Archivo de la etiqueta: Roma People

Romani Writing: Literacy, Literature and Identity Politics, by Paola Toninato

La escritura es una poderosa arma de combate y de transformación social. No es difícil comprobar que muchas de las culturas y colectivos históricamente oprimidos han acudido a ella como instrumento de réplica, reafirmación y dignificación. En Romani Writing: Literacy, Literature and Identity Politics (2014), Paola Toniato elabora un meticuloso estudio sobre el papel que la escritura y la literatura han tenido en el desarrollo de la cultura romaní europea. Lo hace partiendo de la necesidad de explorar tanto la repercusión de las políticas educativas en el desarrollo de una cultura escrita romaní, como la función política actual de la literatura producida y protagonizada por los propios gitanos.

Sigue leyendo

The Holocaust and Iconic Images: How Do We Read Photographs of the Unrepresentable?

Taking a critical look at pictures that we assume are self-evident and true is not a challenge that we normally face. Nevertheless, the first step in the process of recognising genuine equality of rights involves finding out how representations of groups of people marked by some form of discrimination were historically produced and then reflecting on how many implicit prejudices are involved in them. Unless an effort is made to eliminate the presuppositions held by the social majority about what these “others” are like, legislation will make no difference. This is of course an uncomfortable task, because it brings us brought face to face with how far we are prepared to go to live in a society that is inclusive and just, and also a complicated one, because the objectives are not always obvious, even in the fight against discrimination. A case in point is the marked hierarchization of victims shown in the history of the way the Allied countries came to terms with the horror of the massive violence perpetrated under Nazism after the Second World War was over. A picture may help us penetrate the cultural underpinnings of our political attitudes. Sigue leyendo

Stolen “Gypsies”: analysing images of alterity (*)

Sometimes, the most “innocent” images are the most dangerous.

Confirmation of this statement can be found in the children’s stories that have for many years employed characters taken from the world of the gypsies in order to indoctrinate children and teach them obedience. During the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, some of the teaching designed to inculcate the values of the official culture and promote family discipline was carried out through stories in which rebellious children—those who dared to disobey their parents and leave their comfortable homes—frequently ended up being stolen by bands of gypsies and vanishing into thin air.

These kidnappers, described as living on the fringes of civilized society, represented all the evils of barbarism—pagan, immoral, uncouth and criminal—in contrast to the alleged virtues of the national culture. Heading the long list of illegal actions attributed to gypsies in these stories, that of child stealing is a hackneyed theme that appears over and over again in European children’s literature. Sigue leyendo

Anthropometric Cards: The “Gypsy” under liberal law

This woman of stunningly light eyes was called Teresa Gabarre.

So says, at least, her “anthropometric card”, a document required by French State to all nomad people, ever since a law passed in 1912 and still applicable in 1968 made it mandatory. This is an example of how were treated in liberal and democratic states, before and after the Second World War, a largest transnational Roma community who found in trip its economy and its way of life.

Sigue leyendo