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As European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture – ERIAC celebrated its first birthday in 2018, ERIAC learned of the interest of the Serbian Government in opening a branch office advocating and representing the ERIAC cause in Serbia and joining the international political, social and cultural alliance for the recognition of Roma leadership, and arts and culture. Meetings between Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia, and Zeljko Jovanović, ERIAC Board Chair, commenced in 2018, in relation to the contribution of the Serbian government to the ERIAC mission.
The process of establishing ERIAC Serbia is closely aligned with the ERIAC Policy on local branches, as well as respecting the original roadmap and schedule approved by the ERIAC Board.
The formal establishment of ERIAC Serbia was concluded in a timely manner, and according to the original schedule. In October 2019, ERIAC Serbia registered under Serbian legislation as an association. The statute and constellation of the founders – ERIAC Berlin Headquarters, Zeljko Jovanović (ERIAC Board Chair), and Timea Junghaus (ERIAC Executive Director) – guarantees the relationship of connectedness and dependency of the ERIAC branches upon the coordinating ERIAC Berlin-based headquarters.
In November 2019, ERIAC Serbia signed a lease agreement for office space with the Property Directorate of the Republic of Serbia (Republička agencija za imovinu Republike Srbije). The ERIAC office space is located in the heart of Belgrade, at Majke Jevrosime St. 51. The ERIAC office and art space occupy a total area of 137.5 m2, on the ground floor, with a street-access entrance, and a proper open space suitable for art exhibitions and events.
04.11.2022, Belgrade ERIAC Serbia, International Romani Language Day
ERIAC Serbia marked International Romani Language Day with a panel discussion that presented the best practices of the most successful schools which paved the path for further institutional achievements in preserving Roma identity and realizing the right to practice Romani language in formal education in all schools in Serbia.
The sustainability and development of the language are fundamental (collective) rights of minorities. Therefore, it is necessary to establish and manage an institutional and educational framework to enable this to be achieved. Therefore, mentioned frameworks can play a decisive role in the choice of curriculum and language of teaching, as well as in ensuring that minorities lead and manage the areas of community, education, culture, religion, social issues and dissemination of information. All of the above can be successful only through socio-political change, which re-examines the established philosophy of the nation-state, and calls into question the close relationship between trends and dominant language groups, by the political engagement of the linguistic community of the minority culture on the one hand and critics on the other. Language theorist James Tollefson explains that the composition of dominant cultures can be changed by the linguistic actions of a minority community (Tollefson 1991: 202). Education is not a space of neutral, independent and objective learning; on the contrary, it must be seen as one of the main psycho-social sites of struggle to break sociocultural inequalities. Education is a cult arena for presenting transformative politics.
Language is the basis of the identity of every nation, and, in the case of the Roma community, the preservation of the Roma language is also a barrier to assimilation into the majority society. For this reason, Roma language and history experts have made great efforts in previous decades to ensure that the Roma language with elements of national culture finds its place in education. Regardless of the fact that Serbia has a long-standing tradition of education in minority languages, there are still no conditions for teaching in schools to be completely conducted in the Romani language. The Romani language with elements of national culture was introduced as an elective subject in Vojvodina in 1998, and on the territory of the whole of Serbia in 2015.
Romani language and elements of Roma culture is an elective subject in primary schools, but it is organized only in a small portion of schools, therefore not all Roma students have the possibility to attend it. The latest data from the 2019/20 school year show that 68 schools organized Romani language classes with elements of national culture attended by 2.553 students. The number of students enrolled in the class increases on an annual basis, although the number of schools implementing it does not show such a trend.
Systemic Romani language as an elective subject is institutionalized and is part of the regular care of the education system. However, there is still a long way to go before every Romani child who wants can speak and study their mother tongue language, history and culture in school. Only then we can be sure that the school system is inclusive, which it aspires to be. That’s why ERIAC Serbia, in cooperation with the Fund for Roma Education, is organizing a panel discussion on the topic of the Roma language as the basis of identity and barriers to assimilation on the occasion of World Romani Language Day.
At the panel, we addressed the following questions:
– Djurdjica Ergic, adviser for the education of members of sensitive social groups in the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia
– Ljuan Koka, expert in Romani language and history
– Svetlana Kocic, principal of Elementary School “8. Oktobar”
– Eldena Stanic, teacher of the optional subject Romani language with elements of national culture
The panel discussion was followed by a recital of poems in the Romani and Serbian languages in the performance of Aleksandra Milojkovic and Silvija Nesic accompanied by music from Dragan Stankovic.
16:00 – 16:05
Reading: Aleksandra Milojkovic and Silvija Nesic
Guitar: Dragan Stankovic
16:06 – 16:10
Jadranka Ivkovic – ERIAC Serbia Director
17:40 – 18:10
Panel discussion The Romani Language as the Basis of Identity and a Barrier to Assimilation
Djurdjica Ergic – Adviser for the education of members of sensitive social groups in the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia
Ljuan Koka – Expert in Romani Language and History
Svetlana Kocic – Principal of Elementary School “8. Oktobar”
Eldena Stanic – Teacher of the optional subject Romani language with elements of national culture
Moderator: Silvija Nesic
17:20 – 17:30
Reading: Aleksandra Milojkovic and Silvija Nesic
Guitar: Dragan Stankovic
17:30 – 18:00
09.08.2022. Kotor, Montenegro, ERIAC Serbia at KotorArt festival
KotorArt International Festival, officially proclaimed by the Government of Montenegro as a Festival of national importance, annually brings together numerous international artists and tens of thousands of visitors, who enjoy over 350 programs at various venues in Kotor and Boka Bay. With over twenty years of experience in establishing and realizing the highest quality art programs, often linked with socio-political issues and topics relevant to the local community, KotorArt has developed into one of the leading art festivals in Southeast Europe. The Festival enjoys the patronage of UNESCO, as well as the Municipality of Kotor and the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro; it is supported by the European Union, numerous foreign embassies, international foundations, donors, and corporate sponsors.
