The consortium BESTROM held its first International Meeting at the University of Seville on April 11th 2018. The main objective was to developed the proposal “Beyond Stereotypes: Cultural Exchanges and the Romani Contribution to European Public Spaces” to apply to the HERA Call for 2017 Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe. As the Call states: “The challenge for research is to identify how the relations between culture and integration within the context of public space(s) have been modelled and how they can be better understood in order to contribute to a better world”. Within this framework, BESTROM explores the cultural contribution to Europe’s public spaces of its diverse Romani minorities considering them as agents in the processes of building European shared commons and identities. Approaching them as active subjects of cultural production, the research goes beyond scholarship that treats “Gypsies” as passive objects of “othering”. It’s obvious we want to challenge stereotypes and to promote critical reflection about “otherness”.
The consortium consists of four teams, from the Universities of Liverpool, Krakow, Helsinki and Seville; María Sierra coordinates the programme. The proposal has passed the first phase selection, and we have been invited by the HERA Commission to submitt a Full Proposal.
The suggestions of all the participant strengthen the final version of the project: Begoña Barrera (University of Seville), Marta Fernández (University of Seville), María Filigrana (Fakali), Carolina García Sanz (University of Seville), Malte Gasche (University of Helsinki), Anna Piotrowska (University of Krakow), Juan Pro (Universidad Autónoma Madrid), Melania Rivers (University of Seville), Eve Rosenhaft (University of Liverpool) María Sierra (University of Seville), Peter Stadius (University of Kelsinki), Miguel Angel Vargas (University of Seville), María Venegas (Arts and Popular Crafts Museum of Seville).
The meeting was supported by the special research grants of the University of Seville and has also the support of the Faculty of Geography and History.
We want to thanks all participant for their involvement, while keeping our fingers cross. Early September will be the moment for the first ranking with provisional results!