WE AIR HERE!
The Online Alternative on International Roma Day!
The WE ARE HERE! Roma Biennale had to be postponed, but ROMADAY is still happening! On April 8th we're celebrating International Roma Day and providing a sneak peek at the second self-organised art biennial by and with Roma and BIPOC artists, now scheduled for the late summer. Broadcasting on a video livestream, curator Hamze Bytyçi drives through the unwritten city map of the Roma and Sinti in Berlin – in the unique Biennale truck, designed by artist and author Damian James Le Bas and developed by raumlabor Berlin! Out and about in the capital at a standstill, he meets with representatives from the public sphere, culture and politics, chatting with them, for example, about the locations visited, which are significant for the history or the present of the Roma and Sinti in Berlin.
At the same time, curator Delaine Le Bas is in the virtual studio to discuss dominant topics in the times of Corona from an international and intersectional perspective, together with activists, comrades and everyday experts. What do the novel risks and measures mean for marginalised people? Questions of »we« are more urgent than ever, because the old certainties of capitalist normativity are beginning to falter. Does that present a threat or an opportunity?
Streamed live from the WE AIR HERE! Studio – or as if it was!
WE AIR HERE! WE AIR HERE! – ROMADAY 2020 / April 8th, 2020 / From 4 to 6 p.m.
Delaine Le Bas, Artist and Curator / Hamze Bytyçi, Member of the Ensemble and Curator
With contributions by
Maria Atanasova, Young European of the Year 2020/ Idil Nuna Baydar, Comedian and Actress/ Elke Breitenbach, Berlin Senator for Integration, Work and Social/ Meral El, Managing Director neue deutsche organisationen e.V. / Romeo Franz, Member of the European Parliament/ Kristóf Horváth, Actor and Poetry slammer/ Damian James Le Bas, Author and Artist/ Klaus Lederer, Berlin Senator for Culture and Europe/ Uwe Neumärker, Director of Stiftung Denkmal/ Katina Schubert, Chairwoman of Berliner LINKE
With music by
Dragan Cordes, Guitarist and Composer/ Sunny Franz, Violinist / Lindy Larsson, Singer and Actor / Riah May Knight, Singer and Songwriter/ *Daniel Weltlinger**, Jazz Musician and Composer
Followed by an online stream of ROMA ARMEE from 6 p.m.!
1st April 2020
POSTPONED: The 2nd Roma Biennale, WE ARE HERE!, has been postponed to August/September 2020 for the time being
Originally planned for April 8th – May 16th, 2020, the 2nd Roma Biennale, held under the title WE ARE HERE!, has been postponed to August/September 2020 for the time being. The biennale’s curators, Delaine Le Bas and Hamze Bytyçi, are heeding Berlin Senator for Culture and Europe Klaus Lederer's recommendation for theatres to cancel all public events from March 12th. The reason for these cancellations is to curb the spread of the coronavirus, protect the health-care system from severe strain and, in particular, to protect the elderly and other vulnerable people from being infected.
The 2nd self-organised biennale by and with circa 50 Roma and BIPOC artists from around the world was originally supposed to start on April 8th, 2020, International Roma Day. Through its expansive, always site-specific programme of interventions, exhibitions and a parade, of concerts, performances, lectures and city tours, the biennale aims to draft an unwritten city map of the Sinti and Roma in Berlin.
Depending on how the spread of the coronavirus continues to develop, we're planning to produce the full programme in the late summer. Up-to-date information will be published here as soon as possible.
16 March 2020
Roma occupying Berlin: WE ARE HERE! The 2nd self-organised Roma Biennial draws an unwritten map of the Roma and Sinti in Berlin from 8 April to 16 May 2020
The second Biennial by and with international artists, both with Romani and BIPoC backgrounds, kicks-off with the motto “WE ARE HERE!” on 8 April 2020, the International Roma Day, joining the worldwide emancipatory movement of the Roma and Sinti.
After the success of the 1st Roma Biennial, having consistently sold out events over four days in April 2018, the 2nd Roma Biennale seeks to leave the safe space of established art institutions and conquer Berlin’s urban space over the course of six weeks. »WE ARE HERE!« draws an unwritten map of the Sinti and Roma in Berlin with an extensive, always site-specific program of interventions, exhibitions and ROMADAY parade, of concerts, performances, lectures and city tours. With a mobile unit developed by raumlabor Berlin, internationally successful artists* such as Barby Assante, Iva Bittová, Ethel Brooks, Krzysztof Gil, Wesley Goatley, Damian James Le Bas or Emília Rigová mark places that are essential for the past and present to the Roma and Sinti in Berlin. These include the Johann Trollmann Boxcamp, Otto-Rosenberg-Platz, Görlitzer Park, Maxim Gorki Theater, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin and the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe murdered under National Socialism.
In the city where the genocide of Sinti and Roma was once planned and organized, where even in 2019 people were still victims of antiziganistic hate speech and crimes involving weapons, they confidently show their multi-layered identities, confront Berliners with deep-seated stereotypes and provoke with strategies of survival.
The aim is to bring about a permanent change of perspective of the heterogeneous minority of Sinti and Roma, to create solidarity among marginalized people and to show that Roma and Sinti are often an invisible yet active part of society and urban space.
The detailed festival programme will soon be published at this website.
Curated by Delaine Le Bas, Hamze Bytyçi | Initiated by Damian Le Bas | Conceptualized in cooperation with Antje Weitzel
A project of RomaTrial e.V. in cooperation with the Maxim Gorki Theater, Allianz Kulturstiftung, the Alliance for Solidarity with the Sinti and Roma of Europe, the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum and raumlabor berlin.
Funded by LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin. Media partner is RBB Kultur.