The Memory of the Roma Holocaust

Aug 02, 2015 - Nov 06, 2015

Opening: August 2, 2015, 7.30 pm

Participating artists: 
Virág Erdős, contemporary Hungarian, poet, writer and playwright
Zuzana Hrušková, contemporary Slovak photo, film and fine artist
János Dégi, actor, director and playwright
Grant Livesay, American musician
János Kepes, translator with degree in mathematics and linguistics

In the frame of the commemoration-exhibition, we will have a 35 minutes performance based on the texts of Erdős Virág, arts of Zuzana Hrušková, and music of Grant Livesay which are in dialogue with each other. This will be presented through the interpretation of Dégi János and Kóczé Angéla.

The commemoration-exhibition will be opened by Anna Szász Lujza, board member of Gallery8. 

August 2nd is a international commemoration of the Roma Day of Holocaust, Pharrajimos. The night passing 2nd of August to 3rd, 1944, the „Zigeunerlager” in Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was terminated by Nazis. Based on historical evidence and testimonies the „Zigeunerlager” here became finished. They deported several hundred capable Roma to various other camps, and exterminated those who were labeled as “useless”. On the night of August 2nd the Special German SS troop surrounded the barracks an intimidated with dogs and weapons the mainly German and Austrian Roma and Sinti. After the SS loaded almost three thousand Roma and Sinti on trucks and took them to the gas chamber and exterminated. Their bodies were burned in pits next to the crematorium. Based on the testimonies of survivors they despairingly cried; „We are German citizens! We did not make any bad things! We want to live!” 

On this day we would like to commemorate differently, to pay tribute to those murdered and survived death camps and the Nazi persecution as well as condolence their relatives. The Pharrajimos, on one hand is describing a specific historical event: extermination of Roma by the Nazi and their collaborators in the II World War. On the other hand, the meaning of Pharrajimos -"devouring" or "destruction"- can be conceptualized as a denotation of all kinds of sufferings. While the first conceptualization is about a firm, almost unspeakable historical event, than, the second problematization we are also witnessing as well as contributing everyday to their racial exclusion and their „soft killing”.

Beyond the commemoration we call you to show solidarity with those who are the most vulnerable and the most defenceless, for those whom you can speak up, for those whom you can stand up, for those whom you can defend.... 

We prepared a dialogue based on the very sensitive poems by Virág Erdős Hungarian contemporary poet and writer. Her poems are very relevant and dramatic. These are an excellent panorama and diagnosis about our society: Dynamic, dreadful, tragic, humorous 

The poems about our everyday: our decisions, fears, disappointments, timidity, lies, and jealousies. It is about everything which surround us in these days. The 13 poems create a synergy and transmit a strange feeling.
On the one hand why so many people feel the power of "devouring" or "destruction", on the other hand why so many people feel that they need to leave or in fact, why they could not leave from Hungary 

In the dialogue between János Dégi és Angéla Kóczé, they face with the above mentioned dilemmas through the poems by Virág Erdős and music Grant Livesay.

The Pharrajimos not just about them: it is from us 

Curator: Angéla Kóczé, sociologist

Special thanks: Junghaus Timea, Szász Anna, Baki Júlia, Szilágyi-K Ágota, Balogh Tibor, Gallyas Gyula, Balogh Lídia 


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