‘We want to talk’: The cultural revolution of José Heredia Maya

Sixties and seventies. Last decades of Franco's dictatorship in the midst of a climate of international political effervescence. José Heredia Maya began to develop the idea together with Mario Maya while he was immersed in an intense activity between the Poetry Department and the Flamenco Studies Seminar at the University of Granada. The final show would premiere in January 1976 with the production of José María Ojeda, with a script and poetry by José Heredia himself and with the stage direction of the also mentioned dancer and choreographer Mario Maya Fajardo (1937-2008). On stage, the voices of flamenco singers such as Gómez de Jerez and Antonio Cuevas, El Piki. The dance of Concha Vargas and the guitars of Paco Cortés and El Chuscales would do the rest: history. To commemorate the author of that momentous work, Camelamos naquerar, the University of Granada has just reissued all of his writings. Six hundred pages that bring together poems and stage dramas, commitment and denunciation, with the gypsy people as the protagonist.



Czech Police prosecuting one of the men who assaulted Romani people in Sokolov this summer, Internal Affairs says officers' procedure was correct

The Czech Police have launched the criminal prosecution of one of the assailants who attacked Romani people in Sokolov earlier this year. On the other hand, the behavior of several persons who insulted the intervening police officers in a vulgar fashion has been reported to the relevant local administrative body as misdemeanors against civil coexistence.

The behavior of the officers who intervened at the scene of the clash has also been investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs and none of the officers were found to have committed any wrongdoing.

 The incident transpired on 23 July at the Sokolov train station. After disembarking from a train, a group of aggressive young men first assaulted young Romani children who were playing there.

The men later also attacked adults. Several Romani people suffered minor injuries and one woman's arm was broken by the aggressors.

Eyewitnesses said that during the brawl, the group of youths shouted "Black swine, we'll kill you, to the gas chambers with you!" at the Romani people. The police later confirmed that some of the attackers were "ultras", fanatical followers of a team that plays at the top of the Czech national football league.



The play aims to reduce anti-gypsyism in Finland

The Roma are the largest ethnic group in Europe, also the most discriminated. In theaters have rarely been told on the stage about prejudice against the Roma, about their lives, customs, community or problems within an ethnic group. The Finnish-language play “Black, Blacker, Romani” (Musta, Mustempi, Romani), written and directed by Elina Izarra Ollikainen, opens up a personal and historical perspective for Finnish and Romanian Roma. The play takes strongly a stand. There is lot of a documentary knowledge about Roma, a history dating back to the 17th century and everyday encounters from different decades to the present day. The director wants to break the heartbreaking silence what kind of racism faces the Roma in Europe also nowadays.


The director and her team have done careful background work: The director has read FRA's Roma research reports, interviewed numerous Roma experts, decision-makers and organizations, as well as Roma in Finland and Romania. In addition to the director, half of the actors belong to ethnic minorities. As the FRA research report is read, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, the EU's official anthem, is playing in the background - and wearing jackets decorated with Romani flags, a group of people slowly pull tents covered by EU flag canvas like Ilya Repin's painting Barge Haulers on the Volga. 80 % of European Roma lives below their country’s at-risk-of-poverty threshold; every third Roma lives in housing without tap water; every third Roma child lives in a household where someone went to bed hungry at least once in the previous month.


The Lovers Theater of Pori is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Its performance is a breathtaking dialogue with the audience. Each rapidly changing scene illuminates a new perspective on anti-gypsyism and the play moves forward strongly without the moods stopping. The viewer is kept vigilant. The audience lives with the play and the actors sometimes take along the audience e.g. by offering champagne and tapas to the front row and handing out commercials to get job offers. The facts and a few video interviews intertwine with the playful episodes.


The strong video interviews of Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP and Marja Pentikäinen, Director of the Deaconess Institute, are projected on the back wall of the theater. Pietikäinen states that the rule of law will not be implemented in the case of the Roma when they have been evicted from their homes and the fundamental rights to work and education has also been taken away from these Roma. Poor Roma from Romania and Bulgaria have come to Finland to earn a meager living for themselves and their children through occasional jobs such as selling The Big Issue (Iso Numero) magazine. A Romanian Roma mother begging in the frost on the street says she can’t even say her child’s name when she is missing the child so deeply.


