Remembrance Artist Talk
On 2nd August, we remember the 500,000 victims of the Porajmos, the Holocaust of the European Romani people during the National Socialist era. The day refers to the murder of about 4,200 Romani people, mainly children, women and old people, in the night of 2nd to the 3rd August 1944 in the so called “Gypsy Family Camp” at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. But we also remember people who were subject to centuries of antigypsyism and antisemitism in Europe, and who were killed during the countless wars, during slavery, colonialism and through several genocides such as in the former Ottoman Empire, Rwanda, Namibia, Srebrenica and in many other places around the world.
Remembrance Artist Talk
World Migrants and Refugees Day is an international day proclaimed by the United Nations. It celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution. Romani lives have also been linked to flight and displacement for centuries. Yet in the current mainstream political discourse, Roma are denied the status of refugees, labelled as “economic refugees” and accused of deliberately abusing the welfare system. But those who come to Germany just to survive the winter and deliberately expose themselves to traumatising deportation are not calculating cheats, but people in need who have no chance of a dignified life in their country of origin because of racist discrimination. Being a refugee is not only about survival in the country of origin and during the flight. After arriving, refugees are exposed to exclusion and threats from the right. At the latest After the right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau in February 2020, the question of survival after flight is becoming increasingly urgent in Germany.
Here to Survive Artist talk
Artist talk on the 3rd Phase of the 2nd Roma Biennale. The theme of this phase is ‘Survival’ reflecting on and starting with World Migrants and Refugees Day. This day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home countries to escape conflict or persecution. Romani lives have also been linked to flight and displacement for centuries. Yet in the current mainstream political discourse, Roma are denied the status of refugees, labelled as “economic refugees” and accused of deliberately abusing the welfare system. Join us to discuss these topics, and the artworks created in relation to this theme with:
‘Here to Survive’ Featuring Artworks by: Nihad Nino Pušija, Krzysztof Gill, Sead Kazanxhiu, Dan Turner, Jeffrey Wynne Danyang Zhao, Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Selma Selman, Charles Newland and Kristóf Horvath. Curated by Hamze Bytyci and Delaine Le Bas
Nomadic Seeds – VI. CARING
Medicinal Plants and their Coexistence
18:00 C.E.T (Berlin, Rome, Vienna)/ 17.00 G.M.T (London)/ 12.00 Noon E.S.T (New York)/ 11.00 C.O.T. (Bogota)/ 22.00 B.S.T. (Dhaka)
To Register please email: email@example.com
– HEALING PLANTS & COEXISTENCE
Dear old and new gardeners, activists and wild plants,
we invite you to the sixth edition of NOMADIC SEEDS – (HEALING) PLANTS & THEIR COEXISTENCE. We will dedicate this meeting to the conviviality of (healing) plants. Which ones come along well with each other and which ones will not grow together or even kill each other? We encourage you to share your practical experiences, thoughts and questions with the whole group. Please write us if you would like to show something and need technical help or any other support.
In the meeting we will also take a look at the already submitted works for the exhibition space at Rotor, Centre for Contemporary Art in Graz and watch the Planting Protest Performance at the 29th May in Weimar. Also Mara will take us (if the wheater allows it) to the garden of Orto Semirurali in Bolzano where she founded the Nomadic Healing Wheel with an intercultural group of gardeners. This time our meeting will take place as in common – we will meet as the Nomadic Seeds Group via Zoom. The meeting will not be streamed and will just be accessible to you who got invited.
ABOUT THE SESSION (Duration: 90 minutes)
A) PLANTS & THEIR COEXISTENCE – SHARING SECRETS & QUESTIONS (30 minutes)
B) TEA – BREAK WITH ANOTHER GARDENER (15 minutes)
C) CONVIVIALITY OF NOMADIC SEEDS
(FROM THE EXHIBITION AT ROTOR, GRAZ) (15 minutes)
D) CONVIVIALITY OF MEMORIES (ABOUT THE PLANTING PROTEST PERFORMANCE OF THE COLOMBIAN MFA GROUP IN PARADISE, WEIMAR) (10 minutes)
E) PLANTS IN A NOMADIC HEALING WHEEL
(NOMADIC HEALING WHEEL, BOLZANO) (20 minutes)
We are looking forward to seeing you!
