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WEAVE LabDay

Safeguarding Our Romani Language

On November 5, the World Day of Romani Language, the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) is organizing the Second International Conference “Safeguarding Our Romani Language”, in partnership with the Council of Europe and the University of Graz. The conference is organized in the framework of the International Membership Engagement Initiative, financed by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, in connection with WEAVE (Widen European Access to Cultural Communities Via Europeana) LabDay series.

Our goal is to establish cooperation for language harmonization at an international level, to design future strategies for preserving the language heritage, and to fulfil the general need in Europe for Romani language education.

The conference brings together experts, practitioners and legislators who participate in the protection and promotion of the Romani language. The aim of the event is to oversee the status of Romani, to discuss the issues of language preservation, the topic of transnational harmonization, as well as the practices in Romani language education.

This year we will put special emphasis on the theme of heritage preservation involving digital tools, thanks to the connection with the WEAVE project, that is extremely relevant and coherent within the scope of the conference, as it aims to develop a framework to link the tangible and intangible heritage of cultural communities, safeguarding the rich and invaluable cultural heritage which they represent via digital cultural heritage promotion.

The conference will be held online, providing a platform for international participants from various countries. Special significance will be given to the use of Romani during the event.

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WEAVE LabDay

Portuguese Dances Workshop at 3rd edition of Festival Desdobra-te’21

  • Date: 27th November 2021
  • Time: 15.00 pm (Portugal time zone)
  • Duration: 1 h.
  • Online via Zoom
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Registration and more info coming soon

Portuguese Dances Workshop is dedicated to the repertoire from North to South of Portugal (vira, corridinho, malhão, chula, chotiça, fado batido, etc.), taking participants to dance in circles, pairs and squares. It will be a relaxed moment of practical learning of steps, rhythms and spatial structures of different dances that are part of the tradition of dancing in Portugal.

This workshop has a strong practical component accompanied by moments of sharing information about the contexts where certain rhythms are danced.



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WEAVE LabDay

Poetry and Photography

Date: 17th November 2021

Time: 10.00am-13.30pm GMT

  • Part 1: 10.00-11.30 am
  • Part 2: 12.00-13.30 pm

Venue: Online via Zoom

Language: English

In preparing the content materials for the aggregation to Europeana, TopFoto referenced the artist residency with Rommi Smith and Christella Litras. This residency, TopFoto’s expertise and the most recent collaboration with artist-researcher, Rommi Smith, has led to the planning of a LabDay that is geared towards artists, researchers, archivists, CHIs and other  key stakeholders that engage with photographic content. 

The TopFoto Poetry and Photography LabDay will comprise two parts:

Part 1: A critical creative talk led by Rommi Smith. This LabDay will incorporate moments of practice-related insights from artists Rommi Smith and Christella Litras. Litras, a musician within the residency, will be playing her piano. This first section will also incorporate the performance of creative work from the TopFoto residency, concluding with a Q&A.

Part 2: A generative workshop utilising a selection of photos from the TopFoto archive as a starting point for short poems, monologues and short stories. Participants will be encouraged to utilise some of the methods Smith uses in her own creative process as the inaugural writer-in-residence for TopFoto. Litras will support the workshop, performing improvised music which will inspire the flow of words and narratives.


Rommi Smith is the inaugural writer in residence for the TopFoto archive, one of the world’s leading independent photographic archives. With a passionate interest in the archive’s photos documenting Black British life across the last two centuries, Rommi took a short selection of TopFoto’s historic photos as muse for seven original pieces of work. The resulting works (which include poem-monologues, sonnets, ghazals and redactions of original archival texts), fuse research facts with fiction in response to absences in the archive. This creative work draws on the critical work in Smith’s own doctoral research; research in dialogue with texts including: Osthoff (2009), Rosello (2010) and the work of Claudia Rankine.