Project Modifying Error 404: towards green, digital and inclusive societies aims to raise awareness on three important pillars of contemporary societies – digital and minority rights and the green agenda in the Western Balkans. Referring to the computer network communications error through its title, the proposed action underlines insufficiently developed mechanisms and practices and addresses the lack of knowledge and understanding of the importance of the abovementioned pillars in building more democratic and inclusive societies.
Since its establishment in 2017, the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture has spearheaded an unprecedented effort to support Roma artists and find untapped talent within the Roma community and has become an international creative hub to support the exchange of creative ideas across borders, cultural domains, and Romani identities. Our mandate covers a broad spectrum of activities, from acting as a Commissioner of the Roma Exhibition at the International Exhibition of Art Biennale di Venezia to publishing Romanes language books. The common denominator is that all activities stem from the belief that culture is the most
powerful tool to shift negative social narratives. During a time when chauvinism and anti-Roma prejudice is on the rise — and when state funding is increasingly denied to projects that don’t toe the nationalist line — it is crucial that minority arts and culture have a place of their own.
After five years of consistent programming, ERIAC’s presence at the 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 23rd International Art Exhibition Triennale Milano, Manifesta 14, and documenta fifteen in 2022, marks another great step forward for contemporary Roma art and shows that art by Roma people is breaking through the barriers that have been in place for far too long. Our presence at these highly regarded events is a fitting milestone in our trajectory, but also an exciting development in the universal history of mainstream exhibitions and institutions, traditionally excluding Roma. While participation in these elitist events might
seem remote from the situation for Roma on the ground, it is also where governmental policy can be influenced, and international perceptions persuaded toward alternative points of view. To mark our fifth anniversary and to celebrate our first programmatic contribution to the International Festival KotorArt, we created a programme of conversations with trailblazing cultural activists and artists from the region, who have supported ERIAC from its inception.
The invitees, distinguished artists and cultural promoters from Albania, Northern Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia, engaged in the conversation about the power of art to change social attitudes and contribute to a more healthy and equitable society. Using their expertise and experience from across the artistic disciplines, including visual and performative arts, the speakers will discuss the role of artists and cultural institutions in promoting Roma cultural heritage, starting from adjusting the majoritarian school curricula to interrogating harmful and stereotypical depictions of Roma in the mainstream culture.
Sead Kazanxhiu is one of the most engaged protagonists of the contemporary Albanian art scene. His artworks are dedicated to the culture, problems, and status of the Roma community from which he originates. Sead’s activist and artistic practice are in symbiosis with the broader struggle for the awareness of the significance of Romani culture, as well as against systemic violence and anti-Roma stereotypes. This involves working on the education of majority populations to resist racist, classist, and anti-Romani prejudices that are still being perpetuated within the European societies of today. He currently participates in the exhibition One Day We Shall Celebrate Again: RomaMoMA at documenta fifteen in Kassel, and in All the Birds are Praying for Our Children in Belgrade within ERIAC’s contribution to Manifesta 14.
Alina Șerban is an actress, playwright, and director. For the past 13 years, Alina has been using film and theatre against all forms of discrimination to create and claim space for marginalized stories, support gender equality, combat violence against women, and promote minority rights. Her career has wide visibility in the international press, including Agency France Press, Variety, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Screen Daily, and Cine Europa. Alina is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art-London, New York University – Tisch, and the National University of Theatre and Film of Romania. In 2020, she was awarded the Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize for the promotion of Roma culture by ERIAC.
Zoran Tairović, born in Novi Sad, Serbia, is an academic painter and a multimedia artist with a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary studies in applied arts management, an activist, and Director of the Intercultural Theatre. Winner of prestigious world awards for painting, author of the first Roma opera and musical, and many award-winning documentaries. He has participated in his artistic performances at many important festivals and events in Serbia and around the world. Zoran’s achievements are wide-ranging and tireless, including published literary works, music compositions, art exhibitions, works in public spaces, lectures, curatorial work, videos, and films. Professionally, Zoran has excelled in several spheres, with positions as the founder of the Albert Hall Museum for Conceptual Art in Bódvalenke, Hungary, as a Member of the Presidency, as founder and director of, a film festival with Roma thematic, FROM. President of the Committee for Culture of the League of Roma.
The Pillers is an internationally renowned violin and accordion formation of the Austrian-Serbian Roma musicians Darko and Danijel Piller. Danijel studied at the Prayner Conservatory in Vienna. Darko studied at the Richard Wagner Conservatory and is currently considered the youngest professor in Vienna. In 2017, they won the prestigious world music award ‘Onet le Châteaugot’ in France.
Ferenc Snétberger is a Hungarian jazz guitarist born in a Roma family. He studied at Bela Bartók Jazz Conservatory in Budapest. He plays in orchestras founded by him, but also with famous international jazz music stars. Today, he is best known for his art of improvising and his crossing of stylistic borders. His music is inspired by the Roma tradition of his home country, Brazilian music and flamenco as well as classical guitar playing and jazz. He has composed film music and “For My People” for guitar and orchestra. The German Holocaust Remembrance Day concluded the Snétberger celebration in plenary by the German Bundestag. He made numerous albums as a leader, co-leader and sideman and has toured all over Europe as well as Japan, Korea, India and the United States. He received several prestige acknowledgements such as the Hungarian Order of Merit, Franz Liszt award and the Kossuth Prize. He founded the Snétberger Music Talent Center, an international music school for disadvantaged children and young people, mainly minorities of Sinti and Roma origin.
