The Roma, Sinti, Kalé, the Manouches and Romanichels are about 16 million worldwide, including 12 million in Europe, and suffer severe discrimination, continued violations of their fundamental rights and many racist attacks in all countries that they are settled in.
The Resolution adopted by the EU in 2011 on the "strategy for integrating the Roma" showed an alarming situation: in the continent, thousands of people belonging to these groups live in extreme marginalization and poverty, exacerbated by the policies of social exclusion by some governments.
But what is the reality in which they live? Are they really all of Roma origin, or many of them are part of that new poor European world, known as "fourth world"?
Are European institutions perhaps trying to "ethnicize" those who live on the margins of the societies by simplifying the enormous complexity of the Romany groups to a compact and monolithic minority, for not having to deal with the worrying and unstoppable process of impoverishment that now affects all, not only these minorities?
The phenomenon of "Roma-phobia" is undoubtedly very entrenched and worrying in all countries of Europe with dramatic consequences on the lives of these people: in 2015, Babelmed will explore the different aspects of it by realizing three cycles of journalistic investigations in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey with the support of the Open Society Foundation.
The first cycle is dedicated to the historical, social, cultural, economic origins of the mythologies and stereotypes that affect these groups in the four countries involved.
The second cycle will examine the practical consequences that these distorted visions have on the lives of the different communities: from the housing problem to the lack of access to education and health, to the social marginalization and exclusion from the labor.
The third one will give visibility to the important cultural and artistic contribution of these populations in Europe and the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the realities in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
The editorial staff will also carry out a mapping of all the associations working on the ground in defense of the rights of Romani people in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey and their activities in the cultural, artistic and social life.
The content produced will be published in French, English and Italian.
On the occasion of the publication of the surveys, in April, June and September 2015, Babelmed will organize three events in Rome to disseminate their content in the libraries of the Roma Multietnica-Servizio Intercultura.
Documentaries realized by filmmakers of Romany culture and selected by Centre Méditerranéen de la Communication Audiovisuelle (CMCA) in Marseille in the last editions of Primed (www.primed.tv) will be screened at each meeting.
The events will see the participation of community representatives, researchers, writers, artists, activists and social workers.
The first meeting took place on April 15 at the Nelson Mandela Library in Rome (Via La Spezia, 21), and addressed the main stereotypes and prejudices against Roma in the four countries involved in the project.
Among the speakers were:
Nathalie Galesne, journalist (editor in chief Babelmed, France);
Övgü Pınar, journalist (Babelmed, Turkey);
Federica Araco, journalist (project coordinator ROM, Babelmed, Italy);
Simone Zamatei, local coordinator of the project "Sar San 2.0" (Cooperative ABCittà);
Laura Halilovic, director.
At the end of the meeting, the documentary " Io, la mia famiglia rom e Woody Allen" by Laura Halilovic (50 ', Italy, 2009), selected to PriMed and kindly granted by the Centre Méditerranéen de la Communication Audiovisuelle (CMCA), was screened .
The project partners
"R.O.M. Rights of Minorities ", supported by the Open Society Foundation, is partnered with:
Associazione Carta di Roma (Italy), born in 2011, to implement the protocol signed by the National Council of Journalists (CNOG) and the National Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI) for accurate information on the issues of immigration. It has become a point of reference for journalists and media workers but also for institutions, associations and activists working for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, minorities and migrants (www.cartadiroma.org).
Bianet.org (Turkey), online magazine in Turkish and English specializing in human rights issues (www.bianet.org).
Centre Méditerranéen de la Communication Audiovisuelle (CMCA), Marseille (France), a network that since 1995 includes tv channels, film producers and other actors in the audiovisual sector in the Mediterranean culture for developing an exchange between the public and private audiovisual operators of the region (www.cmca-med.org).
FederArteRom (European network), a federation of more than eighty associations and organizations, Roma and non, active in the defense of human rights and in raising awareness about the phenomenon of Roma-phobia through art, culture and research (https://federarterom.wordpress.com ).
Servizio Intercultura delle Biblioteche di Roma Capitale (Italy) for many years engaged in the organization of events and projects to promote greater knowledge of different cultures and communities that live in the city (www.romamultietnica.it).
With the support of:
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