Fighting for Roma rights
Roma (Gypsies) are the poorest and most marginalised ethnic group in Europe. Many children are not welcomed or encouraged to go to mainstream schools. It is difficult for them to make friends with other children, since those children hold common prejudices against them. Many families live in bad conditions, and are not able to take advantage of other social services because of the racism and ethnic discrimination which is dominant in Europe. Many Roma are refugees.
Belonging to a minority group, speaking a different language and having a different culture are positive aspects of our world, and should be a source of celebration and understanding - not discrimination.
The annual One Minutes Jr. workshop for young people from communities across Europe (Slovakia, Serbia & Montenegro, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria), among other things gives space for young Roma people to publicise their own messages in a 60 second video(this year it took place in September). The videos are entered in the yearly One Minutes competition, that this year ended with a festival in Amsterdam on 21 November 2004. Many of the videos have won awards. You can see the videos at the One Minute website , or at the MAGIC website.
Why not enter next year? Keep an eye out on the MAGIC calendar here!
'Culture Body-Body Culture: Roma and Gadze' is a project which explores the situation of Roma people in Central and Eastern Europe, to inform people positively about Roma people, their traditions and culture. Through the project, an international festival on the theme of Roma culture is organised, including theatre, dance, stories, photography, film and music.
Young Gypsy Travellers in Scotland have been celebrating their contemporary culture and their rich cultural heritage through an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. The 'Who We Are' project creatively uses strong oral tradition, music and story-telling, to tackle the prejudices Gypsy Traveller children face, and to dispel some common myths and misunderstandings. 'We hope our project will show other people that we’re not different. We’re just the same – we just have a different background,' says Diane, age 14.
Take a look at what the ERRC (European Roma Rights Centre) is doing to promote and advocate for the human rights of Roma. It campaigns against racism and discrimination of Roma.