Delaine and Mara <3
Here to Survive
Nachbarschaftscampus Dammweg Dammweg 216, 12057 Berlin
Opening of the III. phase of the Roma Biennale WE ARE HERE! As part of 48 Stunden Neukölln
Please pay attention to the hygiene measures of 48 Stunden Neukölln: https://48-stunden-neukoelln.de/de/page/hygieneregeln
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the self-organised art festival by and with Roma and BIPoC artists opens its third phase on the theme of survival.
The open-air event celebrates the strength and courage of people who have left their old lives, their loved ones, and their own homes – to survive, to escape bombs and life-threatening conditions. Amid the (post-)migrant district of Neukölln, however, the question of survival after having fled also arises: after the right-wing terrorist attack in Hanau in February 2020, the danger to the lives of many racialised people in Germany became real.
Thus the centre piece of the event and stage at the same time – the truck Captain Django Sastipe, specially designed for the 2nd Roma Biennale by Damian James Le Bas – bears the names of the people murdered in Hanau on its forehead. In addition, to live music by Orphe Band, video artworks by Kristóf Horváth, Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Selma Selman, and Charles Newland, among others, will be projected in the truck during the event, as well as artistic posters by Nihad Nino Pušija, Krzysztof Gill, Sead Kazanxhiu, Dan Turner, Jeffrey Wynne and Danyang Zhao. Under the motto “Art is not a luxury good, but a necessity”, posters can be taken away.
The neighbourhood campus Dammweg will serve as our space: a long-closed and enchanted wasteland that has been brought back to life by the Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln – from the initiative of Urbane Praxis, coordinated by Berlin Mondiale and in cooperation with S27 – Kunst und Bildung and Laial e.V.
As part of the 2nd Roma Biennale WE ARE HERE!, 50 artists address five different aspects of BEING HERE from the perspective of the racialised, oppressed and marginalised on the occasion of important anniversaries of the history and present of Roma between 8 April and 24 October: self-confession, resistance and resilience, survival, memory and finally the very fact of existence.
The 2nd Roma Biennale WE ARE HERE! is a project by RomaTrial e.V. in co-operation with Allianz Kulturstiftung. Supported by the LOTTO Foundation Berlin. The media partners are Monopol and Der Freitag.
After the end of the Second World War, it took 37 years for civil rights activists from Romani communities to obtain recognition of the genocide of the Romani people by the German government. On 17th March 1982, after countless demonstrations and even a hunger strike by Holocaust survivors and their supporters in Dachau, the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt declared: “The Sinti and Roma were severely mistreated by the Nazi dictatorship. They were persecuted for racial reasons [...]. These crimes constituted genocide.” After another 20 years, the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism was inaugurated in Berlin-Mitte on 24th October 2012. For many survivors and their descendants, it represents a symbolic grave that the victims never had. And for the descendants of the perpetrators, it is a memorial as well as an expression of responsibility not only for the injustice committed, but for the observance of human rights in today's Europe. But for the German state, all this seems to be only half as important. For several months, negotiations have been going on about how much this place may be damaged because of the construction of a city train line. The question is being asked, are representatives of the Berlin government, the German Parliament and the German Railways – the successor organisation to the Reichsbahn, which made a profit with transports to the concentration camps – taking back their declared responsibility for the genocide? In any case, they are deliberately ignoring voices of the survivors. And they ignore all those whose existence is affected by an intervention in the memorial. The monument bears witness to our history, and stands symbolically for hundreds of thousands of our ancestors whose lives were extinguished. There is often nothing more than our memory and this Memorial. The Memorial bears witness to the existence of our ancestors and thus also to our present reality.
