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Edouard Chiline: Soviet Russia in the 1920s - 1930s and the Roma Renaissance.

lecture

17.12.2018 18:30

Display, Dittrichova 9, Praha 2

Vast changes affecting the majority of Russian Roma took place in the wake of the 1917 Russian revolution. Regrettably, however, most Gypsiologists and others commenting on that period limit their attentions to the founding of the Romani theatre (1930) and the translation of some political brochures and pamphlets into Romani language. Is that so? Should we be more gentle and precise in looking back? Today, in the time of Facebook and Instagram we can criticize things that were happening in the past. But for the traveling minorities who were roaming the earth for centuries and never had a source of history past it was an incredible event. Unfortunately, due to the way of life, eternal struggle for survival and in many cases a misperception of written knowledge, Romani people lacked the literary past which could help to cement the nation. In this case as Jewish people were always saying – “Never forget”, the core of Romani existence was – “Never remember”.

Let’s step back to the history of NEP. The so called New Economic Policy implemented in 1921 reintroduced an element of capitalism. The Soviet state maintained control of major concerns such as heavy industry, banking and transport, while the free market flourished lower down the scale. Private enterprise – restaurants, shops, small-scale manufacturing and even the transfer of some larger enterprises to private hands was back. Peasants were allowed to work their farms again provided they did so within the communal system and restricted their labour force to family members. Taxation replaced the produce quota system and the state retained ownership of the land.

As one of the main government concerns was the immense illiteracy of the population, the Soviet government launched a literacy campaign and set about reorganizing the school system. Education was free of charge but subjected to the Communist ideology. It combined book-learning with physical labour. It’s sound bizarre today but under the communist government non-Russian nationalities and other minorities were authorized to set up their own schools in which teaching had to conform to official policies. The doctrine was one of fusing communism with national cultures with the unexpected effect of sparking a renaissance in the latter. From 1925, when Soviet control was felt to be securely established, the country enjoyed a brief period during which minorities were encouraged and supported in developing their distinctive cultures.

On the 20th February 1928, the newspaper Izvěstija published a decree issued by VTZIK All Union Central Committee to all Roma residing in the Russian Federationrecommending that they change their lifestyle from nomadism to sedentarism. It is also placed all authorities under obligation to provide Roma with land on which to establish agricultural cooperatives.

What is the most interesting in the context of my report is that due to the revolution, emphasis on promoting intercultural action in general and specifically, Romani education, the “Romengro lav” (Romani word) literary group came into being in 1929. Its members included Ivan Rom-Lebedev, M. Polyakova, N. Duadorova, K. Alekseeva, A. Polyakov, G. Lebedev and many others. The group’s objective was “to strengthen the language and to create a Romani literature”. The arts, music and theatre experienced a great resurgence and artists enjoyed enormous creative freedom. The first great event in the Romany arts was the 1931 debut of the play Yesterday and Today in the world’s first Romani theatre “Romen” in the Soviet capital. The Romen theatre is the only survivor of the glorious Romani renaissance and Soviet efforts to promote Romani language and learning. Following the fall of communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian Romani intellectuals from various groups have endeavored to set up Romani schools but given the current state of the Russian economy and the authorities’ lack of interest these efforts have not been particularly successful.

Edouard Chiline comes from the Romani community of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. He was born in 1968 and studied theatre history and film management at the Moscow Art Theatre School. His main work so far has been on issues of film, culture and media. He is the creator and publisher of Rombiblio, the biggest online source of Romani language literature, available at www.rombiblio.ru. Further projects relate to the political economy of international film festival, trans-national cinema and pan-European cinematic migrations. Edouard Chiline has published widely in a variety of film and media journals. His research has been funded by the Soros Foundation and the Next Page Foundation.

Lecture will be held in English and will be translated to Czech.

Free entrance

Event is in the cooperation of tranzit.cz

support: Ministerstvo kultury ČR, MČ Praha 2, Magistrát hl. m. Prahy, Agosto Foundation

Kija raťakeri škola Předlice

Fotka uživatele Na ulici nepůjdeme.

The history of the Afro-American struggle for equality II.

The second of a series of three lectures by the columnist and editor of A2 Matěj Metelec,
which shall take place on the site of the evacuated boarding house.

