Watch Roma Armee Tonight!
Today is International Roma day - To celebrate the occasion the outstanding production 'Roma Armee' is being streamed at 5 pm UK time today for all to enjoy from the comfort of your own homes!
Roma Armee is the brainchild of sisters Sandra and Simonida Selimović, who come from a Romany family and grew up speaking five different languages including Romani. Originally from Serbia and now based in Vienna, the pair conceived of a radical new way to fight racism against Romany people with a “rapid reaction force”.
But they also aim to challenge limits on the freedom of Romany women; the ‘internalized victim’s role’ of Romany people, and the idea that the Romany community can’t be diverse.
The production sets out its stall as a home for the mixed and international nature of the Romany community. “The actors are Romnija, Rom and Romany Travellers from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Romania, England and Sweden,” say the show’s creators, “But they are also Israeli-Germans-Turkish-Gadjé (Gorjer)”. As a result, “the Roma army is supra-national, diverse, feminist, queer.”
The play has been developed by celebrated director Yael Ronen with input from the actors – who include Riah May Knight from Sussex, UK – to reflect their own experiences, with current news issues and Romany history also woven in.
Visually bold, extravagantly colourful and totally unapologetic, the costume design mixes military garb with glitter, glamour and street style. And the script contains some unforgettable lines, including “I never want to hear a Roma person say to another one, ‘You are not Roma’, ever again.”
Artists Delaine and Damian Le Bas were intimately involved with the work, adding ideas to the script and designing bold art for the set which uses animation and underlying lights to the dreamlike effect. An enormous, remade map of Europe as GYPSYLAND EUROPA glows and flickers behind the actors as they perform.
For more information, visit the play’s website: http://gorki.de/en/roma-armee