The resulting texts are set to music by musician, composer, arranger and producer Christella Litras. The resultant works are performed by Rommi Smith, Christella Litras and the actor Lladel Bryant, with a contribution from Clinton Cameron, who is part of what is termed “the Windrush Generation.” Rommi Smith’s short residency is made possible via the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, awarded to TopFoto from the Cultural Recovery Fund.

Residency Outcomes include three of the seven key photographs and poems that are explored in short video form:

  • The Ballad of Judy Johnson’s Blues – photographer unknown, London
  • Ghazal 1948, Eileen Johnson, aged 24 – photographer unknown, Tilbury Docks
  • Sonnet Variation for the man whose name I cannot trace – photographer Roger Bamber, Leicester

The videos can be found at add https://vimeo.com/topfoto and all the works can be enjoyed on https://soundcloud.com/topfotoarchive



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WEAVE LabDay

Mastros Tradicionais, a cultural practice from Odemira (Portugal)

  • Date: 15th November 2021
  • Time: 11.30 am (Portugal time zone)
  • Duration: 1.30 h.
  • Online via Zoom
  • Language: Portuguese
  • Registration and more info coming soon

This LabDay is composed of three parts dedicated to the practice of Mastros Tradicionais,  a cultural practice from Odemira, Portugal

  • conversation with the research team and presentation of the documentary “Da Terra ao Céu
  • presentation of PédeXumbo’s Brochure Collection “Para Conhecer e Fazer“, dedicated to Mastros Tradicionais, with hands-on activity
  • Paper Flowers workshop: How to Make Paper Flowers

Session 1

The LabDay dedicated to the practice of Mastros Tradicionais, a cultural practice from Odemira (Portugal), will start with a conversation with Marta Guerreiro, Leonor Carpinteiro, Rui Cacilhas and Pedro Grenha, who did the research work for the documentary “Da Terra ao Céu”. The documentary “Da Terra ao Céu” is a film by Pédexumbo, directed by Pedro Grenha and Rui Cacilhas and is also a journey through the municipality of Odemira. A film that we started to imagine in 2017, filmed in 2018, premiered in 2019 and just released in June 2021, in Book/DVD format. This research work allowed us to discover all the lands and places in the municipality of Odemira, while we were looking for someone who could tell us about Mastros Tradicionais.

Session 2

The second part of the Labday presents the nº 1 of PédeXumbo’s Brochure Collection “Para Conhecer e Fazer”, dedicated to Mastros Tradicionais. This is a collection of publications in the form of handcrafted brochures where the aim is to provide information on specific techniques and objects related to traditional dance and music, in an informal, simple and visually attractive way. These brochures are dedicated to themes that rarely appeared in the past in written form, thus contributing to an enrichment of the literature dedicated to techniques and practices of traditional Portuguese music and dance combined with objects and knowledge. These publications, which are not intended to be boring or academic in content, are intended to provide the reader with a brief contextualization, description of the practice and instructions on how to experiment by doing it. This collection also intends to reaffirm the importance of the production of small editions in series of handcrafted publications (using the silkscreen printing method), as a fast means of disseminating knowledge and, simultaneously, of an object with artistic value.

Session 3

In the third activity of the day, we will do a paper flowers workshop starting from a pratice in the brochure “Para Conhecer e Fazer – Mastros Tradicionais”, to show how to make paper flowers and to teach some folding techniques of traditional paper flower designs.

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ERIAC conference

Safeguarding Our Romani Language

  • CONFERENCE
  • Date: 5th November 2021
  • Time: starting from 10:00 CET
  • Online via Zoom
  • Language: English, Romani
  • Registration and more info coming soon

On the occasion of the World Day of Romani Language, on November 5th, 2021, the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) will organize the Second International Conference “Safeguarding Our Romani Language”. In the framework of the conference, a special track and discussion of the WEAVE LabDay series will be embedded, dedicated to the Roma community and their heritage.

The conference will bring together experts, practitioners and legislators who participate in the protection and promotion of the Romani Language as one of the historical and minority languages of Europe.