Kal Band, formed in 1996 in Valjevo, creates an eclectic sound created by the symbiosis of various musical genres, such as the music of the Western Balkans, swing, jazz, blues, and pop. In the combination of the Balkan style and the Romani rhythm, the original aesthetic of the Minor stands out, which Western music critics named Rock’N’Roma and Gypsy Rockabilly. The band, whose name derives from the Romani language and means black, has been through its music actively representing the culture of the Romani people, both in the country and abroad. The band has performed at international festivals such as Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Fusion Festival and Berlinale Festival in Germany, Exit Festival, Belgrade Beer Festival, Film and Music Festival Kustendorf and Jazz Festival Nišvil in Serbia, Sziget Festival in Hungary, La Notte di San Lorenzo in Italy. In addition to the colossal European tours, Kal in its many years of history includes two intercontinental, American tours, in 2006 and 2008, when they performed with Richard Thompson and Leonard Cohen on the iconic stage of Joe’s Pub in New York. It is the American tour that is responsible for the collaboration with one of New York’s most famous musical attractions – Gogol Bordello.
On view in the ERIAC Serbia gallery:
Location: Majke Jevrosime 51, Beograd, Serbia
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00
Farija Mehmeti, Sead Kazanxhiu, Zoran Tairović
We are here. We are everywhere. Europe would want to contain us, to control us, to destroy us. And still, we survive. We survive. In multiple acts of resistance, we care for our children and our elders; we care for each other; we hold onto our love and our family. We are still here. The long history of Romani people in Europe is at once the Longue-durée of world history. As Europe collected its Others through violence and genocide, as it girded its loins and militarized its borders, still we survived. Through eviction. Through enslavement. Through expulsion, and deportation. Through imprisonment. Through expropriation and appropriation. Through genocide. Still, we survived. Our survival is our resistance; it is the hope of the future and the story of the past. It is constant, and it is our constant, our touchstone, our living proof.
Ethel Brooks, RomaMoMA Manifesto 2022
The question of the possibility of the continued existence and functioning of art after the experience of the Holocaust is one of the key themes in both arts historical and philosophical thought. Within the artistic/creative practice of Roma artists – both those born after and before the war, survivors of the Holocaust and its witnesses – several directions have appeared, indicating both the presence of the trauma of the Holocaust and the impossibility of rendering it through the means used thus far. There is no clear precedence of any one mode of depiction, and different generations of artists and viewers advocate a range of tendencies.
ERIAC Serbia joins the #RomaRemember action to commemorate all Roma victims of the Holocaust, on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day with the exhibition celebrating Romani people’s resistance, resilience and healing – interwoven in the artworks of Sead Kazanxhiu, Farija Mehmeti, and Zoran Tairović.
Within the mainstream culture, the history of Romani suffering is overshadowed by a socio-political anti-Gypsy consensus enabling continuous and systematic discrimination of Roma. The exhibition interrogates the potential of re-writing of the testimony of trauma, pain, the haunting unassimilable experience of loss, dislocation, and silence, into a liberating discourse of healing and hope.
Sead Kazanxhiu’s giant Nest (2012-2022)- evocative of swallows’ nests- reminds us that despite the changing regimes and shifting hierarchies, what we perceive as ‘marginal’ has always been there, has always built its own homes and shelters, proposing new ways of belonging and enacting change. Roma have always nurtured their own alternative knowledge and ways of being together, and we can still learn from these practices today.
Farija Mehmeti’s series Roma Women (2012-ongoing) displays a multifaceted mosaic of imaginary characters to contemplate and honour the everyday heroism in and struggle for the existence of ordinary Roma women. These portraits are vehicles to remember and unearth suppressed Roma forms of knowledge on strategies for reproductive health or the preservation of mental health and healing practices in general as well as Roma wisdom on nature and the cosmos. In memory and embodied experience of these pasts, the portraits also serve as a reminder for the elders in the community that hold and pass on this knowledge.
Zoran Tairović’s ouvre accuses the industrialial modernity’s worship of rationality for marginalizing Romani people along with other alternate forms of knowledge such as the imagination and the unconscious. Tairović aims at exposing the strategic erasure of Romani Holocaust from the collective memory of genocides that happened in Europe in the 20th century.
The three artists use their individual visual vocabulary to enable a look through time in honouring the past and offering ways of continuing to imagine the interdependencies and inseparability of existence in the community while offering doors to making new more livable futures. While art cannot save our people from the ravages of daily living or historical contingency, it can summon us forth and connect us back to ourselves as a living force.
Farija Mehmeti was born in Pristina in 1978 in the village of Alpin. She started painting in 2001 after she got inspiration from her brother, Bajram, who painted scenes from Roma life. He paints portraits of Roma women, mostly from his imagination, showing their colourful way of dressing, in order to preserve this tradition and culture of the Roma. The first exhibition at which she exhibited was in 2011, together with her brother Bajram, at the Oda Theater as part of the Roma Festival. The second exhibition, the first independent one, was in Pristina in September 2011, organized by SURF. The third exhibition was in April 2012 together with Bajram at the National Art Gallery, on the occasion of International Roma Day, April 8.
Sead Kazanxhiu is a visual artist from Baltëz-Fier in Albania, currently living and working in Tirana. He works across various mediums, including painting, installations, video, and performance. Kazanxhiu’s work as an artist, and as a cultural producer more generally, reflects his position as an Albanian Roma citizen. Profoundly aware of the ways that social and political hierarchies within the nation-state reinforce unequal privileges and prevent participation, Kazanxhiu’s practice foregrounds and addresses issues of politics, activism, prejudice, exclusion, and the environment. His image-making represents the efforts of a single artist devoted to restoring the dignity of a cultural group that has been forcefully and unjustly marginalized within the structures of European democracy.
