INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL OUTREACH PROGRAM 2023
Germany, France, Serbia, Kosovo
Building on the experience of the six previous Outreach projects, ERIAC conducts the International Cultural Outreach Program 2023 with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Through strengthening the existing digital and physical infrastructures, collaborations and institutional communication, this year’s Outreach project aims to enforce ERIAC’s role as a referential source for Roma identity and cultural discourses.
ERIAC, in collaboration with the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, spearheads the International Cultural Outreach program to recognize and promote Roma arts and culture. Under the guidance of ERIAC’s key organs, namely membership, the Barvalipe Academy, and the Board, the following six components constitute this year’s outreach project: Romani Language Initiative, Barvalipe Roma Online University, Digital Roma Museum Initiative: RomaMoMA, Autostrada Biennale, The Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize Ceremony, and Membership.
ROMANI LANGUAGE INITIATIVE
The long-term goal of ERIAC through this project component is to become the language and education center for the transnational Romani movement and the community. The initiative contains efforts towards an international Romani language reform through building on the existing results and updating the Curriculum Framework for Romani developed by the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe in 2008 as part of the Council of Europe’s comprehensive approach to Roma and Traveler issues. The initiative in 2022 continued the international work on the common Romani language with international experts with proven experience in the field. It developed teaching materials based on the Curriculum Framework for Romani.
The project aims to continue standardizing the Romani language, engaging with the International Language Council, organizing the “Safeguarding Romani Language” conference, and writing the Romani language textbook B1. In the long term, it seeks to expand the database of qualified teachers, promote language re-learning among Roma individuals, standardize teaching methods, conduct teacher training, map international Romani language schools, and publish an online English-Romani-English dictionary. Guided by ERIAC Barvalipe Academy Member Mihaela Zatreanu, the project envisions a thriving future for the Romani language with global recognition and preservation.
BARVALIPE ROMA ONLINE UNIVERSITY
Barvalipe Roma Online University is an online educational platform where Roma and non-Roma can access knowledge about the Roma identity(ies), history(ies), and culture(s) through a collection of high-quality lectures delivered by leading Roma scholars on topics ranging from the Roma Holocaust to Roma cultural productions. The courses launched throughout 2020 and 2021 consist of more than 30 lectures by renowned Roma scholars. Together with the Digital Library of Critical Romani Scholarship and the So Nakhlo blog, they comprise a complete curriculum of Roma Cultural History that proposes a canon and acts as a reference for Roma cultural history. Within the 2023 International Cultural Outreach program, ERIAC focused on producing educational videos in a conversational tone that is easier to digest for larger audiences. The idea of the Barvalipe Masterclass was born from the desire for a more appealing presentation and higher-quality production. To complement the Barvalipe Roma Online University, ERIAC continued expanding the Digital Library of Critical Romani Scholarship, a comprehensive resource featuring a curated selection of Roma scholarship.
DIGITAL ROMA MUSEUM INITIATIVE: ROMAMOMA
ERIAC focuses on creating a hybrid infrastructure, encompassing digital and physical elements through the RomaMoMA blog, website, and social media channels at ERIAC and external venues. The long-term goal is to elevate the talent, visibility, and quality among Roma artists and cultural producers. The Digital Roma Museum, also known as RomaMoMA, serves as a platform to envision and discuss the potential forms of a Roma museum of modern and contemporary art. It expands over time and space, hosting exhibitions, discussions, and art projects. The initiative invites Roma and non-Roma artists, cultural experts, scholars, and civil society to envision an institution that will become a cutting-edge agent of the contemporary arts and culture scene. Unlike an online repository of Roma history and culture, the Digital Roma Museum Initiative curates compelling narratives of belonging, achievements, and contributions of Roma through virtual tours. Building on the successes of the RomArchive project, it offers accessible content on contemporary arts and culture.
Through RomaMoMA, ERIAC is present in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe from 26th to 30th June with the exhibition ”Woman to Woman”: Omara & Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and at the Autostrada Biennale in Prishtina from July to September 2023.
TAJSA ROMA CULTURAL HERITAGE PRIZE
The Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize was launched in 2019 by ERIAC, and it is granted every second year during a large-scale ceremony and event that brings together ERIAC membership, partners, supporters, Board, and the general audience. The Tajsa Prize embodies the ERIAC founding principles. It honors a Roma individual who enriches the Roma arts and culture scene by drawing from Roma cultural heritage and reinventing forms of cultural expression for future generations. This prestigious Prize recognizes outstanding Roma creatives as leading voices of the Roma cultural movement today, aiming to promote Roma pride and showcase the talent and virtuosity of Roma cultural producers. Designed by renowned Roma artist Robert Gabris, the Prize includes a financial endowment of EUR 5.000. This year, the winner will be announced in Berlin during the Tajsa Prize Ceremony on December 7, 2023.
ERIAC is a membership-driven organization that brings together individuals and organizations, both Roma and non-Roma, who possess relevant and demonstrated arts and culture expertise and are committed to ERIAC’s values. ERIAC’s associate members are grouped into four thematic sections: Arts and Culture, History and Commemoration, Research and Publication in arts and culture, and Media and Information in arts and culture. Additionally, there is a transversal section dedicated to the Romani language. This component aims to mobilize the membership towards long-term engagement and contribution, fostering a new culture of alliance and collaboration. ERIAC’s membership provides legitimacy and strength while offering valuable resources such as networks, connections, knowledge, and capital.
ERIAC engages exclusively in long-term and transformative undertakings that influence cultural politics. Autostrada Biennale, an International Contemporary Art Exhibition, has been held biennially since 2017—Joanna Warsza and Övül Ö curated this exhibition. Durmuşoğlu aims to bring art into people’s lives, particularly by utilizing public spaces. The 4th edition, “All Images Will Disappear, One Day,” occur from July 7th to September 9th, 2023, in Prizren, Prishtina, and Mitrovica.
ERIAC collaborates with the 4th Autostrada Biennale to support and promote the work of local and regional artists’ work and strengthen vulnerable communities’ position through mobilization, public awareness-raising campaigns, artistic installations, direct engagement, and public discussions. Specifically, ERIAC supports contributions from two Romani artists, Bajram Mehmeti (Kosovo) and Selma Selman (Bosnia and Herzegovina), at the Biennale through a curated program by RomaMoMA.