international rrom seminar

  • Conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar

    In three intensive days of Seminar, we could not only remember and bring back memories of the most dramatic historical episode for Rromani people, but also we could reflect on the challenges that we still have to face as a community.

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    Peter has relived with us some of his most tragic life experiences. He has shared his personal memories, his personal pain. He has personified the suffering of the Rromani people and, through his words, we have come to understand the scope of this underestimated tragedy, that has been forgotten by History, and which is still, in an indirect and more subtle way, a daily rampant reality for a lot of Rromani people.

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    The fact of remembering this historical events, is not only an exercise of collective reflection. It is, first and foremost, a way of maintaining our identity alive, contributing in this manner to a world-wide promotion of diversity and accordingly combatting discrimination, which is always, as Nazzareno said, the result of diversity rejection. Through linguistic diversity and diversity of cosmovisions, mankind multiplies its abilities to face the (often unexpected) challenges of life and increases its harmony on this planet. This means that it is a major asset not only for peoples bearing a non-dominant identity (as it is our case) but for the entire mankind.

    Oblivion has been the mechanism used for sidelining Rromani people, denying Rromani history and underestimating Rromani collective identity. This brought a major loss not only for the Rroms themselves but as well for Europe as a whole.

    The Rroms’ genocide, or Samudaripen in Rromani language, should not only be described in terms of  quantity or numeric value – probably 500.000 to 600.000 directly killed Rromani victims. It cannot be only understood in full on the mere basis of the number of killed victims. In other words, it is necessary to underline the quality aspect of the Samudaripen and to point out the magnitude of all the indirect sufferings caused to by our people, including survivors and the community as a whole.  Let us recall that Rroms were considered, as Marcel Courthiade explained, “contents of freight wagons” (sometimes not even counted) or “surplus of elimination”. He also detailed 15 elements which led to the “oblivion” of the Genocide. Decades after the war, German authorities were still denying the racial character of Himmler’s Auschwitz-Erlass (decree) and subtely justifying his criminal actions.

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    It is also crucial to circulate the word Samudaripen (or Sa-Mudaripen), as the real Rromani name of this genocide, and discard the Jewish fondamentalist concept of “Holocaust”, heavily loaded with a providentialistic theological feeling (and as such rejected by most Jews, who say Shoah instead) as well as the obscene and respectless word Porrajmos.

    Thanks to Aldo Rivera and Iovanca Gaspar, we could understand why all this suffering caused by the Samudaripen is still present in our daily life; why and how it is transmitted from generation to generation as a traumatic experience and frustration – not only at the individual and family, but also social and collective, levels; how the horror started to become part of the victims and how it was extended to their family and social network – shared by young Rroms at the very moment they hear about it for the first time.

    The negation of Rromani identity is still a tangible reality in the XXI century, but Rromani people are known for being amazingly able to overcome pain and reinvent themselves, thanks to their capacity to recover through creative life, music, art, work, family and community. And, ultimately, for their capacity to stay alive and standing upright.

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    Integration, in its genuine meaning, is a symetrical respectful recognition of both sides of the process, and therefore it cannot be achieve without the recognition by the majority of our values, heritage, true history (not legends coined by outsiders), culture and creativity, contribution to Europe, including economical inputs, in one word the reality of our people. Such a recognition should not be a simple declarative act but should be embedded into school curricula, general culture and ultimately everybodies’ basic awareness.

    We should be proud of that, and we should also be proud to be part of a community that is an example of integration and coexistence, because we have never subjugated other people. Rroms have always been well integrated, preserving their values and heritage, while sharing those of the majority population – except when they were excluded, expelled, imprisonned, enslaved, murdered or otherwise treated as innate enemies of the mainstream population. Unfortunately this historical fact is seldom recognized by others and this negation is a politically correct expression of modern Gypsophobia.

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    Thanks to Violeta, Sandra, Nazzareno, Ana Dalila…we have remembered that Samudaripen was not only a matter of Germany, because many other countries played an active role in order to achieve our extermination. And it is only now when some of those countries begin to apologize for what they did. The excellent 45-mn movie DUJ RROMA, with Peter’s brother Hugo – another victim of the Samudaripen, as the main character, made palpable the everyday life in Auschwitz-Birkenau and as such should be widely circulated with multilingual subtitles (10 languages available so far) through schools and other educational structures all over Europe.

