This party was the first actions in the framework of the Mashkar Kehilot Project that aims to bring together Roma, Jewish and non-Roma/Jewish people to fight against racism, antisemitism and antigypsyism.
As a volunteer of Phiren Amenca, one of my first task, after doing research and study the Roma situation in my country (Italy), was to support organizing an opening party with the Mashkar Kehilot group, in order to kick off 2017 and the project. The event took place at Auróra community center, one of my favorite place in Budapest, on 17th of February, and we spent the month before to organize everything. It was exciting to discuss about our ideas and share our point of view with the other volunteers, members of the office and the Mashkar Kehilot group, and it was a good opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit more. We decided for the theme, the quotes, the graphic and the photo booth all together, we wrote and sent invitations and we spent the few days before drawing the heroes silhouette, writing the quotes and building a paper box wall, as a metaphor of the society’s stereotypes. The aim of the event was to raise awareness about the importance of building alliances as a means of fighting antigypsyism, antisemitism, exclusion around the world, as well as to to show to people the opportunities and the benefits of volunteering and realizing local actions. For that reason, the theme of the party was “We can be Heroes”: with our actions, we can all be heroes, and volunteering and activism are good ways to use our power to change the world.
The day of the party we went few hours organizing the space and then the event started. Linda Carranza, our Managing Director, introduced Phiren Amenca, explaining aims and mode operation. Anna Daróczi, the Voluntary service Coordinator, talked then about “Everything You Wanted to Know About European Voluntary Service but Never Dared to Ask”, explaining everything about EVS. After her explanation, Sára Szilágyi, Project Coordinator presented the Mashkar Kehilot project, the translated educational materials and introduced the exhibition of a Roma-Jewish group from 7th district, „The cursed superhero family“ comic book.
Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez, a previous volunteer of Phiren Amenca and an expert of Roma and Pop culture, talked about his life and his adventure with superheroes (Roma and Jewish) and human rights. His life is very inspiring for me, and his story gave us a lot of points of reflection. He is also very funny and he alternated serious moment with funny ones, and everybody enjoyed his speech. More info about his activity: https://www.facebook.com/VoiceOfLatveria/?ref=nf
After the more theoretical part, the event became a real party: we broke the “Wall of Stereotypes” and we moved to the basement of Auróra, where we all dance at the concert of Lashe Shave Band! I really enjoyed that night, because it has been a good opportunity to get to know better Phiren Amenca and its friends, and to give my help for the creation of the event.