We asked some of The Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Conference’s presenters – Maria Luiza Medeleanu, Péter Bogdán, Gabriela Marques - why they applied to the conference and what they thought about it.

Profile: Maria Luiza Medeleanu, Cultural Studies PhD candidate, University of Bucharest; educational expert, Roma Education Fund, Romania (Romania)

Presented (draft) Paper: Gipsy Heart: Representations and Perceptions  


For this conference I presented a case study from my PhD work: "Gypsy Heart: Representation and Perception”. This short case study discusses a Romanian mainstream soap opera about Roma. My main question is whether these Roma representations in mainstream films can influence and build Roma cultural identity and whether these films/shows ca influence the ways in which Roma are perceived in the society.   

I applied to this conference because I want to speak about my topic. It is important to me to present at this conference because it is safe space for sharing experiences, being critical externally and internally with Roma about Roma. We need these types of safe spaces where we can discuss topics such as Roma representation, hate speech, and history from Roma perspectives.  

As to the future, I want to finish my PhD and publish on Roma topics to amplify these struggles for cultural identity and history and work for a better world.  


Profile: Péter Bogdán, PhD, educational researcher - professional leader, Learning Center Foundation of Budaörs (Hungary)

Presented (draft) Paper: Roma Mentor Project - The Roma Intellectual Friend Model 


The focus of my paper was the Roma Mentor Project, which is a new initiative and alternative Roma educational model. I applied to the conference because I would like to share the information on the Roma Mentor Project at international level, too. 

The Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Conference means to me a meeting space with that kind of Roma and the non-Roma researchers who understand how scientists/scholars shall speak on Roma topics without prejudices. In my view, the importance of such conference is to share objective information on Roma with the larger society. 


Profile: Gabriela Marques Gonçalves, journalist, researcher (Spain/Brazil)

Presented (draft) Paper: Hate society: Antigypsyism and Hate Speech 


My paper in this conference focuses on a theoretical discussion about the origins of hate against minorities, especially the Romani community. I wanted to have the opportunity to share reflections not only related directly to my research but on other subjects related to the Romani population and the critical vision. In my vision, this conference is key to find reflections based on decolonized, racialized, feminist, and intersectional approaches, reflections that dialogue with other racialized researchers. Being a Latin- American and Afro-descendent researcher, from Brazil I really experience a generous welcome of my views, and this is what I think we need in academic spaces.