“Roma heroes – Five European Dramas”
This volume is a sequel to the first Roma Heroes anthology of monodramas and contains stories from five different countries. The chamber dramas bring us to Germany, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, and into the virtual theatre world: a play created online as a result of an English-Italian-Spanish-Hungarian co-production was also included in the book. Every piece presents the experience of a hero, furthermore, reading them they expand the horizon: starting from the search for personal fulfilment, the heroes are on their way to help their communities and achieve universal goals. The purpose of the book is to reach as many people as possible with these stories that show the values of Roma theatre, culture and communities.
The plays included in the book:
- Mihaela Drăgan-Zita Moldovan- Liana Ceterchi-Mihai Lukács: Who Killed Szomna Grancsa? portrays the struggles of a Roma girl who chose to pursue her studies and investigates the circumstances of her suicide.
- Richard R. O’Neill: European Family gives us a peek into the life of a family scattered across Europe during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Igor Krikunov: The Leader takes place during the Second World War and present a Roma community whose leader makes every possible effort to save his people from impending death.
- Jovan Nikolić – Ruždija Russo Sejdović: Kosovo Mon Amour transports us into the Kosovo War in which members of the local Roma community were killed in the armed conflict between Albanians and Serbs.
- Rodrigó Balogh: Village Day presents the hardships the inhabitants of an impoverished rural area have to face, as well las the two sides of the local loan shark.
“Roma heroes – Five European Monodramas”
Five stories from five different countries are included in the book. The plays guide us through Ireland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hungary and Romania. Each play deals with the story of a Roma hero. The aim of the book is to disseminate these stories, which show the values of Roma theatre and Roma communities, to as many people as possible.
The plays included in the book:
- The Hardest Word by Richard O’Neill presents the campaign of Jess Smith, the Scottish Traveller writer who demanded the first minister to apologize for the injustice and persecution of the Traveller community.
- It’s a Cultural Thing. Or Is It? by Michael Collins also shows the past of Traveller people, this time in Ireland.
- Tell Them About Me by Mihaela Dragan deals with the topic of early marriages through personal stories of various Roma women in Romania.
- Speak, My Life by Dijana Pavlovic tells about the long years of Yenish genocide in Switzerland that ended in the ’70ies through the eyes and based on the novel of the Yenish writer, Mariella Mehr.
- Letter to Brad Pitt by Franciska Farkas is a painstakingly honest confession about the actress’ own life, with a touch of dark humor.
We’ve organised several book launches where professional and amateur performers alternately read excerpts from the monodramas, and in an interactive and playful way the audience could get to know the past and present of Roma theatre that is not part of the curriculum in schools.
We were able to reach hundreds of people at the Central European University, at the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Science, at Ördögkatlan Festival in Baranya County in Hungary, in Berlin, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and at the 25th Marosvásárhely International Book Fair in Romania.
“Words like ‘I love you’ or ‘I promise’ and ‘of course’ just seem to trip from the tongue so easily. Then those very words which were so easy to say are so very hard if not impossible to put into practice or live up to.”
„From that day, I started accepting myself for what I am, and I tell others: “Yes, I’m Gypsy, but don’t look for the bad side. Look at me as I really am, judge me as a person.”
„My life is an extraordinary one. It seems as though a lot of things happened to me purely by accident. But that`s not the case, I wanted all of them. I wanted everything that happened in my life.’”
„We wanted our day to have our say, we wanted our freedom to be proud of who we are with a sense of belonging we are a dignified people trying to live a dignified life”
„Garbage produces garbage. Thus, your letters have yellowed in the yellow folders which declare “not sent”. Yellowing beside my own letters, which didn’t reach you, darling mother of my heart.”