On 8th April 2021, Roma around the world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the First World Roma Congress, which took place in the UK on 8th April 1971. For the first time, Roma from both Eastern and Western Europe raised their voices in the fight against antigypsyism and in a common struggle for a better future. It was the breakthrough for a new political movement, with 23 representatives from nine countries taking part. The term "Roma" for "people" was accepted as a self-designation to create a new common self-awareness and to demand the recognition and respect from society. The foundations of the international Roma emancipation movement were complemented by the new anthem and flag adopted by the 1971 Congress. But even 50 years later, many Roma still do not openly show their identity, out of well-founded fear of discrimination and rejection in various forms: from losing a job and having less of a chance to get a flat, to verbal and physical attacks and police violence. The mere confession of oneself and one's own identity can therefore by no means be taken for granted in 2021. We therefore take the 50th anniversary of World Romaday on 8th April as an opportunity to reflect on self-confession.
Stream: Roma Army
At a time when Europe is at risk of drifting into neo-fascism, a group of actors is calling for a Roma army for the purpose of self-defence. A rapid intervention force to fight structural discrimination, racism and antiziganism, but also as emancipation from an internalized role of victims. The actors are Romnija, Roma and Romani Travellers from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden. They are also Israeli-German-Turkish-Berlin Gadjé – that means that the Roma Army is supranational, diverse, feminist, and queer. Initiated by the sisters Simonida and Sandra Selimović, they enter the stage at the Gorki in a collective act of self-empowering artistic action with resident director Yael Ronen. A joint research process, personal experiences, historical contaminations and contemporary incidents are all used to explore and develop the play. Together with visual artists Delaine and Damian Le Bas from England, they sketch out a vision for a Safe European Home in Gypsyland Europe, as the Le Bas call it.
An idea by: Sandra Selimović, Simonida Selimović
By: Yael Ronen & Ensemble
Directed by: Yael Ronen
With: Mehmet Ateşçi, Hamze Bytyçi, Mihaela Drăgan, Riah Knight, Lindy Larsson Forss, Orit Nahmias, Sandra Selimović, Simonida Selimović
To the stream: https://dringeblieben.de/videos/roma-armee
With the solidarity and friendly support of the Maxim Gorki Theater.
ROMANISTAN: WE ARE HERE! Live Talk on the 2nd Roma Biennale
A live talk from the Gorki about what the international Roma movement has achieved in the 50 years of its existence and the role played by art, culture and feminism.
Agnes Daroczi, leading figure of the feminist Romnja movement and writer
Delaine Le Bas, artist and co-curator of the 2nd Roma Biennale,
Zeljko Jovanovic, Director of the Open Society Roma Initiatives Office,
Grattan Puxon, co-initiator of the First World Roma Congress
Moderation: Hristo Kyuchukov, Linguistics professor and activist
With the solidary and friendly support of the Maxim Gorki Theater.
ROMANISTAN: Romaday live-stream from the Maxim Gorki Theater
Brought together by one of the initiators of the First World Roma Congress, Grattan Puxon, Roma activists from various countries around the world developed a diverse programme that will be broadcast from Berlin to the whole world on 8th April – based at the Maxim Gorki Theater, the “headquarters” of the 1st Roma Biennale 2018. The unique programme shows live flash mobs and protests (among others against the exclusion of immigrant Roma in the UK after Brexit), a documentary video from the historical location of the first Congress in 1971 in Orpington near London, video interviews with witnesses of the First Congress produced especially for this event, videos about the situation of Roma in various European countries and its development over the last 50 years, and live music from the Gorki. The complete programme is available at www.romanistan.com.
With the solidary and friendly support of the Maxim Gorki Theater.
Denkmal für die im Nationalsozialismus ermordeten Sinti und Roma Europas, Berlin
15:00 CEST: Rally at the Memorial to the Murdered Sinti and Roma of Europe (Simsonweg, 10557 Berlin, S + U Brandenburger Tor), followed by a parade to the Berlin Ministry for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (Am Köllnischen Park 3, 10179 Berlin)
In 1971, activists fought for the recognition of the genocide against Romani people of Europe. However, it was not until 2012 that the respective memorial was inaugurated as an expression of Germany’s responsibility for the genocide. “Now our dead also have a home,” said Auschwitz survivor Reinhard Florian, at the monument’s inauguration, standing in front of the dark well shell.