Zoran Tairović, born in Novi Sad, Serbia, is an academic painter and a multimedia artist with a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary studies in applied arts management, an activist and Director of the Intercultural Theatre. Winner of prestigious world awards for painting, author of the first Roma opera and musical, and also many award-winning documentaries. He has participated in his artistic performances in many important festivals and events in Serbia and around the world. Zoran’s achievements are wide-ranging and tireless, including published literary works, music compositions, art exhibitions, works in public spaces, lectures, curatorial work, videos and films. Professionally, Zoran has excelled in several spheres, with positions as the founder of the Albert Hall Museum for Conceptual Art in Bódvalenke, Hungary, as a Member of the Presidency, as founder and director of, a film festival with Roma thematic, FROM. President of the Committee for Culture of the League of Roma, and an ex-adviser to the Vice President of the Government of the Republic of Serbia for Roma issues.
The exhibition is organized within the framework of the Manifesta 14 Prishtina, evoking Donna Haraway’s concept of the “Chthulucene” highlights the inextricable linkages between humans and other-than-human species. Kazanxhiu, Mehmeti, and Tairović share the vision of healing as a type of embodied orientation or engagement with the world, which has the potential to reach across boundaries of the skin, honoring the past and offering ways of continuing to imagine the interdependencies of existence in a community. Additionally, the artists offer new doors to developing a more liveable future. While art cannot save our people from the ravages of daily living or historical contingency, it can summon us forth and reconnect us to ourselves as a living force.
The title of the exhibition comes from the poem by Papusza „Tears of Blood”, in English translation by Yala Korwin.
The texts of Vladan Jeremic and Raino Isto about Sead Kazanxhiu, Timea Junghaus about Farija Mehmeti, and Vladan Jeremic about Zoran Tairović served as a point of departure for this text.
The project is implemented within the framework of Manifesta 14 Western Balkans project and is co-funded by the European Union.
08.04.2022, Belgrade ERIAC Serbia, International Roma Day
April 8th is celebrated by Roma around the world as International Roma Day. This holiday marks the beginning of the Roma movement starting from 1971. The Roma movement, now living in Serbia for more than 50 years, has also contributed to the transnational Roma movement. Among the Roma movement visionaries of the world are also the names of Roma intellectuals from Serbia. From the very beginning, the Roma movement in Serbia puts culture at the center of its activities and sees it as the cornerstone of activism for the equal status of the Roma community in the society that belongs to it. International Roma Day is not only part of history and the memory of the beginning of the Roma movement but is also a symbol of the constant struggle and aspiration of the Roma towards a better future. It is a day when we celebrate our achievements and the culture we are proud of, with full awareness of the path we have yet to take to make our identity, talent and knowledge a recognized integrative part of the society in which we live.
European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture Serbia (ERIAC Serbia), together with the Regional Cooperation Council and the Opre Roma Serbia civic movement, celebrates International Roma Day on 8th April. On that occasion, a moderated panel discussion, Culture as Inspiration, will be organized in the premises of the ERIAC Serbia Gallery space in Belgrade, which will deal with the role of art and culture in the Roma movement. Osman Balic, president of the Roma League, Jelena Reljic, sociologist and activist of Opre Roma Serbia, Dragan Ristic, musician and producer and Zoran Tairovic, multimedia artist, will take part in the dialogue.
The panellists will, each from their perspective, try to answer the following questions:
Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion. As the discussion was broadcasted live on Facebook, viewers involved in the online program also had the opportunity to participate in the conversation.
After the panel discussion, there was a music performance. The program featured Iva Barcic, who performed jazz-style Roma music with his band Very Naiss.
11:00 – 11:10
Gelem Gelem, Silvija Nesic
Jadranka Ivkovic, ERIAC Serbia
Orhan Usein, Roma Integration – Regional Cooperation Council
Stevica Nikolic, Opre Roma Serbia
11:10 – 12:10
Panel discussion Culture as inspiration
Osman Balic – director YUROM and president of Roma League
Jelena Reljic – sociologist and activist of Opre Roma Serbia
Dragan Ristic – musician, founder of KAL band
Zoran Tairovic – multimedia artist
Moderator – Silvija Nesic, musicologist
12:10 – 12:40
Iva Barcic and Very Naiss orchestra
12:40 – 13:00
03.02.2022, Belgrade ERIAC Serbia, German officials visit ERIAC Serbia
As a part of Mr. Ahmetović’s five days visit to the Balkans, while being in Serbia, he expressed the willingness to meet with Roma representatives. The meeting was organized in our premises where we gave him a tour of our current exhibition, Romani Chib, presented ERIAC and discussed the situation of Roma inclusion from the perspective of opportunities in different areas. Speaking about our work, for us was the most important to emphasize the significance of art and culture in inclusion processes and how it reflects on the Roma community as well as on the atmosphere in society towards Roma. Mr. Ahmetović expressed his willingness to support us in our work and thanked us for such a warm welcome.
ERIAC Serbia hosted a meeting attended by:
On view in the ERIAC Serbia gallery:
Location: Majke Jevrosime 51, Beograd, Serbia
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00
Timea Junghaus, ERIAC Executive Director
With the Art of Nihad Nino Pušija and Zoran Tairović
On the World Romani Language Day, celebrated on November 5, ERIAC SRBJIA features artworks of two exceptional artists to pay tribute to Roma cultural, and specifically linguistic, heritage.
Pušija’s powerful portraits of the most relevant Roma arts and culture personalities from across the world are associated with key concepts of the Romani culture, expressed in Romani language – Romani Čhib. Photography is the most historically complex and problematic genre to ever appropriate the Roma subject. Will Roma ever be able to dissociate themselves from the traumatizing – sexualizing, feminizing, and criminalizing – practices of photographic representation used throughout the history of anthropology and ethnography? And has it become definitively impossible to turn and re-turn the photographic gaze?