    Rromani people have been socially presented throughout History in a pejorative way, being subjected to cultural denial and to rejection of their identity. When authorities are asked why no actions have been taken to defend actively Rromani people, the only answer is silence. We cannot accept that silence anymore. We have to reclaim the incorporation of all our History, not only Samudaripen, to be part of the curriculum of schools, secondary schools and universities, on the basis of the current state of art in this matter, not while repeting the legends of the past.

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    Authorities should be aware of the mistake that has been made, they should also apologize once and for all, and they should set up a mechanism ensuring that atrocities like this one, never happen again, for nobody. But the truth is that anti-Gypsyism is still alive, in a modern way – thriving often under the form of Gypsophobia, “fear of the Gypsies” (“precautionary principle”). Gypsophobia is not in fact a fear of the real Rroms but of the Gypsies, namely the constructed fiction of dangerous Rroms, clearly much more saleable than any traditional “hate of the Gypsies”. Under this new clothing, discrimination remains in force and, in many places, Rromani people are still treated in an inhumane manner, because the classical anti-racist discourse is not any more adapted to this new waves of intolerance, growing under renewed appearances – most often also intertwinned with corruption, be it financial or ideologic.

    We need to be able to think as a community, as a people. It is necessary to reflect on what we can do in order to invert this situation. Giving talks about the Samudaripen in schools and universities, where hardly anybody knows anything about it, is a peaceful and efficient manner to achieve such crucial changes. Conversely, forgetting the Samudaripen would be dangerous, because this would let us grow indifferent and as a result we would be much more vulnerable to injustice. Remembering the past, passing it on to future generations and increasing the visibility of this problem among people, will allow us to prevent the recurrence of horror.

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    What is more, we have to overcome victimization and go further, emphasizing examples of Rroms, who played and are still playing a role as political players and therefore can change realities. In addition, it is important to make our people more and more aware of their real capacity to have an effect on History.

    We are a peaceful community, an example to be followed. We have never subjected anyone. On the contrary our very existence is a lesson in humanity to history. So, it is needed that we play an active role to transform our societies.

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    However, in order to change other people’s perception, we need to meld our own perception and to be really proud of what we are, of our heritage and potentialities. Reclaiming every life that has been taken would be impossible, but bringing back memories is possible.

    What can and should we do?

    We have to remember the past and make it visible. What is more, we have to claim a compensation for damage. Memory is the tool that enables us to prevent anti-Gypsyism. Something (closely or remotely) similar to the Samudaripen is not acceptable to happen again and we have to combat actively any resurgence of such social diseases leading from refusal of diversity to genocides through all forms of discrimination.

    The restoration of a dignified Rromani identity, leading to respect, alleviation of discrimination and of subsequent social problems, relies on the recognition and promotion of the Rroms’ identity, Rromani language and history, nowadays accessible on the online university course “Restore the European Dimension of Rromani”.

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    In order to counter the negation of the Rroms’ history and identity, it is essential to teach its real course and the real events, beginning with the Proto-Rroms’ exodus from the Indian former capital city of Kannauj in 1018, their deportation to Afghanistan and Khorassan, their first contacts with Europeans during the Crusades, their life in the Byzantine space, Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, their slavery in Moldova and Ţara Românească and definitely the Samudaripen. One step could be done in publishing a bilingual (Rromani and Spanish/Catalan) anthology of poems devoted to the Samudaripen. Another excellent opportunity to illustrate this strategy of wide enlightment will be the millenium of the exodus of the Rroms’ ancestors from Kannauj in Madhyadesh and to make a huge cultural, scientific and political event out of it. This would be a good example of how we can ensure the knowledge transference to young Rroms and other fellow citizens, involve civil society in order to remember the past and fight against discrimination and hate crime.

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    The recuperation by Iberian Rroms of the gorgeous and so tender Rromani language is also a major venture, to which a Spanish and a Catalan versions of the course in line R.E.D.-RROM could contribute powerfully.

    Moreover, we need to join our forces and promote the development of associations of Rromani people. We have to be active in existing networks to exchange knowledge, so that we can act together in order to defend ourselves against discrimination and injustice, giving this way an inspiring example for all other nations. The crucial point now is to make our youngsters aware of this issue and convince them them organise themselves with all other Rroms to ensure our right as a people, as a community.

