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Finalists of the Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize 2019 announced


The Tajsa Prize honors an outstanding Roma individual who is enriching Roma arts and culture, embodies the founding principles of ERIAC, drawing inspiration from Roma cultural heritage while shaping and re-inventing forms of Roma cultural expressions for the next generation.


The Tajsa Prize is very special – it is sponsored entirely through the membership fees of ERIAC associate members, to nurture the spirit of community support, investing into Roma talent and creativity. The endowment of the Tajsa Prize in 2019 is of 5200 euros.


From all nominations submitted by ERIAC community – associate members, Barvalipe Academy members and Board members –  a pre-selection committee selected 5 finalists.



We are proud to reveal the finalists for the Tajsa Prize 2019 (in alphabetical order):


Árpád Bogdán (Hungary)

Born in 1976 in Hungary, Árpád Bogdán is a film director and writer, known for Genezis (2018), Boldog új élet (2007) and Gettó Balboa (2018).

His feature film received a special mention from the Berlinale’s Panorama jury in 2007, was shown in Toronto and Karlovy Vary, and won several awards in Europe.

He is also a painter and has published several works of poetry.





Hamze Bytyçi (Kosovo/ Germany)

Hamze Bytyçi is actor, director, performer and pedagogue. He is the chairman of RomaTrial and founder of different in initiatives like the Herdelezi celebration in Berlin, the annual international youth commemoration on 2nd August at Auschwitz (since 2010) and Berlin (since 2013), the AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Film. In 2018 he was co-curator of the 1st Roma Biennale COME OUT NOW!. He performs in his live shows “Hilton 437” and leads youth projects like the “Balkan Onions” film school. Since 2016, he is member of the Berlin board of the party Die Linke.





Robert Gabris (Slovakia/ Austria)
Robert Gabris was born in Slovakia, lives and works as a freelance artist in Vienna. Gabris deals with drawing and engraving, describing the content of his work as a socially critical, political and activist confrontation with identity issues and new perspectives of the Roma in the European context. Starting point of his work are new experimental forms of drawing as a resistance against exclusion, homophobia and racism.








Selma Selman (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Selma Selman, an artist and activist, was born in 1991 in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her work embodies the struggles of her own life as well as her community, employing a plethora of media such as performance, painting, photography and video installations. Her aim is to break down the prejudice which essentializes her community to the lowest common denominator denying them the right to self expression. Selma is a founder of the organization ”Get The Heck To School” whose aim is to empower Roma girls all around the world who faced the ostracization from society and poverty. Lives and works in the USA and Europe.

Alina Serban (Romania)

Alina Serban is an award-winning actress, playwright and director. Born in 1987, Serban grew up in Bucharest, Romania. For her first leading role in cinema, Serban stars in Marta Bergman’s feature film ‘Alone at My Wedding’, which

premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2018 and earned her several Best Actress awards. As a playwright, Serban pioneered Roma feminist political theater, with three plays to her name by the age of 29, including ‘The Great Shame’, Romania’s first play about the taboo topic of Roma slavery, becoming the first Roma woman director to have a play included in the permanent repertoire of a state theatre in Romania in 2018.







The International Jury composed of Barvalipe Academy members and in consultation with the ERIAC Board, will announce the winner of the Tajsa Prize during the Prize ceremony on December 9, 2019 in Berlin.


The evening program of the Tajsa Prize Ceremony is organized as a concluding event of the “Roma Tangible Heritage Network” project, financed by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany. The event will count with the presence of entire ERIAC community – including over 80 ERIAC associate members, participants of the ERIAC General Assembly – as well as international diplomatic and political supporters and allies. The Ceremony will feature a concert of the world-renowned flamenco pianist David Peña Dorantes with guest appearances of flamenco singer María José Llergo and Hungarian Roma singer Monika Lakatos.