Since his first exhibition in Sarajevo (1988), the questions sketched out above have been central to the work of the artist and photographer Nino Nihad Pušija. He continues to offer new ways to create and perceive authentic images while dealing with anti-Roma prejudices and their political consequences, such as deportation and assimilation. In doing so, he contributes to the contemporary European art scene’s ongoing critical analysis of the role that pictures of so-called ‘others’ play in the self-image of those portrayed.
His series of portraits of internationally known Romani artists and activists was shown for the first time in 2020 at the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC).
Pušija’s photographs are accompanied by the “Tarot Card Triptych” by Zoran Tairović, one of the most iconic Roma artists in Serbia. Tairović takes us on a journey through history and art from a fresh perspective. Tairović’s inspiration is the Great Arcana cards (an ancient pack of tarot cards made by an unknown Roma artist in North-Western Spain), which were discovered under mysterious circumstances in Provence, and are now part of the Moment of Movement collection.
Le artasa katar o Nihad Nino Pušija thaj o Zoran Tairović
Ando Internacionalo Dives le Romane Čhibjako, kaj kerel pes ando 5-to Novembro, o ERIAC SERBIA sikavel artake butja katar duj bare romane artisturja, te del pakiv pal o romano kulturalo thaj lingvistikano barjaripe.
E zorale portreturja kerde katar o Pušija pal e maj džangle romane bare manuša opral sasti phuv andar i arta thaj andar i romani kultura si phangle ke vašno koncepturja le romane kulturake, sikavde andi romani čhib. I fotografia si o anguno historikano maj pharo thaj problematikano geno kaj lel samate o subijekto le romengo. Si te šaj e roma dajekhvar te čhinaven pes katar e fotografiake praktike kaj sas kerde ande historia le antropologiaki thaj le etnografiaki, save ande lenge traume, sikavindos len ande jekh seksualizime thaj kriminalizime modo? Thaj aresljas pes ande jekh momento kaj našti te paruvel pes e fotografiaki perspektiva?
Katar leski angluni ekspozicija ando Sarajevo (1988) e pučimata kaj thodjam maj opre sas but vašno ande opera kadale artistoski thaj fotografoski Pušija. Vov džal maj duj thaj sikavel neve droma te keren pes thaj te hakjaren pes autentikane imagine, lindos samate, ande sajekh data, e prežutekate kontra e roma thaj lenge politikane efekturja, sar si i deportacija thaj i asimilacija. Kerindos kado, vov anel peski kontribucija ke kritikani analiza pal e akanutni evropuni arta thaj k-o rolo kaj khelen les e fotografie „akalavrenge“ ande imagina kaj si kodole manušen pal peste. Leski portreturjengi seria pal e internacionalo prinžarde artisturja thaj aktivisturja si sikavdi angluno drom kathe k-o ERIAC.
Pašal e fotografie kerde katar o Pušija si „e Tipično Tarot lila“ kerde katar o Zoran Tairović, jekh andar e maj mišto dikhle romane artisturja andar i Serbia. O Tairović phiravel amen pe jekh drom artako thaj historiako pal jekh nevi perspektiva. O Tairović lel peski inspiracia andar e lila le Bare Arkanake (jekh but purano paketo Torot lilengo kerde katar jekh bidžanglo romano artisto andar i Nord-Vestikani Spania), thaj si akana kotor andar i kolekcia Momento Miškimasko.
Praćen umetnošću Nihada Nina Pušije i Zorana Tairovića
Na Svetski dan romskog jezika, koji se proslavlja 5. novembra, ERIAC SRBIJA predstavlja umetnička dela dva izuzetna umetnika, kako bi se odala počast romskoj kulturnoj, a posebno jezičkoj baštini.
Pušijini moćni portreti najznačajnijih romskih umetničkih i kulturnih ličnosti iz celog sveta povezani su sa ključnim konceptima romske kulture, izraženim na romskom jeziku – Romani Čhib. Fotografija je istorijski najkompleksniji i najproblematičniji žanr koji je ikada predstavio romsku temu. Da li će Romi ikada moći da se odvoje od traumatizirajućih – seksualizirajućih, feminizirajućih i kriminalizirajućih – praksi fotografskog predstavljanja korišćenih kroz istoriju antropologije i etnografije? Da li je postalo nemoguće pokrenuti i ponovo okrenuti fotografski pogled? Od njegove prve izložbe u Sarajevu (1988), gore pomenuta pitanja bila su centralna za rad umetnika i fotografa Nina Nihad Pušije. On nastavlja da istražuje nove načine za stvaranje i percepciju autentičnih slika dok se bavi antiromskim predrasudama i njihovim političkim posledicama, kao što su deportacija i asimilacija. Čineći to, on doprinosi stalnoj kritičkoj analizi savremene evropske umetničke scene uloge koju slike takozvanih „drugih“, portretisanij igraju u slici o sebi. Njegova serija portreta međunarodno poznatih romskih umetnika i aktivista prikazana je prvi put 2020. godine u Evropskom romskom institutu za umetnost i kulturu (ERIAC).
Pušijine fotografije prati i „Triptih tarot karata” Zorana Tairovića, jednog od najpoznatijih romskih umetnika u Srbiji. Tairović nas vodi na putovanje kroz istoriju i umetnost iz nove perspektive. Tairovićeva inspiracija su velike karte Arkane (drevni paket tarot karata koje je napravio nepoznati romski umetnik u severozapadnoj Španiji), koje su otkrivene pod misterioznim okolnostima u Provansi, a sada su deo kolekcije Moment of Movement.