    One of the first actions they could do is to upload on Youtube clips explaining the outputs of this conference (especially about the use of the word “Samudaripen”) and all kinds of ludo-educational clips about our history, legacy and culture. It is essentiel in this respect to work together and provide efficient tools and appropriate answer meeting the needs of the community, to offer alternatives to our young people, and above all, to implement effective strategies in combatting all kinds of discrimination, especially hidden and/or interweaved with financial and/or moral corruption.

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    In conclusion, we hope that all of those reflections turn into a collaborative effort joined by Rromani associations, public authorities, and civil society as a whole, in order to move forward together towards a renewed society, truly inclusive and respectful for all.

    See wordpress of Mem Rom Project

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  • Conclusions and recommendations of the VII International Rroma Seminar

    “Memory of the Rroma Persecution in Europe”

     

    On November 27, 28 and 29, 2017, the VII Rroma International Seminar “Memory of the Rroma Persecution in Europe” took place in Valencia.

    See program of the VII Rroma International Seminar

    The participation in the seminar was very satisfactory, with 150 participants, more organization and speakers. For three days, the history of the Roma people was discussed, as well as their migratory movements and social behaviors as a result of the persecutions suffered.

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    To offer this knowledge and learning, the VII International Rroma Seminar had speakers from all over Europe and also from Latin America. Their names and conferences are in the Program of the VII Rroma International Seminar.

    Professionals in the study, work and research of the history of the Roma people and their culture, directors of associations at an international level and activists who fight for the rights of the gypsies presented their knowledge about the Rroma people from different perspectives according to the country of origin.

    It was three days of sharing knowledge, reflections and real examples of the situations of rejection and racism with which the Roma population must face, in their day to day life. Marcel Courthiade told us about the denial that prevails, not only in his country or in Europe, but internationally, on the Rroma people. The history and culture of the Rroma ethnic minority is a great unknown to society, although it is part of the history of humanity and has contributed much knowledge and evolution. There are sources of information, there are documents with centuries-old dates in which the culture and philosophy of the Roma people are recorded, but even so, and as Marcel said, “there is denial, and when there is negation, everything else does not exist”. It concluded that the lack of knowledge about the gypsy ethnic group leads to discrimination and oppression against the Rroma, it is the formula of the negationism of the gypsy people.

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    We learned about the situation of the Roma population in Germany, a country in which the national-socialism practiced by the Nazi dictatorship was born and which killed hundreds of thousands of gypsies. Aldo Rivera explained that the ideology of said dictatorship, that of the Third Reich, "did nothing but confirm what the other Reich did, from the time when the gypsies arrived in Germany (year 1407); and they pass three reigns, or three periods, of the history of Germany under this observation, analysis and systematic persecution ". A talk on policies and actions against the Roma in Germany, without following a chronology, but maintaining "the same ideology that takes the national-socialist line very well to implement the final plan, or what they called the final solution, to exterminate and extract this germ of social cancer that were the gypsies ", explains Aldo. In Germany, the situation of the Roma continues to be one of denial and exclusion, entire families still do not overcome the "horror" of having lived inhumane situations in the Nazi death camps.

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    Another testimony of the global nature of the negationism worldwide was that of Hugo Alejandro Paternina Espinosa. He said of the Rroma people in Colombia that “from the other side of the sea is the other son of Pachamama, a town that has a presence in America since the third voyage of Columbus, and that today we can not continue to write social history and culture. politics of the continent, of Colombia in particular, without referring to the immeasurable contributions that the Rroma people have made to the construction of Colombianness and Americanity “. A negationism that resists making Gypsies and Gypsies participate in the history of the continent, their presence and their brand as an ethnic group that coexists in the same space. There is a “huge ignorance”, in the words of Hugo, about the gypsy people, who have been in America for centuries but are a “seen but not observed” people.

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    With Ana Dalila we were able to expand our vision and knowledge of the Rroma people in Colombia. He explained how the legislation in Colombia does not contemplate equality between a majority society and the minority that the Roma population supposes. The first law referring to the Roma population dates from February 11, 1581 and was approved by Felipe II, who Ana summed up “the gypsies had to be separated from the Indians because they deceived them and led them to have a bad example , here we see that since the sixteenth century and in America, in Colombia, there was already news of gypsies in bad ways. Forbidding them all because they already considered us a bad thing. “In her country, the laws have not evolved in a direction of social equality, but there is what she has described as a” differential approach “in which” society has all the laws but we are different, then we do not reach those laws and it is required to make specific laws for the gypsy people “.

