Arts and culture in the European Commission assessment of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies and the Council Recommendation

by John Trajer, ERIO on September 14th, 2016

The EU Commission’s report emphasises a need for “more focus on Roma youth” in measures promoting Roma participation, stating that “[t]he situation of Roma children remains particularly worrying” with regards to exclusion.

To promote the “active citizenship” of Roma it points to a number of cultural projects, including its own transnational awareness-raising campaign entitled ‘for Roma with Roma’. This aims at fighting anti-Roma stereotypes through working with media, promoting cultural understanding, and supporting twinning projects between local authorities. It also contains elements related more specifically to youth education and the arts that are directly relatable to the META project, such as the organisation of school drawing competitions. 

Under examples of approaches relating to Roma inclusion strategies in the various EU Member States, the report identifies ‘culture’ as an “additional area not covered under the EU Framework or the Recommendation”. Under this title the report enumerates a number of initiatives aimed at the inclusion of young Roma through artistic projects.

One such initiative is the Museum of Roma Culture in Bucharest, Romania. This is funded privately by Ciprien Necule, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture, according to whom a number of “craft classes” and “children’s programmes” will be organised at the museum.[1] [although this museum was severely damaged in a fire in December 2015]

Another project detailed in the report is a “targeted photo project” organised by the civil society organisation ‘MTÜ Ambulartoorium’ in Estonia, 2015. So as to fight discrimination and increase public understanding of young Roma, Roma children and youths were given cameras and took pictures of what they considered important or interesting, and wrote a story to accompany these photos. This project, organised by photographer Annika Haas (responsible for the travelling “We, the Roma” documentary photo exhibition), will be showcased online later in 2016. More details can be found at http://romachildren.ee/en/projektist/.

[1] http://www.roconsulboston.com/Pages/InfoPages/Culture/RomaMuseum.html



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