Roma Cultural History Initiative (RCHI) 2020

May – December 2020


ERIAC continues its international outreach activities with the “Roma Cultural History Initiative” (RCHI), financed by the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO). The Roma Cultural History Initiative continues previous ERIAC international programs which aim at bringing ERIAC cultural programming to diverse audiences in places outside of ERIAC’s headquarters in Berlin.


Given the uncertainties created by the global Covid-19 pandemic, RCHI includes ambitious activities which can be developed disregarding of possible travel restrictions and social distancing regulations in different countries in Europe.

Romani Language Reform

Through this initiative ERIAC and its partners continue the international work on the development of the Romani language, bringing together international experts with proven experience in the field for continuing the cooperation at international level and setting up common strategies and standards, but also develop teaching materials in Romani based on the Curriculum Framework for Romani and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages developed by the Council of Europe.


We have in progress the following activities:

  • Creating the database with Romani language teachers, translators and interpreters – we have launched a call and invited language specialists to apply to be part of our database.
  • Setting-up a network of international Romani language schools – we are in contact with professors from different universities from Europe that organize independent courses, within the University of Bucharest, Sorbonne University from Paris, Charles University from Prague, Pécs University from Hungary, Novi Sad University in Serbia or with those that have university programs: at the universities of Graz (Austria), Manchester (England) and Helsinki (Finland).
  • Organizing the International Conference for Romani Language on 5th November 2020 – the conference aims to bring together the most relevant experts and practitioners of Romani, language experts, educators and academics who engage with linguistics research, development of teaching materials. Starting from the fact that Romani language heritage is at risk we will create an International Romani language Council having as main aim to support the development of the Romani language at international level, by promoting the recognition, preservation, development and cultural – political unity of the Romani language.
  • Developing the printed and electronic format of Romani language textbook – level A1 for adults. For writing/ producing the textbook ERIAC has selected a team made out of: three authors – the best professional teachers of Romani in Europe, being also native speakers of Romani, a methodologist, a photographer and an illustrator. The text book will be written in the common Romani (general Romani) and before being published, it will be reviewed by five Romani language specialists, speakers of different Romani dialects. The A1 textbook will be published in November 30, 2020.

Barvalipe Roma Online University

Bavarlipe Roma Online University is an online educational platform where Roma and non-Roma can access authoritative knowledge about the Roma identity(ies), history(ies) and culture(s) thorough a collection of high-quality lectures delivered by leading Roma scholars on topics ranging from the Roma Holocaust to Roma cultural productions.


The first course of the Barvalipe Roma Online University will launch on September 1, 2020. The inaugural course, “Introduction to Roma Cultural History,” begins with the history of Romani arrival in Europe, traces Romani cultural, social, and political presence in Europe and ends with a reflection on the importance of contemporary Romani knowledge production. The course consists of 15 lectures delivered by renowned scholars. Together they comprise a complete curriculum of Roma Cultural History that proposes a canon and acts as a reference for Roma cultural history. Each week starting September 1st we will launch a new lecture that will be live-streamed on Facebook. Following each lecture premiere, we will moderate a discussion with the lecturer and invited guests in which the audience will also have a chance to ask questions.






The transnational, collaborative and discursive art project RomaMoMa – the Digital Roma Museum calls Roma and non-Roma art experts to imagine, discuss and present the possible forms of a Roma museum of modern and contemporary art. Due to the uncertainties created by the global Covid-19 pandemic, RomaMoMa has temporarily developed as a digital blog, soon to be found on ERIAC´s official website, on which virtual contributions can be made.


The online contributions will enrich ERIAC´s RomaMoMA digital platform in the form of critical reviews about a potential / imagined Roma museum by star curators and artists. The project team aims to publish a total of 16 items on the blog in the time-period August – December 2020, both in form of texts and of video-interviews. The current RomaMoMA digital blog, set within the frame of the outreach program RCHI ending in December 2020, aims to function as a starting point for a long-lasting, well established RomaMoMA initiative.


RomaMoMA is a transnational, collaborative and discursive art project of the European Roma Institute of Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and OFF-Biennale Budapest. It is a platform to envision and discuss the possible forms of a Roma museum of modern and contemporary art that will spread in time and space through a series of exhibitions, discussions, and art projects.


The aim is to create a platform where ideas on the necessity and possible roles of a transnational museum of Roma contemporary art can be exchanged, and to come up with a collective proposal for the institution of such a museum. Finally, the long-term goal of RomaMoMa is to form an Alliance of Institutions for European Roma Cultural Inclusion to conduct a policy change. Find the RomaMoMa Manifesto for the Alliance of Institutions for the European Roma Cultural Inclusion here.


For updates on #RomaMoMa you can follow ERIAC’s Instagram account.



Identity Packages

Identity packages is a project to strengthen the Roma movement – proposing some very practical ways (and items) that can reinforce the Roma movement, connecting political and cultural movements. In this way, ERIAC can provide support to the local networks and build stronger movement identity across countries and local struggles. As part of the “identity packages” we suggest to produce items and merchandise that will reinforce and brand our collective efforts to raise awareness on the Roma issues in Europe.


As a first step ERIAC initiated “Roma remember”, the joint international campaign for Roma and Sinti Holocaust remembrance. It was of utmost importance to be united in the campaign as Roma in most countries lack physical memorials commemorating victims of the Roma Holocaust. This is why, ERIAC together with the entire Mahala Network has made interventions in public spaces as symbolic temporary memorials, to raise awareness about Roma history.


ERIAC published a detailed description of the international communication campaign and on August 3, 2020 held a public webinar “Commemorating the victims, remembering the heroes.”