The Tajsa Prize, awarded to an outstanding Roma individual enriching Roma arts and culture, embodies the philosophy of ERIAC and the spirit of Roma history and cultural heritage while looking onwards, shaping and re-inventing forms of Roma cultural expressions for the next generation.
By December 2019 ERIAC built a membership of 85 associate members, including Roma and non-Roma individuals and organizations from across the world, who shaped the ERIAC activities in the past two years. Each year the endowment of the Tajsa Prize is sponsored entirely by the ERIAC associate membership, in order to promote the pedagogy of Roma contribution and self-determination. In 2019, the Tajsa Prize comes with an endowment of 5200 euros. The prize itself is designed by Robert Gabris, a leading Roma artist.
The winner of the Tajsa Prize was announced on December 9 2019, during the Tajsa Prize Ceremony at the Maxim Gorki Theatre.
The Tajsa Prize Ceremony was opened by the sensational Hungarian Romani singer Monika Lakatos. Roma Actresses Riah Knight and Simonida Selimovic acted as the hosts for the evening.
The audience was greeted in a video message by Michael Roth, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office. Timea Junghaus, ERIAC executive director announced the Tajsa Prize finalists. Subsequently, Dr. Maria Bogdan and Dr. Ismael Cortes, Chair and Vice-Chair of Barvalipe respectively, announced the verdict of the jury composed of the 15 members of the ERIAC Barvalipe Academy. Alina Serban – Roma actress, playwright and director – was revealed as the winner of the first edition of the Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize! The laudation speech was delivered by Lord Simon Wolley, cofounder and director of Operation Black Vote and the Board member of the Roma Information Office of the OSF.
After the announcement of the winner, the world-renowned pianist and compositor DORANTES gave a concert together with the flamenco artist Maria Jose Llergo.
After the ceremony the extended ERIAC members, allies, politicians and cultural leaders celebrated the winner, Alina Serban with the concert of Afro-Sintezza singer Tayo Awosusi-Onutor and DJ Nomi.
Tajsa Roma Cultural Heritage Prize is part of ERIAC´s “Roma Tengible Heritage Network” Project supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Open Society Foundations, the Council of Europe and Sevilla Tourism Office of Diputación Sevilla.
Photos: ERIAC/ Nino Pusija