In 2021 we must fight to keep this place untouched! In the eyes of the Berlin government, the German Parliament and the German Railways – the successor organisation of the Reichsbahn, which made money out of transports to the concentration camps – the memorial is now up for debate and is in danger to make way for the construction of a suburban city train line.
Instead of acknowledging the Europe-wide significance of this site and guaranteeing its complete preservation, the transport minister is conducting negotiations without the public present, and the German Parliament is rejecting a route that is safe for the Memorial because the noise could be too much of a nuisance for the politicians and their employees.
This reckless and non-transparent attitude of the key institutions of the German state is scandalous! Therefore, together with many other initiatives that are also fighting for a diverse, just culture of remembrance, we call for a parade from the Memorial to the Murdered Sinti and Roma of Europe to the Berlin Ministry for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection.
On 16th May, we remember the uprising of the Romani people in the so-called “Gypsy Family Camp” of Auschwitz-Birkenau and celebrate their strength to resist the Nazi regime - despite the seemingly hopeless conditions and exhaustion. On 16th May 1944, the SS decided to close the camp and murder all inmates in gas chambers. But the inmates seized improvised weapons and barricaded themselves in their barracks. The SS, presumably fearing a mass uprising throughout the concentration camp, called off the operation. A few weeks later, about 3,000 strong men and women were transported to other camps before another attempt was made to “liquidate” the camp on 2nd August 1944. Thanks to this unique act of resistance, many lives were saved. Even today, many Roma, Black, Muslim, queer communities and People of Colour, especially women, have to show courage and resilience every day to fight against the system of oppression. Especially for people who experience intersectional discrimination, the struggle for their self-determination and existence is ongoing. In the second phase, the Biennale explores different perspectives of resistance and resilience.
Nomadic Seeds: PLANTING RESISTANCE A Planting Ritual for Colombia
Online registration via firstname.lastname@example.org•Livestream
Online Manifesto and Protest against Police Violence in Colombia by Nomadic Seeds & Mesa Usmeka Bogota
Online registration via email@example.com
We invite you to be part of our online manifesto and protest performance on the 29th of May. We will listen to and share voices of protesters and activists in Colombia and a manifesto of healing plants for resistance. In memory of 41 killed protesters and 1500 protesting victims of police violence we will then all together plant in an online ritual our plants of resistance and memory.
(Full detail below)
PLANTING RESISTANCE is a collaboration between NOMADIC SEEDS and the MESA USMEKA in Bogota, Colombia and part of the ROMA-BIENNALE 2021. With healing plants that our ancestors used to heal when we were children, today we try to heal the pain and the wounds that violence has inflicted on us. We want to share with all of you a manifesto we built with the knowledge about these plants. We believe that amidst all of this, tenderness, compassion and taking care for each other can always be remedies for resistance. NOMADIC SEEDS is a platform for dialogue and exchange about healing plants and a place for the seeds of friendships to grow. It was founded by the artists Delaine le Bas and Mara Lea Hohn as a reaction to CoViD-19 with an urgency to invent strategies of self-care and create accesses to natural and non-industrial remedies independently from pharma-industries or governments for everybody. https://instagram.com/nomadic.seeds
USMEKA is a communitarian collective based in Usme at Bogota‘s southeast. There it is working with rural, farmers and indigenous communities. It believes heritage and memory have key roles in territorial, social and cultural planning and most of all, that they are keys in the way we connect with each other and built our territories. Their work has been focussing on El Carmen, one of the oldest archaelogical and indigenous findings localized in Bogotá.
(90 minutes ; Live-Stream on Zoom and roma-biennale.com)
Protesters and activists will speak openly about the current situation and express their views and perspectives.
2) MANIFESTO *PLANTS OF PROTEST*
USMEKA will present a manifesto, introducing healing plants, plants of protest and resistance that are supporting immunity in times of violence and oppression.
