FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ

 

What is RomArchive?

RomArchive will be a digital archive for the arts and cultures of Roma, presenting art of all types, enhanced by scholarly texts and historical documents.

Each section of RomArchive has its own expert team of curators, responsible for that section’s contents.

RomArchive is to become an internationally accessible space that makes the cultures and histories of Roma visible and responds to persistent stereotypes by a counter-history told by Roma themselves.

RomArchive makes no claims to completeness, but sees itself as a continuously growing platform featuring representative collections.

With its curated contents, modern storytelling, and intelligent contextualisation, RomArchive differs from static databases in both aesthetics and methodology.

RomArchive is international. The seat of the current project-executing organisation is in Berlin. RomArchive’s curatorial teams and advisory board are internationally staffed, their members being predominantly Roma.

 

What is RomArchive’s Vision?

Making Romani Arts Visible

Wir machen die Künste der Sinti und Roma sichtbar

Ame sikavas Romani Art

 

What is RomArchive’s Mission?

Visibility and Canon Formation

We collect art of all types, complemented by scholarly perspectives, and make it visible in a curated digital archive.

Romani cultures are presented for what they are: a part of global history.

Self-Presentation

We contrast external representations, myth and stereotypes with a counter-history told by Roma themselves, based on established facts.

Permanence & Romani Leadership

At RomArchive, Roma are significantly involved in all decision-making processes. Subsequent to its five-year set-up phase (2015–2019), the archive will be transferred to an international Roma organization.

 

What are the Goals of RomArchive ?

Digitizing Art

We will present and contextualize a representative selection of highly relevant Romani contributions to art.

Our curators select art for the artistic archive sections dance, film, literature, music, theatre & drama, visual arts, and politics of photography, as well as the interdisciplinary section Flamenco.

Moreover, there is a curator for the section on Holocaust as well as a group of curators active for the section on the Romani civil rights movement.

Imparting Knowledge & Tackling Stereotypes

RomArchive will establish a reliable source of knowledge that contrasts stereotypes and prejudices with valid facts.

In our digital and multilingual archive we will make the arts and cultures of Roma visible as integral parts of our common cultural history.

Securing Permanence

We will transfer the project, after its five-year set-up phase (2015–2019), to an international Romani NGO.

 

What are RomArchive’s Strategic Priorities?

Visibility | Reliability | Romani Leadership | Permanence

 

Who is supporting RomArchive?

The participants in the project—within the various working groups there are around 150 actors from 15 countries across Europe and beyond—form a worldwide network of artists, scientists and activists, most of whom come from a Roma community.

An international team of curators is responsible for the design and contents of the archive’s individual sections.

An international advisory board supports and advises the curators. It also determines strategic project guidelines. Its members are individual artists, scholars, and activists, as well as representatives of international Roma organisations working in the fields of art, culture, and scholarly research.

The team headed by Franziska Sauerbrey and Isabel Raabe, the project initiators, is responsible for the overall project coordination.

Moreover, it is in charge of managing the budget that the German Federal Cultural Foundation’s Board of Trustees awarded to RomArchive in its meeting on 1 December 2014 and of securing additional third-party funding.

 

Who determines RomArchive’s contents?

Roma shape the archive in all positions of responsibility – as curators, artists, scholars, and members of the project’s advisory board.

The curators define the contents of RomArchive. In contrast to “hegemonic” archives, which have almost exclusively portrayed Roma in stereotypical ways, RomArchive focuses on their self-representation.

New narratives will emerge, not least reflecting the heterogeneity of the Roma’s diverse national and cultural identities.

 

What archive sections will there be?

RomArchive will have specialised sections on dance, film, literature, musictheatre & drama, visual arts, and politics of photography, as well as the interdisciplinary section Flamenco.

An additional section on the Romani civil rights movement will be hosted by an own group of curators. The section on Holocaust of Roma in Europe will present early first-person testimonies of Roma persecuted under the National Socialist regime.

 

What happens when the project term of RomArchive is over?

RomArchive has been supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation since 2015.

It was constituted in the first meeting of the advisory board on 26 June 2015. Meanwhile, all curators have been appointed and have taken up their work.

RomArchive will go online in January 2019. Until then, the curators’ work and the overall development of the project can be tracked on our blog, on FacebookTwitter, or – in the analogue world – at supporting cultural events in various European cities.

The main channel of communication before the launch of RomArchive will be the blog, featuring in-depth multimedia reports, interviews, debates, essays, and documentaries. The project will run until 2019.

After the five-year term of the project, its initiators Isabel Raabe and Franziska Sauerbrey will transfer RomArchive to the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) who will continue the archive and further develop it.

 

What’s the story behind RomArchive?

The idea for RomArchive is based on extensive research and numerous interviews that Franziska Sauerbrey and Isabel Raabe, the project initiators, conducted with Romani artists, curators, activists, and scholars all over Europe.

They clearly identified the need for an internationally accessible space that would make the cultures and histories of Roma visible and respond to persistent stereotypes by a counter-history told by Roma themselves.

further information here: About RomArchive

 

What will RomArchive look like?

The Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen is the cooperative partner and is responsible for the technical implementation.

For international accessibility, the archive will be set up in several languages. Besides English and German, the Romani language will be used.

Translations into additional languages are envisaged, depending on funding by the countries in which they are predominantly spoken.

With its curated contents, modern storytelling, and intelligent contextualisation, RomArchive differs from static databases in both aesthetics and methodology.

Intelligent contextualisation will provide background information, help understanding of complex interrelations, and thus ensure nuanced readings of the works on display.

The archive’s aesthetically appealing magazine-style web interface, with images and stories providing vivid introductions, will inspire users to delve deeper into the topics presented.

 

What’s the task of the advisory board?

The 14-person advisory board supports and advises the curators and determines strategic project guidelines on a permanent basis.

 

What’s the task of the curators?

The curators determine the contents of the archive and select and gather works of art from the fields of dancefilm, literaturemusic, theatre and dramavisual arts, and Flamenco, material on the politics of photography, first-person testimonies related to the persecution of the Roma under the Nazi regime, and scholarly material on the civil rights movement.

 

Who is funding RomArchive?

The German Federal Cultural Foundation supports RomArchive with 3.75 million euros.

This is a clear statement: one of Europe’s largest public foundations attends to Europe’s largest minority, acknowledges the wealth of their centuries-old culture, and makes it better known.

The fact that a German federal institution embraces such a project is of particular significance in view of Nazi Germany’s genocide of the Roma, which claimed 500,000 of their lives.

The European Roma Cultural Foundation and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma have acted in an advisory capacity from the initial stages of planning.

The German Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Federal Foreign Office engage in supporting RomArchive as well.

The Goethe-Institut supports the work of RomArchive and accompanies it with events.

see more about our  Sponsors | Partners

 

 What happens at the end of the project term?

The project-executing organisation during the set-up phase of RomArchive is sauerbrey raabe gUG.

After the five-year project term, the project initiators Isabel Raabe and Franziska Sauerbrey will transfer RomArchive to the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) who will continue the archive and further develop it.

To ease this transition, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education has already pledged to financially support editorial maintenance of RomArchive for an additional five years, beginning in 2019.

 

 

You need more information?

Please contact us via mail:  mail(at)romarchive.eu

Press & Communication | Denhart v. Harling: press(at)romarchive.eu

Also visit RomArchive on Facebook: facebook.com/RomanoArchive and on Twitter: twitter.com/RomArchive

 

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