Arts & Entertainment

Roma theater festival tears down stereotypes with digital edition

By Marcelo Nagy

Budapest, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Roma Heroes, the only international Roma theater festival in the world, will continue to tear down stereotypes, discrimination and racism with performances from nine countries in an online edition due to pandemic restrictions.

“Our drama, that of European travelers, is that they do not know us. They think of us as stereotypes,” Rodrigó Balogh, artistic director of the Independent Theater in Budapest, tells Efe.

Fighting this lack of understanding was what prompted him in 2017 to invite artists from different countries to Budapest to present their works.

With some 10 million Roma travelers in Europe, they are the largest minority and one that faces endemic discrimination.

Productions often focus on telling the story of different European communities, showing how they live and laying out the daily problems and struggles they face.

The Independent Theater has tasked itself with the job of gathering the stories scattered around the continent to build a solid collection of Roma cultural heritage and to celebrate its important role.

The idea is that by highlighting that most people share problems and challenges, communication will be much easier, the director explains.

“As an artistic director, I looked for those narratives that are related to the responsibility of the individual or how to generate changes,” adds Balogh.

Balogh’s company operates a strict policy whereby there is an equal representation of men and women among staff and of Roma and non-Roma actors.

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