The aim of the event is to oversee the status of the Romani language, to discuss the issues of language preservation, the topic of transnational harmonization, as well as the practices in Romani language education. This year we will put special emphasis on the theme of heritage preservation involving digital tools, especially for improving language education.


The conference will provide an overview of the contemporary status of Romani language; current practices in Romani language education; Romani language teaching/re-learning initiatives; transnational development of Romani language and culture; the future of Romani language education.

Departing from the notion that Romani language heritage is at risk, the conference aims to establish cooperation for language harmonization at international level, designing shared ways and future strategies for preserving our language heritage, and to fulfill the general need in Europe for Romani language education tools. We are inviting academics in the field of language teaching and linguistic research, Roma political leaders advocating for the visibility of the Romani language heritage, as well as representatives of the European Parliament involved in the preservation of minority languages.

The conference will be held online, and thus provide a platform for international participants from various countries. The event will put special emphasis on the use of Romani; it will involve two interpreters whose work will be of great importance.

Names of speakers (TBC): 

Jeroen Schokkenbroek, Dieter Halwachs, Evelin Hust, Professor Vesna Crnic-Grotic, Kimmo Granqvist, Marcel Courthiade, Helena Sadikova, David Little, Ahmet Murat Kilić, Zemfira Kondur, Delia Grigore, Szilvia Lakatos, Natali Tomenko, Gheorghe Sarău, Cristian Padure, Mihaela Zatreanu, Diana Kirilova, Kirill Kozhanov, Saimir Mile, Ian Hancock, Thomas Acton, Hristo Kyuchukov, Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, Veljko Kajtazi, Erika Godlova, Zuzana Bodnarova, Melinda Rézműves, Timea Junghaus 

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project

WEAVE LabDay

Roma Self-representation in the history of the Venice Biennale

In this LabDay organized by partner ERIAC, a discussion was launched to promote a more permanent exhibition of Roma art and heritage in the context of the prestigous Venice Contemporary Art Biennale. The event allowed participants to ask questions directly to the panellists.

In the past there have been various exhibitions of Roma culture at Venice Biennale, in 2007, 2011 and 2019, which represent the greatest efforts ever made by Roma to present Roma art in an international stage in the center of contemporary cultural diplomacy. But in the lack of collecting, archiving and museum institutions to house artefacts once these Roma exhibitions are dismantled, their histories become vulnerable and their achievements carry on only as interpersonal – and later transgenerational knowledge, which slowly – with the means of digital remembrance – constitute a new form of intangible cultural heritage. The Roma exhibitions are not connected to the prestigious locations, and known spaces of the Venice Biennale, but to the non-spaces of digital-discussions, oral histories, letter and in-person exchange, archival documents and digital exhibitions.

The “Exhibition” of the largest European minority is considered a “collaborative event”, and not a national pavilion. Roma do not have a national pavilion/building/space, while being the largest national minority to many of the exhibiting national representations. As a consequence, the precarious Roma minority’s presence at the Biennale is possible only if Roma pay the entrance fee as a collaborative event (30,500 Euros) to the Biennale Office, in addition to spending to rent the exhibition space in Venice. In these circumstances, the chance for permanent, tangible representation of Roma in the most prestigious European art event is unimaginable.

The Labday discussion mitigates the need for a permanent Roma Pavilion as the place to motivate the development of innovative projects and experimental cross-disciplinary work of Roma. In the context of the Venice Biennale, the Roma Pavilion has the potential to become the safe space won by the Roma struggle, a place of intuition, new ideas, discourses, and trends in European contemporary art.

Agenda

14:00 – 14:10 LABDAY INTRODUCTION

Dr. Rosa Cisneros, Coordinator of Activity 1 WEAVE, dancer and choreographer, dance historian and critic, Roma scholar, sociologist, flamenco historian.