3) SILENT PROTEST PERFORMANCE
We will then perform online a silent protest performance. Please prepare for that a plant or seed, a pot and some soil. We will name the names of the 41 protesters that were killed in the last weeks in Colombia. In their names we will then plant our plants of choice in a digital community ritual. We invite you and your friends and family to take part in this.//Please prepare a plant or seed, a pot and some soil that you can plant from wherever you are (e.g. your kitchen, your balcony, etc.). The plant you plant will create a memory, will respond with life, care and hope and is by that an act of resistance against cruelty and death. Please encourage as much people as you can, to join. The more we are the stronger the power of our performance can be.
Health is not a Luxury – Rest to Resist
Online Anmeldung via firstname.lastname@example.org
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde
Online with previous registration via email@example.com
Healing and health are human rights that have been denied to Black, Indigenous, People of Colour as well as Sinti and Roma for too long through white supremacy and structural racism. Many of us carry transgenerational and intergenerational trauma and experience racism on a daily level. The resulting wounds and individual coping mechanisms affect our lives not only in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres, but inscribe themselves deeply into our nervous systems. Gail Parker summarises these embodied effects as race-related trauma and stress.Acknowledging these wounds, as well as our capacities for resilience, is part of consciously centring our personal healing as part of our political activism aimed at structural long-term change.Let’s explore together how conscious work with our body, breath and mind can benefit our personal healing and the healing of our communities.
Patricia Pientka grew up in a family that lived between Germany and Spain and still today she lives this multi-based way of life. Currently, her bases are in Berlin and India. In Berlin, she studied contemporary history and philosophy and is sometimes still active in several projects around the history and presence of Sinti and Roma in Berlin. In 2013, her study Das Zwangslager für Sinti und Roma in Berlin-Marzahn. Alltag, Verfolgung und Deportation was published.
Two years later and after a decade of practicing Yoga, Pientka found her way to India and became a Yoga teacher. Since then, she has emerged herself deeply into the holistic system of Yoga and spends many months per year studying with her teachers. As a result of her Yoga practice, she could finally detach from a lifelong search for belonging and discovered a space of wholeness and oneness that she loves to hold and share with everybody joining her for Yoga and meditation practices. See less
Remember To Resist! Manifestation
At the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under National Socialism
Remember To Resist! Vigil
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered under National Socialism
On the occasion of Romani Resistance Day, we will send a clear signal at the Memorial to the Murdered Sinti and Roma of Europe in light of the historical and current power of resistance of marginalised and racialised people. On 16th May 1944, Sinti and Roma stood up in Auschwitz-Birkenau and fought back against certain death in the gas chambers. Thanks to this unique act of resistance, many lives were saved.
The memory of the exemplary courage of the prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp gives many Romani, Black, Muslim-read, queer communities and people of colour even today the necessary power of resistance to fight against the system of oppression. For many people, especially people who experience intersectional discrimination, the struggle for their self-determination and existence is ongoing.
On 16th May, we condemn grievances in our society: racism, patriarchal structures, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and all other forms of discrimination and misanthropy. But above all, we remember our heroines and heroes and celebrate the resistance and resilience that enable our communities to survive!
Our language is art: From 1 to 3 p.m at the Memorial to the Murdered Sinti and Roma of Europe, the truck Captain Django Sastipe, designed by Damian James Le Bas specifically for the 2nd Roma Biennale, will make two important artists from the Roma communities visible: the Polish poet Papusza, who survived Nazi persecution and gave expression to her suffering in her poems written in Romanes from 1946 onwards, and the Spanish artist Helios Goméz, who spent many years in prison as a convicted opponent of the fascist Franco regime.
In the truck itself, there will be projections of artworks by Sujatro Ghosh, Roland Korponovics, Delaine Le Bas, Kálmán Várady, Ludovic Versace and the Roma Jam Session Art Collective RJSaK as well as a music video by Riah Knight. There will also be an introduction to Romani Resistance Day by Pierre Chopinaud and Anina Ciuciu. Posters by the mentioned artists can also be picked up from 1 to 3 p.m.
At 2 p.m there will be a manifestation with speeches by activists from different Roma and BIPoC communities on the current situation of Roma and other marginalised people in Europe and beyond.