Culture

Czech film of "The Painted Bird" features Romani child actor in the main role

Last Tuesday an audience of almost 2 000 watched the Czech premiere of "The Painted Bird", Václav Marhoul's new film, in the biggest hall of the Congress Center in Prague. The film was released on 12 September in the Czech Republic.

The director, who opened the Prague screening, is planning a tour of cinemas throughout the country. The central character of the film is portrayed by a Romani boy, Petr Kotlár.
The film is awaiting screenings at more festivals abroad.

"The Painted Bird is not a war film, and it is not even a film about the Holocaust," the official press materials quote Marhoul as saying.

Originally the main role was meant to be performed by Petr's brother, Michal Kotlár. By the time the director had raised the money for the film, however, Michal was too old for the role.

Petr was eight when filming began and his family experienced some rather difficult moments during production. Milan Kotlár, Petr's grandfather and the owner of the Cikánská jizba ("Gypsy Room") restaurant in Český Krumlov, told the Czech News Agency that Petr hadn't wanted to get up in the mornings, made it home around midnight every day during the shooting, and wanted to quit at one point.

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Helios Gómez - Great Roma artist

Helios Gómez is a Spanish graphic artist of Roma origin, born in 1905 in Seville. He was educated at the art and craft school as a painter and decorator of ceramics. His first works have been published in the anarchist journal Páginas Libres, and he has illustrated books by various Spanish authors.

In 1925 he held his first exhibition in Seville, and a year later another in Madrid and Barcelona. Being convinced of the urgency of political change, he joined anarchist groups and chose artistic expression in accordance with his own political principles.

In Gómez's prints, the strong influence of expressionism is felt, especially of politically oriented expressionist prints. The legacy of Cubism and post-impressionist geometrization is also present. Works such as Evacuation have a reference to stylistic elements from the Spanish art tradition, such as the works of Francisco Goya and colorism in the style of El Greco.

Gómez played a major role in the Spanish Civil War, an armed conflict that ran from 1936 to 1939 between various leftist groups defending a democratically elected government and right-wing, nationalist and fascist insurgents led by Francisco Franco.

The left-wing side was fought mostly by the dissatisfied working class, radicalized by the economic crisis, and on the nationalist landowners by the military. Gomez was appointed political union commissioner during the war and sailed on the Bayo expedition to liberate Ibiza and Mallorca and joined the fronts in Aragon, Madrid and Andalusia.

He was also in charge of culture and designed books, newspapers and organized exhibitions. Gómez believed that the Spanish Civil War was part of the fight against a wider problem that threatened the fate of the Roma everywhere.

He was also the initiator of the Roma movement and in one of his interviews emphasized: "... from this war, which will produce many good things, the liberation of the Roma must come." After the war he had to flee to Paris, and on his return from France, 1945 He was arrested and died in Barcelona in 1956, two years after leaving prison.

In 1950, at the request of the prison chaplain in which Gómez served his sentence, the artist agreed to paint murals dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of prisoners, on the cell walls. Since the figures on the frescoes have Roma features, the work is known as Capilla Gitana (Roma Chapel).

The artist's son last photographed the frescoes in 1985, and in 1998 they are painted over. This act was a direct violation of intellectual property law. However, requests for renewal of the work were never accepted.

The theatar Gorki Berlin - Roma Armee

»The community of European peoples went to pieces when – and because – it allowed its weakest member to be excluded and persecuted.« Hannah Arendt

At a time when Europe is at risk of drifting into neo-fascism, a group of actors is calling for a Roma army for the purpose of self-defence.

A rapid intervention force to fight structural discrimination, racism and antiziganism, but also as emancipation from an internalized role of victims.

The actors are Romnija, Roma and Romani travellers from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden. They are also Israeli-German-Turkish-Berlin Gadjé – that means that the Roma Army is supranational, diverse, feminist, queer.

Initiated by the sisters Simonida and Sandra Selimović, they are entering the stage at the Gorki in a collective act of selfempowering artistic action with resident director Yael Ronen: through a joint research process, personal experiences, historical contaminations and contemporary incidents are explored and used to develop a play.

Together with visual artists Delaine and Damian Le Bas from England, they sketch out a vision for a Safe European Home in Gypsyland Europe, as the Le Bas call it.

 

Next week launches promotion of documentary "Support for Legalization of Roma Housing - Mapping the Differences" in seven municipalities across the country

As part of the implementation of the European Union funded project "Mapping Roma Housing Differences" and a sub-grant of the project "Support to Legalization of Roma Housing" Association of Roma Business Information Center - ZRDICM from Skopje was responsible for filming and Interview with stakeholders, Mayors, PE and Cadastre leaders, NGO sector and citizens.

It was realized in the past and is now fully post-production ready for its promotion.

In this context, in the period from 10 to 13 September 2019 it will be promoted in all seven municipalities that were in the scope of implementation.

These are the municipalities of Kocani, Stip, Veles, Kumanovo. Prilep, Kicevo and Municipality of Chair from Skopje.

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