Peripheries Unite! Public Discussion & Emerging Talents. Spring Salon
PUBLIC DISCUSSION: Peripheries Unite! Cultural resistance, social justice and the potential of alliances across movements in Europe*
16 May 2023 | 18h00
ERIAC Berlin, Reinhardtstrasse 41-43
Emilia Roig, author and scholar, director of the Centre for Intersectional Justice.
Tayo Awosusi-Onutor, singer and activist, Board of Directors of RomaniPhen.
Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, anthropologist, author and Roma activist, deputy director of ERIAC.
With the occasion of 16 MAY – Day of Romani Resistance, ERIAC brings together experts for a transdisciplinary discussion on the potential of building bridges across movements to advance with the common struggle of building a fair, peaceful and more inclusive Europe for all.
Equality is a core value of the European Union (EU) and is enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Yet, discrimination remains a burning issue in Europe – so much so that the EU established an Anti-Racism Action Plan 2020-2025 to step up action against it. Today, millions of Europeans experience multiple discrimination due to intersecting dimensions of identity, including race, ethnicity, sexual identity and orientation, religion, class, nationality and citizen status, among others. Prevalent discrimination – including specific types of racism such as antigypsyism or afrophobia, as well as islamophobia, homophobia and sexism– push European citizens to the margins of society by seriously impeding their access to equal rights and opportunities.
Roma – the biggest ethnic minority in the EU – are among the most discriminated against groups. Likewise, Europeans of African descent, Jews, Muslims and persons belonging to the LGBTIQ community face widespread discrimination. Each of these populations has been forging civic movements of their own to fight for equality and social justice. In this process, they have employed diverse strategies of resisting oppression, building political power and empowering their communities.
One such strategy is cultural resistance. Indeed, “Subaltern” groups have long relied on the transformative power of arts, culture and knowledge production to challenge mechanisms of discrimination and violence on the one hand and to develop strategies of self-empowerment on the other.
The public debate hosted by ERIAC will provide an opportunity to exchange experiences between different minority groups, pointing to striking similarities between communities and their struggles. Such discussion is both necessary and timely. As the agency of those belonging to minority groups grows, they claim their rightful place at the centre of social, political and economic affairs on national and international levels. At the same time, however, as Europe faces multiple crises and an increase in nationalistic, populist and right-wing politics, achieving a “Union of Equality” becomes ever more difficult. Under these circumstances, a strong alliance is needed. ERIAC provides a platform for Roma and representatives of other minority groups in Europe to reflect together on strategies for building solidarity and closer collaboration across diverse social movements, united around the same values of social justice, inclusivity and respect.
The event is part of the public discussion series „Promoting European Values Through Cultural Heritage” of ERIACNET4EU – ERIAC Network to Advance Roma Inclusion by Combatting and Preventing Antigypsyism in the EU.
EXHIBITION OPENING: Emerging Talents. Spring Salon
ERIAC Berlin, Reinhardtstrasse 41-43
Roland Korponovics (HU)
Denis Nanciu (RO)
Ornella Rudevich (LT)
Sergei Snigur (Asmar) (RU)
Sharon Svec (US)
Erik Tollas (HU)
On the occasion of Romani Resistance Day, ERIAC presents a new iteration of artistic practices in the Emerging Talents Spring Salon. With this newly established format, the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture is strengthening its activities in fostering new, innovative and experimental voices in contemporary art. Together with the established residency program in collaboration with Villa Romana in Florence, ERIAC is broadening the spectrum of artistic practices by focusing on the raw emergence of up-and-coming Roma artists.
In assembling six artists of different backgrounds and various media employed in their practices, the Spring Salon becomes what may be uncovered upon lingering with the title: a space in which newness occurs. This exhibition is thus at the very heart not only of this symbolic day but of the artistic practices assembled. Roland Korponovics, Denis Nanciu, Ornella Rudevich, Sergei Asmar, Sharon Svec and Erik Tollas invoke with their artistic practices new forms of resistance and of Roma experience, but also new perspectives on contemporary art itself.
Much like the season invoked in the title of the exhibition, the lives and practices that congregate at ERIAC can be seen as pollinators. Transgressing pure aesthetic pleasure, the artistic strategies of Korponovics, Nanciu, Rudevic, Asmar, Svec and Tollas operate as tools of blooming resistance and choral world-making situated within a wider European discourse on culture and diversity. May the terrain on which these artists and their work meet be a garden, an ecosystem of mingling and rearranging the visitors’ perception of time and space. In so doing, they allow us to pose questions not only of the future, but of hope.
Listening to queer theorist José Esteban Muñoz, we may begin to feel the “warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality.” To think of utopia means to uncover the structures that make us reject the present in search for a “potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.”
The opening is a part of the Khalili Foundation’s World Festival of Cultural Diversity.
*Attendance at the public discussion is free, but registration is required.