A new institute committed to establishing the artistic and cultural presence of Europe’s 12 million Roma people, was launched today in Berlin.
The new European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIACH.), based in the German capital and led by Roma scholars, activists, and artists, is dedicated to the principle that Roma themselves should present the image of who they are, and who they are not.
The launch of the institute, backed by the Council of Europe and George Soros’ Open Foundations, featured an art exhibit of Roma contemporary artists from eight countries — reflecting the new institute’s focus on creating a space for under-represented Roma artists, performers and thinkers in the mainstream of European art and culture.
Timea Junghaus, executive director of the Institute, said: “The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture will be a hub for Roma self-expression – self-expression which will likely challenge long-held assumptions and prejudices.
“When you consider that only one of 10,000 works by Roma artists in state collections is exhibited in permanent exhibitions in Europe today it gives you an idea of the change that needs to happen.”