people, the broadest possible community, have experienced at the hands of non-Roma. Challenging the present to create ‘knowledges’ about Gypsy, Roma, Traveller dignity, as an instrument of combating anti-Gypsyism; and embracing a future where Roma are judged “by the content of their character” and not by the stereotypes in the gorgio’s imagination.
The Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo aims to incorporate not only professionally reviewed publications, but furthermore, to include productions from proficient individuals in their respective fields, and group narratives and formats. The editors welcome research essays, debates, and reflections that address critical questions, expressing creative and even unorthodox views and recommendations, in a thoughtful style.
These published pieces are a monthly exploration of topics and treatises of the highest quality, ‘knowledge production’ as critical thought and empowerment. They are intended to mobilise the members of Romani and Traveller emancipation movements, and their non-Romani allies, advocates, and partners as well, with new ways of thinking or viewing older thinking creatively and critically.
The Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo is a ground-breaking platform, an initiative to recognise a long-waited place and ‘hear’ vanished voices, narratives, and ‘hidden’ histories in the form of research results, theses, interventions, criticism, epistemic and formal inquiries, lived-experiences and expertise in the Romani and Traveller movements, and in scientific life. These narratives or ‘voices’ can be presented individually or co-authored, polyphonies of dialogues and symphonies of debates.
Editors of Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo
Guest contributions are welcome, following a discussion with the Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo editors, with a recognizable reference to European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo scopes, aims, and implications.
We welcome contributions, on the following (and other) topics:
Text Scope and Format:
The essay should be a minimum of 2,500 and a maximum of 5,000 words, not including a short bio, an abstract from the piece, and a maximum of 10 bibliographic references.
Please use a standard format
Usage and Copyright:
All rights reserved to European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture e.V., with open access.
Each essay will get a suggested citation with the: ©European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo
Adrian Marsh (2022) “Re–inventing the Wheel: Romani ‘voices’, knowledge and the erasure of the past”, Barvalipe Blog – So Nakhlo, European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture – ERIAC
The origins of ethnic Romani identity and language in the East Roman Empire, during the 14th and 15th centuries CE (Common Era) is rarely discussed or examined in any details in Romani Studies scholarship – what were the exact circumstances surrounding the emergence of Romani people in the complex ethnic, religious and linguistic mosaic of the late mediaeval Byzantine polity? Beyond the assertion of ‘Indian’ ancestry, little attention is paid to the ethnic, economic, and social development of the ‘Egyptians’ that arrive in central and western Europe more than a century and a half after they first appear in the Byzantine sources. The piece here explores the moments, historically, when both the assertion of an endogamous ethnicity, and a linguistic identity are recognised by non-Romani commentators and chroniclers. Further, the loss of these pieces of knowledge over time, including into the modern, technological era, demonstrates a continuing ‘erasure’ of the Romani past, in the interests of a non-Roma ‘usable past’ that obscures the trauma and tragedy (as well as the triumphs) of Romani and Traveller peoples, at the hands of the gorgios or gadjé, whom they have lived amongst for a thousand years…