6 October, 2018
Title: A choice to be made, a price to be paid
Medium: Video performance
Courtesy: The artist
The Romani people have never identified themselves with a territory. Although they come from India they have never fought for it, but fought for life with life. As Diana Muir emphasizes “the Romani people, as unique among peoples, have no tradition of an ancient and distant homeland from which their ancestors migrated, nor do they claim the right to national sovereignty in any of the lands where they reside. Rather, Romani identity is bound up with the ideal of freedom expressed, in part, in having no ties to a homeland.”
Because of the absence of a traditional land concept, the “Romani phuv”, Romani land is a “controversial issue that implies different prices to be paid when decision have to be made” – Nicolae Gheorghe. The “Romani phuv” is still a dream for many Roma despite the events of life and history. This “land” is alive and continues to live in the hearts of the Roma.
Bringing this performance into today’s situation where the roma are “located” and “dislocated” for political, economic, or social reasons, this video performance is made as a need to open a discussion, and provoke people’s perception about them and their relation with the land and territory. In this performance I take the role of a chef who prepares a meal with shishik (a kind of soil, that Roma use to wash themselves, and the pregnant woman used to eat during her pregnancy) and the bureaucrat who represent the intellectual Romani persons who through their work, effort, negotiations and discussions can make choices in order to make this dream to live longer and end the game of location and dislocation.