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    In Sweden, a country far from Colombia, with a very different culture and traditions, we also highlight in the history of the people a legislation of repression and denial. Adam Parno narrated chronologically the course of the history of the gypsies in his country and the evolution of the laws that were imposed on this minority. Legislation of persecution towards the Rroma people, expulsion of all Gypsies and Gypsies, separation of children from their families, etc. Even sterilization so that they do not continue with their procreation, “it was thought at that time that the clean Swedish race had to be kept in the population and not mixed with the rroma because they brought criminality (…) they could spoil the social structure of the country,” Parno. Centuries and centuries of legislation of denial to the people rroma by the Swedish parliament since his arrival in the country. He highlighted the figure of Catherine Taikon who “in 1950 began to fight for the rights of the rroma in Sweden, and is the person who thanks to her improved the situation in Sweden and his contribution lasts to this day.” Even so, “the rroma still have problems in terms of housing and getting jobs,” follows the denial of the Roma people.

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    We got to know the history of the Rroma people in the presentation of Normunds Rudevics, in a very different and interesting way that attracted the whole public. Through tales of mythology, legends and allegorical works of art, he explained the essence that unites gypsies from all over the world. Through these mythological tales, he made known the origin and evolution and migration throughout the world map of the gypsy people. A history and a mobilization very marked and defined by the persecutions and some “very cruel repressions”, as Normunds affirmed, that still exist and maintain that negationism of the historical footprint of the Rroma people. The idea should be made visible that, in the words of Normunds, “the gypsies are like the others, but different”, and in that plurality of cultures is the richness of the human.

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    If we talk about plurality, we should mention the Solymosi brothers of Hungary, who in their conference reported that “the rroma speak 13 dialects in our country, so they are very diversified”. A country, whose contemporary history is very marked by two totalitarian systems that were established at the end of the 20th century. Two systems with very contrary ideologies, but which both subordinated the gypsy people. On the one hand, the Nazis “thousands of Gypsies from Hungary were killed” in the concentration camps, they were victims of the Samudaripen. “The communist government implanted, with the police, the so-called forced assimilation,” in which the identity of the ethnic group was not respected, “it is not a physical execution but an execution as spiritual. The physical extermination of the gypsies was replaced by the distraction and destruction of their ways of life, their traditional methods and their culture “, as the brothers said. Regardless of the territory they occupy or the system in which they live, the gypsies have always ended up being persecuted and victims of denial. Even with this tragic past, “the neo-Nazi party, believe it or not, is the third most important party in Hungary.” A situation that will have to coexist together with the rapid growth of the Roma population that is speculated that “in 15 years the Roma population will be greater than that of the Hungarians”.

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    Bordering Hungary we find Serbia, a country with also a significant number of Roma population. Robert Kasumovic spoke about the history of the rroma in the Balkans, more specifically in his country. He explained that many studies say that “the rroma people came to Serbia, and to the Balkans in general, in the fourteenth century.” Two very important periods in the history of the gypsies in the Balkans “the first is the period of the Turkish Empire, because in some parts of the Balkans the Ottoman Empire was about 600 years; the other important period is that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that was also in some parts of the Balkans. ” Two empires that legislated with a strong repression towards the gypsies. An example was that “Gypsies could not bury their deceased in Turkish cemeteries. Even now in Serbia, and other Balkan countries, the Rroma have their own cemeteries, “said Robert. He also highlighted the Nazi occupation as a totalitarian and dictatorial system with rules that were directly aimed at the destruction of the Roma people, in Robert’s words “another category of people that was incompatible according to the Nazi ideology, the Roma community”.

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    The situation of the Rroma people in Italy is not an exception. Nazzareno Guarnieri was in charge of publicizing the situation of social exclusion suffered by the gypsies in this country, there is “hatred and fear towards the minority”. In Italy, the rejection of the Roma population is 82% of the population, almost the entirety of a majority that perpetuates the denial towards the Roma minority. A minority that Nazzareno defines from two points of view, “as an invisible and hypervisible minority. Invisible because it is little studied and little told, (…) it is hypervisible, because the little-known of the Roma minority is almost exclusively linked to events of chronic black. Consequently, public opinion only ends up associating the Rrom minority with crime, violence and degradation. ” It is another real example, with real data and figures, of the denial of a global social inclusion of the Roma people.