14:10 – 15:05 PRESENTATIONS of PANELLISTS

Luisella Pavan-Woolfe, Host, Head of Office, Council of Europe representation in Venice, supporter of ERIAC’s initiatives for cultural inclusion, e.g. FUTUROMA Exhibition in 2019, the 2022 exhibition

Timea Junghaus, Art historian, contemporary art curator, Executive director of ERIAC, curator of the Roma Exhibition PARADISE LOST at the 52nd Venice Contemporary Art Biennale (2007)

Prof. Dr. Ethel Brooks, Associate Professor at Rutgers University (U.S), School of Arts and Science, and Chair of Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Research interests: Visual Cultures, Artistic Practice, Camps and Encampment, Digital Media and Belonging, Nationalism, Post-colonialism and Critical Race Theory

Daniel Baker, artist of Call The Witness Exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); curator of the FUTUROMA Exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Jury of Roma Exhibition Venice Biennale (2022)

Miguel Ángel Vargas, Art historian, theatre director, Flamenco researcher, member of Factoría Cultural – Polígono Sur, Institute for Culture and Arts of the Council of Seville and Jury of Roma Exhibition Venice Biennale (2019 and 2022)

Ilina Schileru, graphic artist, cultural manager and curator of Eugen Raportoru: The Abduction From The Seraglio & Roma Women | Performativity and the Politics of Healing and Listening at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022)

Eugen Raportoru, painter, visual artist, selected artist of Roma Exhibition at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022)

15:05 – 15:35 DISCUSSION

The discussion will unfold around three topics:
1. Lessons Learned
2. Difficulties of Establishing a Roma Pavilion
3. Solutions and Future Scenarios

15:35 – 15:50 Q&A

15:50 – 16:00 FINAL REMARKS


Speakers’ biographies:

Daniel Baker (1961, United Kingdom) is a Romani Gypsy artist, researcher, and curator. Originally from Kent, and currently based in London, his work is exhibited internationally and can be found in collections across the globe. Baker earned a PhD in 2011 from the Royal College of Art, with his dissertation, “Gypsy Visuality: Gell’s Art Nexus and its Potential for Artists”, after previously earning an MA in Sociology/Gender and Ethnic Studies from Greenwich University, and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Ravensbourne College of Art and Design. Baker has contributed to numerous exhibitions, held various residencies, and curated several commissions. He previously worked as an exhibitor and consultant for the first and second Roma events at the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia – “Paradise Lost” and “Call the Witness”, which took place during the 52nd and 54th International Art Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia, respectively. For more information about Baker and his revolutionary work, visit www.danielbaker.net

Prof. Dr. Ethel Brooks is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University. She has conducted research on a host of sites around the world including in London, Istanbul, Fall River, San Salvador, Dhaka and York City. Brooks is the author of Unraveling the Garment Industry: Transnational Organizing and Women’s Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) which received the award for Outstanding Book for 2010 from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the co-editor of the special issue of WSQ on “Activisms.” She has contributed articles to a number of academic journals, including Nevi Sara Kali and International Working Class History, as well as book chapters in Sweatshop USA: The American Sweatshop in Historical and Global Perspective, Eds. Daniel A Bender and Richard Greenwald, (Routledge, 2003) and Sociology Confronts the Holocaust: Memories and Identities in Jewish Diasporas, Eds. Judith Gerson and Diane L. Wolf (Duke University Press, 2007). Professor Brooks is currently working on two book projects: Disrupting the Nation: Land Tenure, Productivity and the Possibilities of a Romani Post-Coloniality, and (Mis)Recognitions and (Un)Acknowledgements: Visualities, Productivities and the Contours of Romani Feminism, both of which focus on political economy and cultural production and the increasing violence against Romani (Gypsy) citizens worldwide. Her op-eds on the expulsion of Romani people in various European countries have recently appeared on “The Guardian”. She is also writing an article on “Missing Pakistanis: Gender, Citizenship and the Muslim Everyday,” on the limits and possibilities of writing about Pakistanis in the wake of the war on terror. In 2011 Prof. Brooks was awarded a prestigious Fulbright-University of the Arts London Distinguished Chair Award and she spent the academic year 2011/2012 at TrAIN, the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation. Part of the award supported Prof. Brooks’ delivery of a lecture series in conjunction with the Tate Gallery, London.

