Autograph ABP presents Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush, a group exhibition by photographers and lens-based artists examining the condition of Roma people in Europe and surrounding countries.
With a population of 10 to 12 million in the EU, the Roma are the oldest and largest European ethnic minority. Amnesty International reports that Roma people are ‘existing predominantly on the margins of society [and] are among the most deprived communities in Europe’. Amnesty also states that the ‘Roma suffer massive discrimination and are denied their rights to housing, employment, health care and education. Roma communities are often subject to forced evictions, racist attacks and police ill-treatment.’
Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush showcases works by photographers and artists taking a subtle yet critical stance on situations that amount to the cultural erasure of Roma people. The title refers to a multilingual self-definition by the Roma, across Europe, and stresses the naming of communities that society is constantly pushing away. Manush, meaning ‘human being’ in Sanskrit, highlights the contrast between the meaning of this term and the treatment usually reserved for them.
This project challenges many preconceived ideas about the Roma by displaying both their diversity and what is intrinsic to their cultures.
The artists featured are Cristiano Berti, Elisabeth Blanchet, Danica Dakic,Nigel Dickinson, Alfredo Jaar, Sitki Kosemen, Maria Papadimitriou,Alessandro Quaranta, William Ropp and Santiago Sierra. Also on show are rare prints by Josef Koudelka who has produced the most celebrated body of work on Roma life and culture in the history of photography. This selection of photographs is presented courtesy of Collection Eric and Louise Franck. We are also pleased to premiere two newly commissioned pieces by the experimental film duo Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi.
Through its political engagement, Roma-Sinti-Kale-Manush critically questions the forms of discrimination that have affected the Roma people for centuries across Europe. It contributes to debates on the nature of minorities and the ideology of marginalisation, while examining the concept of freedom within the wider context of current European political borders.
This exhibition is co-curated by Gabi Scardi, independent curator, and Mark Sealy, Director of Autograph ABP, with Christine Eyene, curator.