RomArchive – digital archive of the arts of the Roma

Finally a major and promising digitization project on cultural materials of Roma minorities receives substantial funding:

“The German Federal Cultural Foundation [Kulturstiftung des Bundes] supports the establishment of a digital archive of the arts of the Roma. RomArchive is to become an internationally accessible space that makes the cultures and histories of the Roma visible. From 2015 to 2019, an international collection of art from all disciplines will be gathered, enhanced by scholarly texts and historical documents and accompanied by a programme of educational and cultural events. Each section of RomArchive will have its own expert team of curators, responsible for that section’s contents. RomArchive makes no claims to completeness, but sees itself as a continuously growing platform featuring representative collections. With its curated contents, modern storytelling, and intelligent contextualisation, RomArchive differs from static databases in both aesthetics and methodology.”

The project initiators Franziska Sauerbrey and Isabel Raabe devised the project based on the urgent desideratum of providing an exclusive and fairly independent collection of Roma art:

“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 publicly accessible and visible. RomArchive is thus addressed not only to Europe’s largest minority, but also to Europe’s social majorities.”

Visit the project’s website for more information.


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