Dr. Rosa Cisneros is a dancer and choreographer, Dance Historian and Critic, Roma Scholar, Sociologist, Flamenco Historian and Peace Activist who graduated from UW-Madison and went on to complete her Master’s in Dance History and Criticism from UNM-Albuquerque (USA). Her PhD is in Sociology with a focus on Roma women, intersectionality, dialogic feminism and communicative methodologies. Rosamaria is a professional dancer, choreographer, curator and qualified teacher, who has lived and danced in various parts of the world and collaborated with many Flamenco greats and other leaders in the Dance field. She has taught throughout Europe and the US at places like UW-Madison, UIUC, Boston Conservatory, Brown University and at various other places in Germany, Spain and Turkey. She is a dance writer who makes regular contributions to Bachtrack Magazine and Flamenco News having also danced with Protein Dance Company in the UK. Rosamaria is involved in various EU funded projects which aim to make education accessible to vulnerable groups and ethnic minorities and sits on various Boards: Roma Coventry Project (UK), Drom Kotar Mestipen Roma Women’s Association (Spain) and the Early Dance Circle (UK). At the moment she is a Research fellow at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research based in the UK. She is also an independent artist, dancer, curator and teacher who has organised various festivals and exhibitions. Her dance films have screened in the UK, US, Colombia, Mexico, Greece, Cyprus and Germany and her latest documentary won best documentary from the UK in 2016. She has started her own production company, RosaSenCis Film Production Co., which worked on the Society for Dance Research Oral History Project. The company aims to create dance films and documentaries that capture stories and reflect embodied traditions that might otherwise be lost. She has also managed major EU-Funded projects and local City of Culture Partnership projects. Rosamaria collaborates closely with the University of Barcelona’s Community of Researchers for Excellence for All (CREA). She sits on academic Journals as an editorial assistant and those include the Journal for Embodied Practices and International Journal of Romani Studies.

Timea Junghaus is an art historian and contemporary art curator. She started in the position of Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture in September 2017. Previously, Junghaus was Research Fellow of the Working Group for Critical Theories at the Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2010-2017). She has researched and published extensively on the conjunctions of modern and contemporary art with critical theory, with particular reference to issues of cultural difference, colonialism, and minority representation. She is completing her Ph.D. studies in Cultural Theory at the Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest. In recognition of her curatorial activities, Junghaus received the Kairos – European Cultural Price from the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S., in 2008. Her curatorial works include the Roma component of the Hidden Holocaust- exhibition in the Budapest Kunsthalle (2004), Paradise Lost – the First Roma Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Contemporary Art Biennale (2007), the Archive and Scholarly Conference on Roma Hiphop (2010), The Romani Elders and the Public Intervention for the Unfinished Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered Under the National Socialist Regime in the frame of the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012), the (Re-)Conceptualizing Roma Resistance – exhibition and education program in Hellerau, Dresden (2015) and the Goethe Institute, Prague (2016). She is the curator of the Visual Arts Section for RomArchive – Digital Archive of the Roma, funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2015-2018). Junghaus was the founding director of Gallery8 – Roma Contemporary Art Space (www.gallery8.org) in Budapest (2013-2017), the winner of the 2014 Catalyst Contemporary Art Award (of Tranzit Hungary) and the 2014 Otto Pankok Prize awarded by the For Roma Foundation of German writer and Literary Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass.

