While “hegemonic” archives have almost exclusively portrayed Roma in stereotypical ways, RomArchive focuses on their self-representation: New narratives will emerge, reflecting the heterogeneity of the Roma’s diverse national and cultural identities. The wealth of their artistic and cultural production – tightly interwoven with that of Europe as a whole, centuries old, lively and varied to this very day – will become visible and publicly accessible. This way, the project seeks to counter persistent stereotypes and deep-seated prejudices. RomArchive is thus addressed not only to Europe’s largest minority, but also to Europe’s social majorities.
Roma have shaped the archive in all positions of responsibility – as curators, artists, scholars, and members of the project’s advisory board. The curators have determined the contents of the archive and select and gather works of art from the fields of dance, film, literature, music, theatre and drama, visual arts, material on the politics of photography, eyewitness reports related to the persecution of the Roma under the Nazi regime, and scholarly material on the civil rights movement.
Intelligent contextualisation provides background information, helps understanding of complex interrelations, and thus ensures 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.