“My testimony is for young people. Don’t leave your future to the hands of bloody fools! You must resist. You must resist the discrimination, racism, violent evictions to which the Roma and Travellers are falling victim across all of Europe. We, the old ones have lit the flame. Now, it is up to young people to feed it, make it grow, and so that we become stronger. Young people, stand up! Stay standing, and never fall to your knees!”
Raymond Gurême (1925-2020), from speech at the annual Dikh he na Bister commemorations on Roma Genocide Memorial Day at Auschwitz Birkenau, August 2 2016
To exist is to resist; astar e iag [feed the flame]. Launch featuring live performances. Produced by Romano Lav in collaboration with Lorenzo Tebano, Morwenna Kearsley, and Alex Popa. Free admission; refreshments provided. No registration required; all welcome!
Launch of Romano Lav’s Community Archive: an ongoing multimedia project capturing the many lives of Romani people in Govanhill, traversing countries, nationalities, and generations, as well as documenting the work of Romano Lav, Govanhill’s anti-racist Roma community organisation. The archive launches with its first public collection: a multigenerational retrospective of the Clydebank Polish Roma band Romane Cierhenia’s family history. Showcasing never-before-seen images and archival footage of Roma musicians and dancers in 1970s Poland, beautifully restored. This first collection is complemented by objects and artefacts crowdsourced from contemporary Roma homes in Govanhill.
Site-specific sound sculptures made by young pupils from Annette Street Primary School in dialogue with local artist Lorenzo Tebano, whose art practice was reimagined as a series of workshops for school-age pupils commissioned by Romano Lav (funded by Places Called Home, Ikea). Tebano works with collective memories and imagined narratives of neglected green urban spaces to construct large-scale site-specific instruments. Reflecting on the relationship between nature and the built environment, the instruments were created through group listening and gathering of materials from the local area. The children made fantastical models inspired by their encounters with these sounds, sights, and sites, as well as by Tebano’s own works. These models were then scaled up and made into playable, life-size structures in the weeks that followed. A collective of ‘sound hunters’ was forged through these endeavours, which will culminate in a one-off improvised performance at the opening. Exhibition visitors are encouraged to engage in play or performances of their own thereafter.
‘Roma’ photo series by Romano Lav’s Community Catalysts: a group from Romano Lav’s radical grassroots community education programme for Roma youth with a focus on equality, human rights, and resistance. Photo series produced by Roma youth in workshops facilitated by Morwenna Kearsley and Alex Popa as part of their Culture Collective residency at Street Level Photoworks. This exhibition of staged photographic portraiture aims to celebrate inspirational Roma people from history alongside self-portraits made in and around Govanhill.
Opening includes live performances from:
17:30 - Annette St. Soundhunters Collective (Live) playing person sized site-specific sound sculptures.
18:30 - Romane Cierhenia (Live) local Roma Gypsy Jazz band play fiery traditional Gypsy music, accompanied by their colourful troop of dancers.
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