CEU Honors International Roma Day with Student Exhibition 

The Center for Arts and Culture at CEU, in cooperation with CEU Roma Access Programs, hosts “Remember, Retell, Reclaim,” an art exhibition to commemorate International Roma Day. The exibition runs through May 6.

Remember, Retell, Reclaim presents original works by the students and alumni of CEU’s Roma Access Programs and Slovakian Roma students from Matej Bel University. In the artists’ view, International Roma Day is a celebration, a festive event, but it is much more than that. It is also as an event which has a political dimension to it. Therefore, the workshop that brought the students together to produce artwork for this exhibition, was conceived as a celebration itself, a pleasant time spent together by reflecting on Roma identity, everyday life and history. Simultaneously, the exhibition seeks to invoke dialogue with the viewer about these topics.

The title, Remember, Retell, Reclaim, hints at the activities the students engaged in, and it is also a message to the audience concerning representation of historical events. The themes developed for the workshop sought to surface individual, idiosyncratic ideas, feelings and stories as well as similarities among the participants. The students created their artworks from the position of an individual, a member of (a) Romani family/ies, a member of Romani (in)formal groups, and a descendant of a lineage of people. They reflected on songs they love and shared stories. They discussed the nature and significance of the celebratory and memorial events like International Roma Day and the WWII Roma genocide remembrance, and honoured the victims by turning themselves into one-minute statues. Lastly, they thought about a place that feels like home, be it is their parents’ place, an actual place of residence, or an imagined place.

Collaborators and artists:

Arman Heljic, MA, Department of Gender Studies, CEU

Denis Vaitsekhovskii, Roma English Language Program, CEU

Ebru Ertas, Roma English Language Program, CEU

Emília Rigova, Pedagogical Faculty, Matej Bel University

Janos Jeri, Roma English Language Program, CEU

Jelena Savic, MA, Department of Philosophy

Marina Csikós, Roma English Language Program, CEU

Marinela Isuf, Roma English Language Program, CEU

Nikola Ludlová, MA, Department of History, CEU

Yulian Kondur, Roma Graduate Preparation Program, CEU

The workshop and exhibition was supported by and organized in coordination with CEU’s Roma Access Programs and the Center for Art and Culture, the Slovak Institute, and Pedagogical Faculty of Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. This international project brought together CEU Roma students and Slovakian Roma and non-Roma students and educators.