    Next to Nazzaereno we could hear the testimony of a young rroma, Fiore Manzo, from southern Italy, more specifically from Cosenza. He affirms that there is a strong segregation of the Italian population between gypsies and non-gypsies, and that "the media does not help, the policies go in the same directions, and the nonroman people who imagine the Roms build that differentiation through of negative and superficial representations ". Since the 1980s, regional policies and laws have been carried out that, as a consequence of that negative image that has been created of the Roma people, are destined to segregate the gypsies in the outskirts instead of integrating them into the cities. "We know very well that what happens within the fields, is all negative, segregation leads to a psycho-physical state of depression," among other things. No change is foreseeable in the near future because, as he himself tells us, "a project of 8 million euros has been presented to expand and maintain this nomadic field. It makes us understand that Italian politics does not manage to change the old categories of the past. "

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    The most unique conference was that of Isnet Jasarevic. He captivated the audience with his violin, playing live and singing songs written by gypsy musicians. Through music and poetry, we have been able to know many details about the history of the gypsy people, on this he affirmed that “no historian and no researcher, can speak of a better nation than his old songs”. Isnet told the adventures that narrated the songs and, in this way, he made known the situation of the rroma and its trajectory throughout its history. He defended the idea that the gypsy culture should be visible worldwide, we must make sure that “our language and our history do not fall into oblivion”.

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    Conclusions and recommendations of the VII International Rroma Seminar

    Throughout the seminar we heard testimonies of how the Roma people have been persecuted and socially excluded throughout their history. All the speakers, of different nationalities at international level, agreed that the history of gypsies in their country had been harsh, marked by repression and even inhumane extermination.

    Marcel Courthiade spoke of the negationism of the gypsy ethnic group, of a socially invisible minority of which there is practically no knowledge, therefore, it is denied. After this first contact with the concept of negationism in the first presentation, and at the hand of Marcel, the participants in the seminar were able to identify this negationism towards the Roma population in the rest of the conferences.

    It is a reality that the majority tries to absorb, repress and deny minorities that become different and distant. There are no just laws for these minorities, there is only exclusion and marginalization. And this is not an exception that occurs in certain territories, this is the norm of behavior worldwide. The Roma population, among many other minorities, suffers the consequences of this isolation for centuries.

    The proposal in the VII International Rroma Seminar is to make visible the situation of the Rrom throughout the world map and to make society aware that a change is necessary and necessary. Eliminate this negationism that does not allow the Roma people to advance towards a totally equal and respectful reality towards all ethnic groups, cultures and traditions. Reaching the whole society but also the institutions, which are the ones who make the laws and their duty and only objective should be to spread equality and ensure that it is real equality. As Aldo Rivera affirmed, "if we want a joint solution, we will have to prepare the new generations at work in these political, legislative, and professional spheres, more than just a search for justice without more fundamentals, simply an emotional approach".

    As Ana Dalila Gómez Báos said in her presentation “the objective of those of us who are here is precisely to make visible and socialize the advances we have made in peace, as a peaceful people that we are”.

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  • Conclusiones y recomendaciones del VII Seminario Internacional Rroma

    "Memoria de la Persecución Rroma en Europa"

    Los días 27, 28 y 29 de noviembre del 2017 tuvo lugar en Valencia el VII Seminario Internacional Rroma “Memoria de la persecución Rroma en Europa”.

    Ver programa del VII Seminario Internacional Rroma

    La participación en el seminario fue muy satisfactoria, con 150 participantes, más organización y ponentes. Durante tres días, se habló de la historia del pueblo gitano y también de sus movimientos migratorios y comportamientos sociales a consecuencia de las persecuciones sufridas.

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    Para ofrecer estos conocimientos y aprendizajes, el VII Seminario Internacional Rroma contó con conferenciantes de toda  Europa y también de América Latina. Sus nombres y conferencias se encuentran en el Programa del VII Seminario Internacional Rroma.

    Profesionales en el estudio, trabajo e investigación de la historia del pueblo gitano y su cultura, directores de asociaciones a nivel internacional y activistas que luchan por los derechos de los gitanos expusieron sus conocimientos sobre el pueblo Rroma desde diferentes perspectivas según el país de procedencia.