The play contains important basic information of Roma history. The law of hanging of the Swedish Empire and the approximately 1.5 million Roma victims of the Holocaust of Nazi Germany are remembered. It is not known, that Finnish Roma were killed in concentration camps during World War II, but the theater team traveled from Tallinn by local train to the Klooga concentration camp victims' memorial and found out that thousands of Roma had been killed there. In Finland, the Roma fought alongside others in World War II, but after the war, discrimination against the Roma began as before.


The play is bold, artistically uncompromising and evokes a lot of thoughts - not forgetting humor and the madness of life. There is a lot of suffering, but also laughter, warmth, dancing and momentum - sincerity and self-irony, in front of which the viewer have to meet and reshape their perceptions of Romani culture. Hidden ancestry is also told in the play. The protagonist describes how he has always struggled with his Roma identity; he sums up that he is “White on the inside, Romani on the father’s side”.


Anti-gypsyism is evident in the short and sharp staccato scenes of the play, which are skillfully rhythmized. Romances between Roma and non-Roma are not easily accepted. The Finnish Romani women and men are identified on the basis of traditional clothing, and the guards often follow them in shops and are not always served. In Europe, services is worse than in Finland and dozens of people even die every year as a result of violence by the authorities, an example from North Macedonia.


The play makes Romani flags known and the decision of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior on 8 April 2021 that International Roma Day is a general flagging day, when it is possible to raise a Roma flag on the flagging pole. The play ends with the Roma anthem Dzelem, Dzelem performed by Esma Redžepova, a Roma singer from North Macedonia. The Roma anthem decided at the founding meeting of the International Romani Union - IRU, fifty years ago, on April 8, 1971, when the IRU decided on the above three Roma symbols.


High quality theater performance.




Black, Blacker, Romani. Pori Lovers Theater. Screenplay and direction by Elina Izarra Ollikainen, staging and costumes by Mirkka Nyrhinen, choreography by Heli Keskikallio, flamenco by Maria Kause, sound and lighting design by Johannes Vartola, video recording by Kalle Kuisma. Starring Yasmin Ahsanullah, Henrik Hammarberg, Kai Tanner and Outi Vuoriranta.

Roma women must not be victims of a new "Public Room"

Several Roma NGOs issued a statement to the public in reaction to the recently published explicit photos and videos on social networks.


It states

Dear,We are appalled by the recent cases of sexual harassment of Romani women and girls on social networks.
Namely, on August 21, 2021, a fan page appeared on the social network Facebook, where compromising and explicit private photos and videos of them are published so that they can be demoralized and devalued.

 On the same Facebook page on October 6, 2021, a call was published for the collection of photos and videos of Romani women and girls in order to publish them and as stated in the announcement "public display of" dishonest women "." Koj mangena shaj dena slike privno te ubacina e nepostena manusen “)

The posts themselves contain private photos and videos of Roma women living in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, but also outside our country, and some of their photos show their minor children. All the posts on the above-mentioned Facebook page cause an avalanche of harassing comments and hate speech from individuals, as well as calls for a public lynching, which violates the dignity of the Roma women whose photos have been published.

Because of all this, we call on women who are directly affected by these posts, as well as all other users of the social network Facebook to report such posts first using the tools for reporting such disturbing material on Facebook, and then to report such abuse. to the competent institutions and / or to the citizens' associations. At the same time, we call on the institutions:

 Ministry of Interior, Department of Computer Crime and Digital Forensics -

The Basic Public Prosecutor's Office -

The Agency for Personal Data Protection -…

Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination -…

to act immediately and urgently after a touched voice and to eliminate these harmful practices that aim to damage the dignity and reputation of Romani women!

 We must not allow the case of "Public Room" to be repeated!

 As a society, we must not allow harassment, misuse of personal data and public hate speech against women whose sole purpose is to tarnish the dignity and public reputation of Romani women.

FaLang translation system by Faboba



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