Biographies of the artist
Nihad Nino Pušija born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina is an art photographer. His work focuses on documentary and portrait photography and aims at capturing Roma identity in Europe, especially in Berlin, where he has been based for the past twenty-eight years. Since 1992 Pušija has been working on different art projects and photo studies supported by the nGbK Berlin (New Society for Visual Arts), Museum of European Cultures, and Allianz Cultural Foundation. . His main topics are the politics of recognition, minority positions in contemporary artistic and curatorial practice, Southeast Europe, refugees, conflict resolution, integration and Roma in Europe. He was part of the 1st and 2nd Roma Pavilion at the Biennale Arte in Venice in 2007 and 2011.[romanes]
Nihad Nino Pušija bijando ando Sarajevo, Bosnia thaj Hercegovina si jekh ar tistikano
fotografo. Leski buki lel sama te e dokumentarurja thaj portretoske fotografie thaj mangel te sikavel i romani identiteta and-i Evropa, specialo ando Berlino, kaj vovdzivisardja ande palutne biš thaj oxto berša. Katar o berš 1992, o Pušij a kerdjas buki ande verver artake projekturja thajfotografijake studije save sas len supor to katar nGbK Berlin (NeviSocieteta vaš Vizualo Arte), O Muzeo vaš Evropake Kulture thaj i Alianca e Kulturalo Fondacijengi. Leske maj vašno topike si e prindzarimaske politike, e minoritetenge thana ande akanutneartistikane thaj kuratorilo praktike, e Sudestikani Evropa, e našlemanuša, konfliktoske rezolucije, integracija le romengi andeEvropa. Vov ljas kotor k-o anglutno thaj k-o dujto Romano Paviliono ke Biennale Arte and-i Venecija ando berš 2007 thaj 2011.[srpski]
Nihad Nino Pušija, rođen u Sarajevu, Bosna i Hercegovina je umetnički fotograf. Njegov rad se fokusira na dokumentarnu i portretnu fotografiju i ima za cilj da dočara romski identitet u Evropi, posebno u Berlinu, gde živi poslednjih dvadeset osam godina. Od 1992. godine Pušija radi na različitim umetničkim projektima i foto studijama koje podržavaju nGbK Berlin (Novo društvo za vizuelne umetnosti), Muzej evropskih kultura i Allianz Cultural Foundation. Njegove glavne teme su politika priznanja, manjinske pozicije u savremenoj umetničkoj i kustoskoj praksi, jugoistočna Evropa, izbeglice, rešavanje sukoba, integracije i Romi u Evropi. Bio je deo prvog i drugog romskog paviljona na Bijenalu umetnosti u Veneciji 2007. i 2011. godine.[english]
Zoran Tairović, born in 1966 in Novi Sad, Serbia, is an academic painter and a multimedia artist with a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary studies in applied arts management, an activist, and Director of the Intercultural Theatre. Winner of prestigious world awards for painting, author of the first Roma opera and musical, and also many award-winning documentaries. He has participated with his artistic performances in many important festivals and events in Serbia and around the world. Zoran’s achievements are wide-ranging and tireless, including published literary works, music compositions, art exhibitions, works in public spaces, lectures, curatorial work, videos, and films. Professionally, Zoran has excelled in several spheres, with positions as the founder of the Albert Hall Museum for Conceptual Art in Bódvalenke, Hungary, as Member of the Presidency, as President of the Committee for Culture of the League of Roma, and as Adviser to the Vice President of the Republic of Serbia for Roma issues.[romanes]
O Zoran Tairović, biando ando Novi Sad, Serbia, si jekh akademikano piktoro thaj multimedia artisto savo si les doktoratosko grado pal interdiscioplinaro studie, pal e aplikuime arte thaj manadžemento, si aktivisto thaj Direktoro katar o Interkulturalo Teatro. Liljas but uče lumjake prizurja vaš i piktura, autoro katar i angluni romani opera thaj muzikalo thaj vi katar dokumentarurja kaj lile prizurja. Ljas kotor peske artistikane spektakoljenca ke but festivalurja thaj vaš iventurja andar i Serbia thaj opral sasti phuv. E butja kerde katar o Zoran si bare thaj na thinjon nijekhdata, si andre literaro butja dine avri, muzikake kompozicie, artake ekspozicie, artake butja kerde ande publikane thana, vakjarimata, kuratorialo butja, videoklipurja thaj filmurja. Sar profesionisto, o Zoran vazdinjas pes ande maj but domenurja, sas les pozicie sar fondatoro katar o Muzeo pal i Konceptualo Arta Albert Hall andar o Bódvalenke, Ungaria, sar membro ki prezidencia, sar prezidento katar o Komiteto vaš i Kultura le Romane Ligaki thaj sar Advaizero vaš romane butja le Vice-Prezidentosko andar i Serbikani Republika.[srpski]
Zoran Tairović, rođen 1966. godine u Novom Sadu, u Srbiji je akademski slikar i multimedijalni umetnik sa doktoratom interdisciplinarnih studija menadžmenta primenjenih umetnosti, aktivista i direktor Interkulturalnog teatra. Dobitnik prestižnih svetskih nagrada za slikarstvo, autor prve romske opere i mjuzikla, kao i mnogih nagrađivanih dokumentarnih filmova. Svojim umetničkim nastupima učestvovao je na mnogim značajnim festivalima i manifestacijama u Srbiji i svetu. Zoranova dostignuća su široka i nepresušna, uključujući objavljena književna dela, muzičke kompozicije, umetničke izložbe, radove u javnim prostorima, predavanja, kustoski rad, video zapise i filmove. Profesionalno, Zoran se istakao u nekoliko sfera, na pozicijama kao što su osnivač Muzeja konceptualne umetnosti Albert Hol u Bódvalenke u Mađarskoj, kao član predsedništva, kao predsednik komiteta za kulturu Lige Roma i kao savetnik potpredsednika Republike Srbije za romska pitanja.
