GYPSIES. Roma in Europa
“Bring your washing in, the Gypsies are coming!” It may sound like an age old prejudice but it resounds again as the EU citizens’ fears of foreign infiltration are renewed towards the largest ethnic minority in Europe (over 10 million people). Wherever Romas are based in Europe today, they are confronted by stereotypes, discrimination and exclusion. The National Socialists murdered them in concentration camps. During the war in Yugoslavia, they were followed, killed or expelled under the premises of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Unemployment and poverty force many Roma to emigrate to countries where they are considered “a poor burden, needy foreigners, as aggressive beggars, as uninvited providers of services, as social parasites, as intruders”. The governments of western EU countries push the responsibility back to the countries of origin through their asylum and immigration policies.
How do members of this transnational people describe themselves? What is the image they have of the society which makes up the majority in the country in which they live? In their eyes, what would be necessary for a felicitous life together? What perspectives do they see in a Europe of the future?
In their fifth work at the Brunswick (Braunschweig) state theatre, werkgruppe2 focus their view once more on the theme of Europe. Together with Roma musicians and a multi-national acting ensemble, the theatre project has evolved from interviews made in Romania, France and Germany and following the opening performances in Brunswick, will tour around Europe.