RomArchive is devised as an international digital archive for art of the Roma – a constantly growing collection of art of all types, complemented by historical documents and scholarly texts.
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 will shape the archive in all positions of responsibility – as curators, artists, scholars, and members of the project’s advisory board. The curators will determine 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 will provide background information, help understanding of complex interrelations, and thus ensure 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.
RomArchive will go online in 2018. Until then, the curators’ work and the overall development of the project can be followed on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter, or (in the analogue world) at supporting cultural events in various European cities.
The main channel of communication before the launch of RomArchive will be the blog, featuring in-depth multimedia reports, interviews, debates, essays, and documentaries.