“Stay at home & Make Music” Online Family Music Competition International Roma Day Online: Roma Couch Festival ERIAC hosts an Extraordinary General Assembly to assess the impact of Covid-19 on Roma arts and culture Diaspora Europe: “Opferkonkurrenz, Opferallianz?” (1. March) “Who is afraid of identity politics?” ERIAC joins the discussion at the CEU TMU Delegation visits ERIAC Alina Serban – winner of the 1st Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize TAJSA PRIZE CEREMONY AND DORANTES CONCERT Barvalipe Academy holds its second meeting in Berlin ERIAC IMPACT – public presentation of the ERIAC achievements and plans ERIAC celebrates its second General Assembly in Berlin Finalists of the Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize 2019 announced! Roma Tangible Heritage Symposium – Stockholm Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić visited ERIAC CHROMA – THE FUTURE IS ROMA – WE PASS THE MIC TO EUROPE ERIAC at the Timisoara Biennale ERIAC at the International Seminar on Countering Distortion and Protecting the Civil and Human Rights of Roma TAJSA PRIZE 2019 Teachers from the Academy of Anti-Discrimination Education visit ERIAC ERIAC Promoted the FUTUROMA Pavilion in Venice ECF PRINCESS MARGARITA AWARD ERIAC joins EC consultations about the future of Roma policies for Roma Dr. Michael Groß, Consul General of Germany in Krakow, visits ERIAC ERIAC’s Roma Tangible Heritage Network ERIAC joins panel discussion about Roma Holocaust Remembrance at the POLIN Museum (RE)CONCEPTUALIZING ROMA RESISTANCE TEARS OF GOLD/ SOWNAKUNE JASFA International Conference “IS ‘AUSCHWITZ ONLY SLEEPING’? SINTI AND ROMA NARRATIVES AFTER THE HOLOCAUST” Schoolclash visiting ERIAC’s Exhibition “Roma Women Weaving Europe” on its last Week ERIAC contributes to the CEU Summer School “Romani Identities and Antigypsyism” 2019 Florin Nasture and Miguel Angel Vargas appointed as new members of the ERIAC Barvalipe Academy Sead Kazanxhiu appointed as the new member of ERIAC Pakiv Board ERIAC contributes to the report on the future of the EU Roma Strategy ERIAC presents Gorki’s “Roma Armee” in Bucharest ERIAC and Villa Romana welcomes applications for 2-months Artist Residency in Florence Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director General at DG NEAR visits ERIAC A Feminist Reading of Roma Political Movement: A conversation with Roma women activists, scholars and artists Filiz Polat and Erhard Grundl, Bundestag MPs (Greens), visit ERIAC ERIAC hosts a group of high-school students from Lycée Jacques Amyot in Melun, France OPENING OF FUTUROMA Exhibition at the 58 La Biennale di Venezia ERIAC at the 2019 ASN World Convention at Columbia University in New York Timea Junghaus, art historian, executive director of ERIAC is lecturer/panelist in the C-Map Symposium of MOMA, New York ERIAC welcomes U.S. Ambassador Grenell “THE BEST CHILD IN THE WORLD” – A PERFORMANCE BY ALINA SERBAN TO CELEBRATE THE INTERNATIONAL ROMA DAY Second call for ERIAC associate members is open! “Neglected Voices: The Global Roma Diaspora” – Harvard University conference under Honorary Patronage of ERIAC “Roma Women Weaving Europe” Exhibition Opening – ERIAC and RKI ERIAC Hosts CAHROM Members During Thematic Visit to Germany Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks about ERIAC in the Bundestag Transgenerational Knowledge Transfer Symposium, Belgrade (ERIAC CINI) ERIAC Barvalipe Academy Holds its First Meeting in Belgrade ERIAC General Assembly Appoints Eight New Members to the Barvalipe Academy The FUEN Non-Kin-State Working Group Visits ERIAC Albania’s Roma Cultural Heritage Event, Tirana (ERIAC Cultural Institutions Network Initiative Program) Arts, Culture, Remembrance: A Croatian Delegation Visits ERIAC Stiftung EVZ´s Latscho Diwes Programme Visits ERIAC The Shutka Lessons Event, Skopje (ERIAC Cultural Institutions Network Initiative Program)  Nicolae Gheorghe Memorial Event at ERIAC Exhibition Opening: “Gypsyism Balkanism- Uniting Peripheries” by Sead Kazanxhiu and Selma Selman Presenting the FUTUROMA Curatorial Plan for the 58th Venice Contemporary Art Biennale The Roma Pedagogy for Reconciliation Event, Zagreb (ERIAC Cultural Institutions Network Initiative Program) ERIAC Visits the Tomi Ungerer Museum, Strasbourg ERIAC Attends the 16th CAHROM Meeting, Strasbourg “Against the Grain” – Arbeit und Leben Visit ERIAC ERIAC Attends the 12th European Platform for Roma Inclusion Call for a Curator for the Roma Exhibition at the 58th Venice Contemporary Art Biennale Hungarian Civil Society Association Cselekvö közösség Visits ERIAC OSF Youth Community Fellows Visit ERIAC “Re-Inventing Roma Inclusion” Symposium and “SUKAR” Exhibition During the UN General Assembly, New York A Delegation of the Norwegian Ministry for Local Government and Modernisation Visits ERIAC Visit to ERIAC by Ms. Katherine Watson of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) The Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU) Visits ERIAC ERIAC Cultural Institutions Network Initiative Program FOREST: An Exhibition on the Narratability of Roma Trauma ERIAC Participates in a Discussion at the Bundestag Regarding Holocaust Commemoration Practices OSCE PA Seminar, “Addressing Potential Ethnic Conflicts Through Law and Good Practices” Romani Identities and Antigypsyism – CEU Summer School 2018 Endangered Heritage/ Endangered Values: Debate at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy Council of Europe Secretary General Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018, “Preserving and Promoting Roma Cultural Heritage” The Power of Protest: Discussion at BOZAR ERIAC Associate Membership Opening and Barvalipe Academy Announcements Dr. Bernd Fabritius Visits ERIAC Roma Spring: Art as Resistance Resilient Cultural Heritage and Communities in Europe (REACH) Conference 2018 ERIAC Participates in the ASN Convention at Columbia University New Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Dunja Mijatović, Visits ERIAC A Roma Poem That Should Be Read This Month U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Kent Logsdon Visits ERIAC Hidden Roma Masterpieces Exhibition Evening Gala at the Maxim Gorki Theatre: Outreach Grand Finale Visions for a New Humanity: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Roma Feminist Scholars Contemplate the Future Roma: Contributions to the Development of the Romanian State European Roots of Roma Arts and Culture – Future Perspective of Roma and Sinti Minority in Italy Reception Hosted by Roma Integration 2020 and ERIAC for Governmental Officials “SAR DIČHOLA ROMAŇI KULTURA DUREDER – The Future of Romani Culture” The Future of Roma Cultural Heritage The Future of Roma History: Remembrance, Historical Justice and the Role of Roma Youth Déjame que te cuente / Allow me to explain