Luisella Pavan Woolfe was born in Trieste, Italy and graduated in Political Science magna cum laude from the University of Padua. Here she subsequently became assistant professor of Anglo-American law. As an official of the European Commission for over thirty years, she developed new policies and legislation in the areas of environment protection, equality between women and men and people with disabilities. She also managed funds which support vocational training, employment and education in the European Union. She was the first Director for Equal Opportunities to be nominated by the European Commission. As such she was responsible for the European Union’s policy developments in the area of gender equality and fight against all forms of discrimination. In 2007 she was appointed Representative to the Council of Europe. Subsequently as staff of the European External Action Service, she opened the European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe. She worked in Strasbourg as the first resident EU Ambassador to the Council of Europe and head of delegation from 2010 to 2014. Her mandate covered human rights and democratic governance in wider Europe. In September 2014 she became Principal Advisor Global Issues in the European External Action Service, with special responsibility for food security. From July 2015 she is the director of the Council of Europe office in Venice. She is the author of several articles on European matters. She has written a book on the interrelations between employment policy and social issues in Europe. She was awarded the 1998 European prize by the Bellisario Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs.

Eugen Raportoru (b. 1961, Bucharest) visual artist with a specialization in painting. Eugen Raportoru has a masters degree at the Bucharest National University of Arts, Department of Painting, and is the only Romanian artist of Roma origin to have exhibited his works in London at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Vatican under the aegis of UNESCO, and in Scandinavia at the Ethnic Museum in Oslo and through the Roma Party in Stockholm. The artist has exhibited in galleries and exhibitions throughout Romania, where he made his debut at the age of 14 at Grivita Cinema in Bucharest. In Romania’s capital, Raportoru has exhibited at the Palace of Parliament, in the Brâncuşi Hall, at the Simeza Gallery, at Art House, at GoldArt, but also in the cities of Sibiu and Sinaia. He has been a member of the Romanian Union of Plastic Artists since 2010.

Ilina Schileru Bucharest University of Arts, completed in 2010. She is a member of UAP Romania and the founding director of EBienale (in association with the Festival and George Enescu International Competition between 2011 and 2015), an international contemporary art event of three editions in the frame of the George Enescu International Music Festival, which reunited over 150 artists from Romania, Germany Switzerland, Sweden and the USA, taking place in parallel insix art galleries in Bucharest. Within EBienale, she developed a program of “invited curators-run􀍟, enabling artists to curate: Mihai Zgondoiu (Timon Botez / Galateca / 2013), Ioana Sisea (Alex Gâlmeanu / AnnArt 2015, Roxana Gibescu / Vlad Țenu / Romanian Athenaeum / 2013, Frédéric Liver, Victoria Art Center / 2015). From April 2021 Schileru is the program coordinator of MNTRplusC, a contemporary artist-run space program of the National Peasant’s Museum. The MNTRplusC program showscases international collaborations between Romanian local and foreign fellow artists and curators. Among them, special invitees are curator and an art historian from John Cabot University, Cornelia Lauf, and Piotr Armianovsky, featured artist in the 2019 edition of La Biennale di Venezia. She also specializes in working with NGO’s on integrating immigrant and refugee children through art programs she develops in collaborations with museums (Museum of Recent Art, MNAR etc.) She has collaborated with various galleries and artist-run spaces in Bucharest (AnnArt, 418 Contemporary, ETAJ, Galateca, Artmark), where she works and lives. She writes for ARTA Magazine, Propagarta (Romania) and No Niin (Helsinki, Finland).

Miguel Ángel Vargas, Art Historian and Theater Director (1978) Spain. As independent researcher and artist, Vargas combines flamenco, theater and Romani history as experienced-based themes of his artistic and academic inquiry. He has worked internationally as an actor, director, set designer, production manager and even opera technician among other roles in performing arts during his 20 years of career. He has collaborated with several academic institutions such as Central Saint Martins College of Arts of London, as coordinator of the work experience of their Performing Arts MA; member of Pendaripén, interdisciplinary research group on History of the Romani People, of the University of Seville and has participated in several seminars on Critical Romani Studies of Central European University.