In our Mashkar Kehilot project we have been dealing with the questions: What are the opportunities for cooperation of Roma and Jewish young people and organizations? How can we challenge stereotypes, antisemitism and antigypsyism together?
These questions were in the focus of the dissemination event of this project in Auróra community center in Budapest on 29th June 2017. Besides disseminating the results of our project, the translated educational toolkits to challenge antisemetism and antigypsyism as well as the actions developed by our participants, we wanted to involve other people or initiative dealing with similar questions. Therefore one of the trainers had the idea to invite a theatre play by Keret Alkotó Csoport, written by Tibor Noé Kiss and directed by Csaba Bognár, ‘Don’t you want to talk about yourself?’. The play shows the preparation of a living library (http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/eycb/Programme/livinglibrary_en.asp) program, the interactions of the “books” and a high school student behind the scenes that include stereotypes and prejudice towards each other even though they are preparing a social sensitivity program. Thanks to the humor and openness, the play had great success in the audience. We thought it is very important to talk about not only the prejudice towards Roma and Jewish people in mainstream society, but also within these communities or other minority groups towards themselves and each other. We dealt with this issue during the trainings and also one of the trainers opened the Roma day action with a speech about the importance of reflecting to our inner stereotypes.
We started the event with the presentation of Bálint Rigó, one of the participants of the project about his research of the Eurovision Song Contest: International conflicts from geopolitics perspective. He talked about how the social, cultural, political conflicts manifest in the Eurovision Song Contest that aimed to be neutral to these conflicts. Anikó Félix, the project coordinator of Tom Lantos Institute hold a short speech about why we felt important to start this project and cooperate together in dealing with antisemitism and antigypsyism. We presented the project results as an interactive exhibition: we put the edducational toolkits, photos and questions related to the actions (Roma shabat, Roma-Jewish Youth Meeting, Workshop about the Holocaust and the Roma Genocide, Roma day – Roundtable discussion about Holocaust remembrance, Roma-Jewish magazine, Diversity Football Game) in different corners of the room, and the audience could go around and discuss about them with the project participants and mentors. Our main questions for discussions were: How can you do sensitivity trainings for children and young people to accept each other, do you know any best practices? What is the importance of remembrance to the Holocaust and to remember specifically about the Roma Genocide? How do you think sport can be a good tool to fight social boundaries? How do you think organising common events like the Roma shabat can contribute to the Roma, Jewish communities and mainstream society?
After the discussion, we continued the evening with a Jewish and Roma dance teaching and concert.
Photos of the event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/PhirenAmenca/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1427765983979166