In Collaboration with Edis Galushi
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas is a Romani visual artist from Poland who, together with Romani activist Edis Galushi and members of the Prizren Romani community, covered a house with a series of portraits of extraordinary Romani women, both local and international. Mirga-Tas has been compiling an affective archive of Romani herstories. Mirga-Tas’s collages are created from fragments of different fabrics by “throwing the material into the painting.” Many of the fabrics are taken directly from the wardrobes of the women depicted, and consist of bits of skirts, scarves, or shirts sewn onto curtains, drapes, bedclothes, or rags. The material employed literally carries history, traces of life and use, and energy. The curtains become the underlying architecture of the works and, at the same time, the visual basis for the creation of feminist narratives. “Based on many years of experience working with the Roma communities in Roma settlements, I have noticed that Roma women are gradually emancipating themselves from the patriarchal structures. More and more Roma women are active, they strive for change, they fight for education for their children, they want to have their voice heard in the usually very traditional Roma environment.” Mirga-Tas’s works present many crucial questions for our times: How do power relations relate to representation? What is the place of traditional art within the canon of contemporary art? What does minority feminism in a traditional community look like? Can there be a reciprocal acculturation, and, if so, how can the majority learn from the minority? Finally, can working on identity, especially one rooted in the experience of injustice, be an affirmative and emancipatory strategy rather than a reductionist, isolating one?
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (1978) was born in Zakopane and lives in Czarna Góra.
Edis Galushi (1989) was born in Prizren and lives in Prizren.
Women’s Rights Advocate
Delaine Le Bas
Singer & Humanitarian
Anonymous /All Romani Women