Romani actors should refuse to perpetuate stereotypes in Czech television programs

I want to make one thing clear from the outset: I am not writing this commentary to criticize Zdeněk Godla or any other Romani actors in the Czech Republic. What I want to discuss is how gadje [non-Romani] directors or screenwriters, in tandem with Romani actors, promote all the (long outdated!) clichés about Romani people that we see here on TV in the Czech Republic.
Imagine, for example, that you're watching a recent public service announcement. We hear Romani csardas music and we see a Romani man walk into a building and up to reception desk, behind which sits what appears to be some kind of hipster nurse.
A Romani man is standing in a hole in the ground in a tracksuit (Adidas, more, of course!). A gadjo man asks him: "Patrik, do you know how to dig?" and the Romani man answers "You're kidding, right? You're asking a black guy if he knows how to dig, right? I was born with a pickaxe in my hand!" and as if that isn't enough, he launches into an intellectual outpouring explaining that "whatever Patrik fucked into the ground with a pickaxe, he didn't fuck into a woman."


According to viewers, "Heaven Wheel Earth" irritates the viewer's sad emotions

The premiere of the documentary "Heaven, Wheel, Earth" is behind us, but the reactions of those who were part of the premiere on August 31 still do not subside.
According to the reactions, as they say, the film conveys the dramatic history of the Roma in a very calm way and in a calm tone, without this usual sadness, which occurs when watching a documentary about people who have suffered. Completely dignified and without attempt to further irritate the sad emotions of the viewer. From a spectator position, an unloading film.
At the same time, according to the other part, the viewer says that the documentary "Heaven, Wheel, Earth" visually presented the scientific explanation of the origin of the Roma. From the aspect of video production, they say that the story was successfully assembled through interesting visual effects as well as materials that were presented for the first time. They recommend the film to the general public in order to get acquainted with the history.

Cheers at the premiere of "Heaven - Wheel - Earth" - Silent narration of the turbulent and dramatic history of the Roma

The premiere of the documentary film on the history of the Roma "Heaven-Wheel-Earth" took place on August 31 at the Cinematheque of Macedonia in the open air, in a summer setting and due to the pandemic of Covid 19 with a limited number of visitors (eighty guests). Part of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the Government and Parliament of RN.Macedonia, municipal representatives, cultural and film workers and others were invited.

Prior to the premiere, he was honored with a minute of silence by the prominent Roma ethnologist and researcher prof. Dr. Trajko Petrovski who at the same time with his statements was part of this film project.

After the screening of the film, the producer of this film Zoran Dimov and part of the team that worked on this film, as well as some of the present high guests had their speech. The applause at the end of the film was a sign that the film "touched" the audience.

The impressions of the attendees were mixed, from one extreme to the fact that they learned very interesting hitherto unknown facts about the Roma from their history, tradition, culture and also touched by the tragic and difficult fate through various periods in history.

One of the journalists present wrote in his impression and impressions: "The film is excellent, very 'quietly' tells a turbulent and dramatic story, quite calm to watch, and disturbing with the theme itself, rich in various important and archival materials."

Now it is the turn of "Heaven - Wheel - Earth" to "conquer" the world through various festivals.


The moment that changed Alexandra Alexandrovic's life: The teacher calls me to class and I hear myself saying "Yes, I'm Roma"

She rose above everyone and showed them who she was! The fight was hard and painful but it was worth it. But how she fought for her place in society and overcame all prejudices against Roma, said Alexandra Alexandrovic, 28, of Novi Sad.

- Yes, I was discriminated against because of my skin color and because I am Roma. There are different ways of discriminating.

When I was in the third grade of elementary school, the teacher separated the children, the whites from the dark ones. White children were placed in the first benches in front, and dark-skinned children were placed in the last benches, with an empty space between those benches.

Whenever I raised my hand to answer her questions, she ignored me. As if we, the darker children from the last club, didn't exist - Alexandra recalls her childhood.

- I came home crying and told my father what was happening. The next day my father went to school, talked to the teacher and the situation was no longer like that.

But after a few days, the teacher, while checking our homework, asked me, Alexandra, are you a Roma woman? And I replied, "Yes, I am a Roma woman." At that moment there was silence and silence, the children were watching me, as if I had said something terrible and terrible.

- We are all aware that while you are a child, you experience all this intensely, that then many things are traced and the foundations for the further life are laid.

- Otherwise, discrimination and racism still exist. but what I can do is not let it affect my psyche, and not let it fall.

- In parallel with the foundation, I attended a lower music school in "Isidor Bajic" in Novi Sad and my main instrument was the accordion. Then I enrolled in music high school, keyboard instrument, but I also kept the accordion and played in the orchestra.

Then I enrolled at the Academy of Arts. Studio program Ethnomusicology, with the main instrument tambourine and piano. After graduating, I enrolled in a Master's degree in Theater, a drama department at the Novi Sad Academy of Arts. I spent the winter semester in Novi Sad, and the summer in Norway in the city of Bergen through the Erasmus exchange program for many students. I successfully defended my master's thesis and thesis entitled: "Interculturalism in the teaching units of music and mathematics" and I obtained a master's degree in dramatic pedagogy, said Alexandra.



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