Download the Romani Chib Handout at the link below:
02.08.2021, Belgrade ERIAC Serbia, European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day
On the night of the 2nd August 1944 about 4300 Roma men, women, and children – the remaining prisoners of the so-called “Family Camp” (Zigeunerfamilienlager) in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp were killed in gas chambers. They are among hundreds of thousands of victims of the Roma Holocaust, killed by the Nazis and their allies.
In memory of these innocent victims and all Sinti and Roma who suffered horrific fate during World War II, August 2nd is commemorated as the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. In 2015, the European Parliament adopted a resolution officially declaring August 2nd as the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day; and since then the date has been adopted in many European countries.
With the rise of separation rhetoric, hate speech, and hate crimes, it is important to recall those dark moments in our history and learn from the lessons of the past. Roma Holocaust is still not a widely-known historical fact – it is rarely taught in school and is not part of the canon of Holocaust education. Beyond remembering the victims of the past suffering, we must not forget that today too many Roma face discrimination and are victims of hate speech and hate crimes in Europe. This is a day of remembrance, but also a grim reminder that we must not remain silent and fight against racism and anti-gypsyism in contemporary society.
The European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture Serbia (ERIAC SERBIA) together with Opre Roma Serbia and the Roma Education Fund (REF) are hosting a commemorative event to mark the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day. The main event which will take place in the gallery space of ERIAC Serbia in Belgrade will feature the screening of the documentary And You God Survived, followed by the discussion between Ljuan Koka, the documentary’s screenwriter, Milovan Pisari, director of the Centre for Applied History and Holocaust expert, Bajram Haliti, Roma scholar and Roma Holocaust expert, Jelena Krivokapić Nikolić, lawyer and activist of the Opre Roma Serbia and Redjepali Chupi, director of the Roma Education Fund. In parallel, Opre Roma Serbia is organizing a screening and panel discussion as the main event in Leskovac and other local communities in Serbia.
Following the screening, a moderated discussion will be held to address the following questions: What is the history of the Holocaust against Roma during World War II, and what are its ideological and social roots? How to increase the visibility of the history of genocide against Roma in public? How can we change the negative discourses about Roma that are predominant among the majority of society? What does it say about the youth’s susceptibility to new neo-Nazi ideologies and right-wing movements? What is the role of the education system in spreading knowledge and forming a more balanced view of Roma in society?
Guests at the screening will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion. The event was also live-streamed on Facebook, allowing the local communities to participate in the discussion remotely.
17:00 – 17:10 Welcome
Bratislav Mitrović, Office Manager of ERIAC Serbia
17:10 – 17:40 Screening of the documentary And You God Survived
17:40 – 18:10 Panel discussion Roma Remember – Remembrance of the Holocaust
Ljuan Koka – the author of the documentary A ti bože preživi
Jelena Krivokapić Nikolić – lawyer and activist of the Opre Roma Serbia
Redjepali Chupi – director of the Roma Education Fund
Panel discussion moderated by Jadranka Ivković, Director of ERIAC Serbia
18:10 – 18:30 Reception
The documentary A Ti Bože preživi (And You God Survived) was produced by Radio Television Prishtina in 1988, directed by Seljami Taraku, and written by Ljuan Koka. Through the vision of a comic book artist, the film shows the suffering of Roma in the concentration camp in Jasenovac. The remastered version of the film was made in 2014 with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia. The film features Simon Wiesenthal, Milan Bulajic and Dragojlo Lukic, and Roma camp survivors Stjepan Nikolic, Joko Nikolic and Milan Djurdjevic. The testimony of the former detainee Stjepan Nikolić in the scenes from the trial of Andrija Artuković, the Minister of Justice in the Independent State of Croatia, is especially dramatic. Horrible stories of unprecedented brutality turn into a comic black and white world and send a clear reminder that we must build a better and more humane world. And that we must not allow to ever forget the suffering.
„And You God… survive
And be smart
When you create a ghost again.”
(Roma folk song)
Ljuan Koka was born in 1960 in Prizren. Screenwriter, journalist, author of several textbooks and books, a political scientist. He graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. He worked on comics in the period 1983-1987, as a screenwriter for Yu comic magazine. His most important comic series are: “Vorloh” and “Niti snova o moci”, “Shine on you crazy diamond” and “A Ti Bože preživi”. He had an extensive career as a media and socio-political worker, especially in the field of protection of national and ethnic minorities. He was a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in the period 1993-2000. Author of a documentary film about the suffering of Roma in Jasenovac. Author of the first comic about the history of Roma “The Road of a Thousand Years” (2020). He lives and works in Belgrade.
Bajram Haliti – Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Business Studies and Law in Belgrade, journalist and publicist. He is the President of the Institute for European Roma Studies and Research on Crimes against Humanity and International Law. In 2012, he published the first drama in Serbian about the suffering of Roma during the Second World War in the ISC camps titled “Roma in the Hell of Jasenovac”. He is the winner of the plaque “Peace and Tolerance” for his contribution to the fight for peace, tolerance, and understanding among peoples and nations; plaques “for special merits and contribution to the improvement of the cultural and educational life of Roma, as well as for successes in developing Roma culture in the Republic of Serbia. Haliti is the author of several scientific papers on the suffering of the Roma during World War II.
Milovan Pisari – He received his doctorate in history in 2011 from the University of Venice. In his research, he deals with the Holocaust, genocide against Roma, anti-fascism, and the issue of the civilian population under occupation. He is the author of numerous articles in international professional journals, as well as publications and books on the suffering of Roma during the Second World War and the Holocaust. Since 2018, he has been one of the founders of the Center for Applied History, within which he develops programs and projects, acting as its director and historical researcher. He is currently a post-doctoral Fellow at Gerd Henkel Foundation.
Jelena Krivokapić Nikolić – Master of Law in the field of legal science and activist of the Movement for the Support of Roma in Serbia (Opre Roma Serbia). She has been involved in activism for more than 11 years. During her engagement in the Roma Forum of Serbia, she ran a legal counseling service and provided legal assistance to the Roma community. She is the author of numerous texts on the topic of discrimination against Roma men and women.