    Fueron tres días de compartir conocimientos, reflexiones y ejemplos reales de las situaciones de rechazo y racismo con las que se deben enfrentar, en su día a día, la población gitana. Marcel Courthiade nos hablaba del negacionismo que impera, no sólo en su país o en Europa, sino a nivel internacional, sobre el pueblo Rroma. La historia y cultura de la minoría étnica Rroma es una gran desconocida por la sociedad, aunque forma parte de la historia de la humanidad y ha aportado mucho conocimiento y evolución. Hay fuentes de información, existen documentos con fechas de hace siglos en los que se registran la cultura y filosofía del pueblo gitano, pero, aun así, y como afirmó Marcel “existe la negación, y cuando hay negación todo lo demás no existe”. Concluía con que la falta de conocimiento sobre la etnia gitana lleva a la discriminación y opresión contra los Rroma, es la fórmula del negacionismo del pueblo gitano.

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    Conocimos la situación de la población gitana en Alemania, país en el que nació el nacional-socialismo practicado por la Dictadura Nazi y que asesinó a cientos de miles de gitanos. Aldo Rivera, explicó que la ideología de dicha dictadura, la del III Reich, “no hizo otra cosa que confirmar lo que los otros Reich hacían, desde la época en que los gitanos llegan a Alemania (año 1407); y pasan tres reinados, o tres periodos, de la historia de Alemania bajo esta observación, análisis y persecución sistemática”. Una charla sobre políticas y actuaciones contra el pueblo gitano en Alemania, sin seguir una cronología, pero sí manteniendo “una misma ideología que toma muy bien la línea nacional-socialista para implementar el plan final, o lo que ellos llamaron la solución final, para exterminar y extraer éste germen de cáncer social que eran los gitanos”, explica Aldo. En Alemania actualmente la situación de los gitanos sigue siendo de negación y exclusión, familias enteras siguen sin superar el ‘horror’ que supone haber vivido situaciones inhumanas en los campos de exterminio nazis.

     

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    Otro testimonio de la globalidad del negacionismo a nivel mundial fue el de Hugo Alejandro Paternina Espinosa. Decía del pueblo Rroma en Colombia que “desde el otro lado del mar es el otro hijo de la Pachamama, un pueblo que tiene presencia en américa desde el tercer viaje de Colón, y que hoy no se puede seguir escribiendo la historia social y la cultura política del continente, de Colombia en particular, sin hacer referencia a los inconmensurables aportes que ha hecho el pueblo Rroma a la construcción de la colombianidad y de la americanidad”. Un negacionismo que se resiste a hacer partícipe a los gitanos y gitanas de la historia del continente, de su presencia y su marca como etnia que convive en un mismo espacio. Existe un “descomunal desconocimiento”, en palabras de Hugo, sobre el pueblo gitano, que lleva siglos en América pero es un pueblo “visto pero no observado”.

     

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    Con Ana Dalila podimos ampliar nuestra visión y conocimientos del pueblo Rroma en Colombia. Explicó cómo la legislación en Colombia no contempla la igualdad entre una sociedad mayoritaria y la minoría que supone la población gitana. La primera ley que se refería a la población gitana data del 11 de febrero de 1581 y fue aprobada por Felipe II, que Ana resumió “los gitanos había que apartarlos de los indígenas de los indios porque los engañaban y los llevaban a tener un mal ejemplo, aquí vemos que a partir del siglo XVI ya en América, en Colombia, ya se tenía noticias de gitanos de malas formas. Prohibiéndoles todo porque ya nos consideraban algo malo.” En su país, las leyes no han evolucionado en una dirección de igualdad social, sino que exista lo que ella ha calificado de un “enfoque diferencial” en el que “la sociedad tiene todas las leyes pero nosotros somos diferentes, entonces no alcanzamos a esas leyes y se requiere hacer leyes particulares para el pueblo gitano”.

     

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    En Suecia, un país muy lejos de Colombia, con una cultura y tradiciones muy diferentes, también destacamos en la historia del pueblo rroma una legislación de represión y negacionismo. Adam Parno narró de forma cronológica el recorrido de la historia de los gitanos en su país y la evolución de las leyes que se imponían a esta minoría. Una legislación de persecución hacia el pueblo rroma, expulsión de todos los gitanos y gitanas, separación de los niños rroma de sus familias etc. Incluso esterilización para que no que continuaran con su procreación, “se pensó en ese momento que había que mantener en la población la raza sueca limpia y no mezclada con los rroma porque traían criminalidad (…) podían estropear la estructura social del país”, explicó Parno. Siglos y siglos de legislación de negación al pueblo rroma por parte del parlamento sueco desde su llegada al país. Destacó la figura de Catherine Taikon quien “en 1950 empezó a luchar a favor de los derechos de los rroma en Suecia, y es la persona a la que gracias a ella mejoró la situación en Suecia y su contribución perdura hasta hoy en día”. Aun así, “los rroma todavía tienen problemas en cuanto a la vivienda y conseguir empleo”, sigue el negacionismo del pueblo gitano.

     

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    Conocimos la historia del pueblo Rroma en la ponencia de Normunds Rudevics, de una manera muy diferente e interesante que atrajo a todo el público. A través de cuentos de mitología, leyendas y obras de arte alegóricas, explicó la esencia que une a los gitanos de todo el mundo. Mediante estos cuentos mitológicos, dio a conocer el origen y la evolución y migración por todo el mapa mundial del pueblo gitano. Una historia y una movilización muy marcadas y definidas por las persecuciones y unas “represiones muy crueles”, como afirmó Normunds, que todavía existen y mantienen ese negacionismo de la huella histórica del pueblo Rroma. Se debe visibilizar la idea de que, en palabras de Normunds, “los gitanos somos como los otros, pero diferentes”, y en esa pluralidad de culturas se encuentra la riqueza del ser humano.

     

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    Si hablamos de pluralidad, debemos citar a los hermanos Solymosi de Hungría, que en su conferencia informaron de que “los rroma hablan 13 dialectos en nuestro país, así que están muy diversificados”. Un país, cuya historia contemporánea está muy marcada por dos sistemas totalitarios que se instauraron a finales del siglo XX. Dos sistemas con ideologías muy contrarias, pero que ambos subordinaron al pueblo gitano. Por una parte, los nazis “miles de gitanos de Hungría fueron asesinados” en los campos de concentración, fueron víctimas del Samudaripen. “El Gobierno comunista implantó, con la policía, la llamada asimilación forzosa”, en la que no se respetaba la identidad de la etnia, “no se trata de una ejecución física sino que es una ejecución como espiritual. La exterminación física de los gitanos se reemplazó por la distracción y la destrucción de sus formas de vida, sus métodos tradicionales y su cultura”, como afirmaron los hermanos. Sin importar el territorio que ocupen o el sistema en el que convivan, los gitanos siempre han terminado siendo perseguidos y víctimas del negacionismo. Incluso con este pasado tan trágico “el partido neonazi, lo crean o no, es el tercer partido más importante en Hungría”. Una situación que tendrá que convivir junto al rápido crecimiento de la población gitana que se especula que “en 15 años la población gitana será mayor que la de los húngaros”.

     

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    Haciendo frontera con Hungría encontramos Serbia, un país con también un número importante de población gitana. Robert Kasumovic habló de la historia de los rroma en los Balcanes, más concretamente en su país. Explicó que muchos estudios dicen que “el pueblo rroma llegó a Serbia, y a los Balcanes en general, en el siglo XIV”. Dos periodos muy importantes en la historia de los gitanos en los Balcanes “el primero es el periodo del Imperio Turco, porque en algunas partes de los Balcanes el Imperio Otomano estuvo como unos 600 años; el otro periodo importante es el del Imperio Austro-Húngaro que estuvo también en algunas partes de los balcanes”. Dos imperios que legislaron con una fuerte represión hacia los gitanos. Un ejemplo era el que “los gitanos no podían enterrar a sus fallecidos en los cementerios turcos. Incluso actualmente en Serbia, y otros países balcánicos, los rroma tienen sus propios cementerios”, dijo Robert. También destacó la ocupación nazi como sistema totalitario y dictatorial con normas que iban directamente dirigidas a la destrucción del pueblo gitano, en palabras de Robert “otra categoría de personas que era incompatible según la ideología nazi, la comunidad gitana”.

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    La situación del pueblo Rroma en Italia no es ninguna excepción. Nazzareno Guarnieri se encargó de dar a conocer la situación de exclusión social que sufren los gitanos en este país, existe “odio y miedo hacia la minoría”. En Italia el rechazo a la población romaní es del 82% de la población, casi la totalidad de una mayoría que perpetúa el negacionismo hacia la minoría gitana. Una minoría que Nazzareno define desde dos puntos de vista, “como una minoría invisible e hipervisible. Invisible porque es poco estudiada y poco contada, (…) es hipervisible, porque lo poco conocido de la minoría romaní está casi exclusivamente vinculado a acontecimientos de crónica negra. En consecuencia la opinión pública, sólo termina asociando a la minoría Rrom con crimen, violencia y degradación”. Es otro ejemplo real, con datos y cifras reales, de la negación a una inclusión social a nivel mundial del pueblo gitano.

    Junto a Nazzaereno pudimos escuchar el testimonio de un joven rroma, Fiore Manzo, del sur de Italia, más concretamente de Cosenza. Afirma que hay una fuerte segregación de la población italiana entre los gitanos y los no gitanos, y que encima “los medios no ayudan, las políticas van en las mismas direcciones, y las personas no rrom que imaginan a los rrom construyen esa diferenciación a través de las representaciones negativas y superficiales”. Desde los años 80 se han llevado a cabo políticas y leyes regionales que, como consecuencia de esa imagen negativa que se ha creado del pueblo gitano, van destinadas a segregar a los gitanos en las afueras en lugar de integrarlos en las ciudades. “Sabemos muy bien que lo que pasa dentro de los campos, es todo negativo, la segregación lleva a un estado psico-físico de depresión”, entre otras cosas. No se vislumbra un cambio en un futuro cercano ya que, como nos cuenta él mismo, “se ha presentado un proyecto de 8 millones de euros para ampliar y mantener ese campo nómada. Nos hace entender que la política italiana no logra cambiar las viejas categorías del pasado”.

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    La conferencia más singular fue la de Isnet Jasarevic. Cautivó al público con su violín, tocando en directo y cantando canciones escritas por músicos gitanos. A través de la música y la poesía, hemos podido conocer muchos detalles sobre la historia del pueblo gitano,  sobre esto afirmó que “ningún historiador y ningún investigador, pueden hablar de una nación mejor que sus canciones antiguas”. Isnet relató las aventuras que narraban las canciones y, de esta forma, dio a conocer la situación de los rroma y su trayecto a lo largo de su historia. Defendió la idea de que la cultura gitana debe de visibilizarse a nivel mundial, debemos asegurarnos de que “nuestro idioma y nuestra historia que no caigan en el olvido”.

     

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    Conclusiones y recomendaciones del VII Seminario Internacional Rroma

    Durante todo el seminario escuchamos testimonios de cómo el pueblo gitano ha sido perseguido y excluido socialmente a lo largo de su historia. Todos los ponentes, de diferentes nacionalidades a nivel internacional, coincidían en que la historia de los gitanos y gitanas en su país había sido dura, marcada por una represión y, incluso, exterminación inhumanas.

    Marcel Courthiade habló del negacionismo de la etnia gitana, de una minoría invisible socialmente de la que no se tiene prácticamente conocimiento, por tanto, se niega. Después de esta primera toma de contacto con el concepto de negacionismo en la primera ponencia, y de la mano de Marcel, los asistentes al seminario pudieron identificar éste negacionismo hacia la población gitana en el resto de conferencias.

    Es una realidad que las mayorías intentan absorber, reprimir y negar a las minorías que se transforman en diferentes y lejanas. No hay leyes justas para éstas minorías, sólo hay exclusión y marginación. Y esto no es una excepción que se dé en ciertos territorios, esto es la norma de comportamiento a nivel mundial. La población gitana, entre otras muchas minorías, sufre las consecuencias de éste aislamiento desde hace siglos.

    La propuesta en el VII Seminario Internacional Rroma es la de visibilizar la situación de los Rrom en todo el mapa mundial y concienciar a la sociedad de que un cambio es preciso y necesario ya. Eliminar ese negacionismo que no deja avanzar al pueblo gitano hacia una realidad totalmente igualitaria y respetuosa hacia todas las etnias, culturas y tradiciones. Llegar a toda la sociedad pero también a las instituciones, que son quienes hacen las leyes y su deber y único objetivo debería ser difundir la igualdad y velar porque sea una igualdad real. Como afirmó Aldo Rivera “si queremos una solución conjunta se va a tener que preparar las nuevas generaciones en el trabajo en estas esferas políticas, legislativas, técnicas profesionales, más que solamente una búsqueda de justicia sin mayores fundamentos simplemente un planteamiento emocional”.

    Como dijo Ana Dalila Gómez Báos en su ponencia “el objetivo de los que estamos acá es precisamente visibilizar y sociabilizar los avances que tenemos haciendo la paz, como pueblo pacífico que somos”.

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