The second lecture on the struggle of Afro-Americans for freedom and equality shall focus on the period from the First World War to the heat of the battle for civil rights in the mid 1960s. We shall look at the main current of this battle, as personified by Martin Luther King jr., at the boycotts and mass events held especially in the American South. However, the lecture shall centre chiefly upon the radical movement in the North, as it formed within the environment of the Nation of Islam organisation, and we will devote special attention to one of the most important figures of the radical black movement of all time, the charismatic speaker Malcolm X.

15 June, 19:00–21:00, Klíšská 53, Ústí nad Labem
Organised by Na ulici nepůjdeme! And the Romafuturismo Library

Kija raťakeri škola Předlice

The history of the Afro-American struggle for equality I.

The first of a series of three lectures by the columnist and editor of A2 Matěj Metelec,
which shall take place on the site of the evacuated boarding house.

The Afro-American struggle for equality erupted in its full force after the Second World War, and its victorious battles were waged in the 1960s. However, it was formed by the entire history of blacks in America, beginning with slavery. It was precisely this experience that was and remains to this day the basis of the relationship between black and white America, and the struggle against racism and discrimination. For this reason, the first lecture focuses on how blacks first came to America, what awaited them there and how after the end of slavery they began to struggle for equality.

7 June, 19:00–21:00, Klíšská 53, 400 01 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic

Organised by AMARE Předlice and the Romafuturismo Library

Romafuturismo Library!

Fotka uživatele Knihovna Romafuturismo.

We are opening Romafuturismo Library! At these days there are dozens of books from Roma writers, about Roma people and other publications with emancipatory topics in Romany, Czech, Slovak, Russian, English, French and other languages. In the day of opening we will be reading whole day - from 7 am till 7 pm and exceptional book of Eleny Lackové I was born under a happy star.At the evening there will be an opening party with a selection of music by Mary C, come!

Romafuturismus

“NEPRIESTRELNÍ, ten život na nás páli svoje

for so long we have become

invincible.

We have experiences that have made us strong. This is the moment

we are invincible.

We don’t fall to our knees, we are unafraid of anything, because

sme, NEPRIESTRELNÍ. (Nepriestrelní).”

Refrén a slova ze skladby “Nepriestrelní” rappera P.A.T.a si můžeme bohužel přímo spojit s nedávnou tragickou událostí v Chomutově, kde byl z rasistických důvodů zastřelen čtyřiatřicetiletý Rom. Jako abstraktní metafora se tento text může blížit myšlence afrofuturismu, která vznikla v polovině minulého století ale je aktuální i v současné době.
Afrofuturismus popisoval situaci, ve které Afroameričané naleznou spravedlnost až ve vesmírné diaspoře existující mimo planetu Zemi. Vědecká fantastika se tak stala vizí naděje a útěchy před “bílým” útlakem.

Public debate on Kateřina Šedá's publication Brnox

The book is in the form of a guide via ten routes around Cejl and its surroundings (Brnox), and since its publication in 2016 it has generated a range of positive and critical responses. The point of the discussion, held directly in locations to which the book relates, shall be to hear the opinions of those invited to attend, and subsequently to engage in a debate with them.

Diskuse se zúčastnili: Pavel Barša, political scientist employed at the Institute of Political Science of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University and the Institute of International Relations, Lucie Faulerová, academic in the field of Czech studies and editor of Brnox / Průvodce brněnským Bronxem, Ondřej Liška, Country Director Czech Republic Ashoka, Miroslav Maixner, ethnologist, doctoral student at the Brno Faculty of Fine Arts, Ilona Németh, artist and professor at the Bratislava University of Fine Arts, David Oplatek, social worker, director of the Citizen's Advice Bureau, Brno, Peter Pollák, university lecturer, Edita Stejskalová, political scientist, civic activist, Tomáš Ščuka, Youth Roma Parliament, graduate from police academy, Kateřina Šedá, artist, author of the Brnox project. Moderated Václav Drozd.

Organized in cooperation with artyčok.tv (www.artycok.tv) and tranzit.cz.

The event took place 6.4. 2017 in Mikulášek restaurant (Elgartova 8, 614 00, Brno-Husovice)

ENGLISH
CZECH ROMANI ENGLISH