The Social, Cultural, and
Political Legacy of the 1971 World Roma Congress
April 5-7, 2021
The Social, Cultural, and Political Legacy of the 1971 World Roma Congress event-series is organized by the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University (Boston); the Romani Studies Program, Central European University (Budapest/ Vienna); and the Department of Romani Studies, Södertörn University (Stockholm).
Each year, for more than two decades, on April 8, Romani people across the world celebrate Roma National Day. Some have turned this anniversary into a one-day opportunity to discuss their rich heritage, through concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, conferences, and media events. Others, including activists and academics, have marked the Roma National Day by organizing remembrance events to take stock of continuing persecution and stigmatization, but also of progress in social, political and economic fields. This year, on April 8, we mark the 50th anniversary of the First World Roma Congress. This is an important moment to reflect back on the recent history of Romani people as well as contemporary obstacles and threats as well as opportunities for Roma justice and dignity.
Overview of the 3-days-long event:
(Please click on given day for further details)
5 April, 3-5pm Central European Time (9-11am EST)
This panel includes two celebrations of the Roma National Day from two Nordic contexts. The small community of Norwegian Roma in Oslo have focused on communicating their culture and tradition to the general public. The large community of Arli in Norrköping, Sweden combine their celebration of their Roma identity with political awareness making.
The legacy of the Roma International Day will be discussed The legacy of the Roma International Day will be discussed by the Swedish-Roma publishers Fred Taikon and Britt-Inger Lundqvist, the lawyer Sunita Memetovic from Sweden, the academic Marko Stenroos from Finland, and finally the Romanian-Roma activist, academic and feminist Nicoleta Bitu.
This will also be the first public activity of our newly established Department of Romani Studies at Södertörn University.
6 April, 3-5pm Central European Time (9-11am EST)
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the First World Roma Congress, the Roma Students Association of Central European University in collaboration with the Romani Studies Program at CEU reflects on its legacy and relevance for present day struggles for recognition and equality. The event includes short videos on the key symbols of Roma nation: the name, flag, and anthem; the launch of an online interactive exhibition; an interview with Grattan Puxon, one of the key organizers of the First World Roma Congress; and a roundtable discussion on history, self-determination and the use of digital technologies.
7 April, 3-5pm Central European Time (9-11am EST)
The experiences, struggles, and literature for liberation and anti-racism find many parallels across the world. From historical state-sponsored injustices to a continuum of structural inequalities, racialized and colonized peoples have been victims of systems of unjust dogmas, policies, laws, and societies. