What challenges do you see, if any, with the concept of a Roma Museum as a whole?

…and the RomaMoMA interviews conclude (for now)!

(Part 5 of 5)

All good things must come to an end: this week we present the final portion of the RomaMoMA interviews

What challenges do you see, if any, with the concept of a Roma Museum as a whole?

One participant feels that it is a great challenge to maintain the social and political dimensions, while focusing on contemporary art. What if this socio-political focus negatively affects the exhibiting artists by labelling them as Roma artists, or even negatively affects an entire existing Roma community’s balance through representation by the chosen image? This fear also relates to another respondent’s recommendation: it is very important to maintain a balance between showing the work of socially engaged artists, and of those who do not necessarily want to engage with political, social or identity topics in their art. It is vital to give space to all Roma artists.

Another respondent finds it essential that RomaMoMA succeeds at reflecting the dual condition of being “at home”, belonging, and at the same time, “the other”, a position that has always structured Romani identity and unity.

We are all Roma, and at the same time, we belong to the landscape – the territories and countries we live in. A national identity against our perceived transnational status. This duality needs to be fully represented if Romani cultural creation aims to challenge mainstream culture’s view of our identity and its control of our representation.

Furthermore, given the negative stereotyping, another interviewee suggests that great attention should be given to ensuring the highest possible artistic level, because “only then can we be taken seriously”.

Finally, one respondent rather focuses on a structural and ethical challenge: the core of the museum practice should be to maintain transparent and ethical relations with the artists, as well as with internal and external communities. Only if the risks and mediation are managed ethically can a RomaMoMA set an example as a role model for other museums.

Check out these thoughts and more in our final video of this series!

 

Find all participants´ biographies hereInterviewees_Biographies


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