World Music Day is celebrated on June 21 every year, on the first day of summer. On this day, all
21.06.2021, Belgrade ERIAC Serbia, World Music Day
World Music Day is celebrated on June 21 every year, on the first day of summer. On this day, all musicians, both amateurs and professionals, celebrate music and represent all musical genres and a variety of musical practices. Free concerts are a common practice in 120 countries that mark this holiday. Concerts are organized in halls, schools, amphitheaters, concert halls, parks, on the streets, and it is an opportunity to present less popular musicians to a wider audience. The goal of World Music Day is to provide free concerts throughout the day, and then the public areas are full of live music and participatory music creation. The National Theater in Belgrade, as one of the most representative and most important cultural institutions in Serbia, celebrates World Music Day with concerts every year.
The Roma have made and are making a great contribution to world music art. With their creation, they marked their musical creativity and left a special mark of Roma culture on the world music scene. That is why the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture Serbia, in cooperation with the National Theatre in Belgrade, wanted to celebrate World Music Day. On that occasion, a half-hour concert of opera arias was organized. The concert was held in the premises of the European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture Serbia, on June 21, 2021.
Performers at the concert were:
Works by Antonio Vivaldi, Giuseppe Giordani, Gilles Masne and Vicenzo Bellini were performed at the concert. The Protocol of Cooperation between ERIAC Serbia and National Theatre was signed after the music performance.
You can see biographies of the artist in links below:
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, inaugurated the first branch of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and the new headquarters of the Roma Education Fund (REF).
Speaking about the launch, President Vučić said: “The opening of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture and the Roma Education Fund in Belgrade shows how much effort Serbia is investing in preserving the Roma language and culture, quality youth education, and greater Roma participation in public life, fighting discrimination, and respecting social equality and human rights. In this way, we are creating a better future for all citizens, because a better life for Roma means a better life for Serbia.”
Alexander Soros, deputy chair of the Open Society Foundations, welcomed Serbia’s unprecedented commitment:
“President Vučić has set a new standard for the Western Balkans—and Europe—by opening the first branch of ERIAC and helping the Roma Education Fund relocate to Belgrade. It is my hope that the other leaders of the region and Europe follow suit. My father George Soros and I have sought to advance Roma education, culture, Roma leadership, and economic entrepreneurship, and I am grateful that today we have greatly strengthened their effort.”
ERIAC aims to dispel prejudice and encourage Roma pride in its role in European history and culture. ERIAC is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe, the Open Society Foundations, and the Alliance for the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture. The German government hosts ERIAC’s headquarters in Berlin.
Timea Junghaus, ERIAC Executive Director:
“For centuries, the Roma have contributed to the artistic and cultural heritage in Serbia and the entire region. Yet these contributions have often remained invisible. The establishment of ERIAC’s first branch is a historic milestone. It paves the way for ERIAC Serbia to become a leading stakeholder, promoting Roma cultural inclusion in the vibrant mainstream cultural scene in Serbia and the region.”
The same building also houses the Roma Education Fund, an organization working to increase the access of Roma children to education.
Redjepali Chupi, Interim Director of the Roma Education Fund (REF):
“REF wants to create a future in which everyone can develop their full potential and creativity. I am thrilled to welcome ERIAC into our community here in Belgrade. Together we are creating a powerful inner core, aimed at countering stereotypes and prejudices about our community.”
ERIAC SERBIA promotes Roma arts and culture in Serbia and the entire region, making a significant impact on the cultural recognition of Roma. Located in the city center at Majke Jevrosime St. 51, the ERIAC SERBIA office and art space occupy a total area of over 130 m2 on the ground floor, with a beautiful open space suitable for art exhibitions and events.
ERIAC Serbia opened at Majke Jevrosime 51 in Belgrade on 8 April 2021.
On the occasion of World Roma Day, in the context of an event on their new premises, ERIAC Serbia opened its doors to the media and representatives of state institutions and organizations, including the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Council of Europe, Regional Cooperation Council – Roma Integration and Roma Education Fund. All guests had the opportunity to view the new space, enter into dialogue with the ERIAC Serbia team, and share ideas about collaborative work and potential cooperation.
During these visits, two documentaries were screened: Romanistan Dialogue, produced by ERIAC, and Paper, Horse and Birds, produced by artist Zoran Tairović and supported by Open Society Foundation Serbia (OSFS). Media partners for the event were RTS, RTV, and Novi Magazin web portal.
The celebration of World Roma Day and the 50th anniversary of the First World Roma Congress hold special significance for Roma in Serbia and for ERIAC Serbia. Roma intellectuals from Serbia stand strong among the visionaries of the world Roma movement. From the very beginning, the Roma movement in Serbia has placed culture at the center of its activities, viewing culture as a cornerstone of activism for the equal status of the Roma community in society, as is befitting. This legacy reminds us that culture is an indispensable element of the constant struggle and aspiration of the Roma towards a better future.
ERIAC Serbia promotes the cultural values of Roma in Serbia through its activities, and opens their space for critical artistic review, for the exchange of creative ideas, the presentation of artistic achievements, and also for dialogue and development of mutual respect and understanding through expanding knowledge and a positive image of Roma. With the priority of promoting Roma arts and culture, and Roma identity, artists are offered the opportunity to present themselves through their own artworks. Institutional partnerships are crucial for the preservation and promotion of Roma identity. We look forward to a bright future with ERIAC Serbia.
European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture Serbia
Evropski Romski Institut za Umetnost i Kulturu Srbija
Majke Jevrosime 51, 11 000 Beograd
+381 11 6906139
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, from 09:00h to 17:00h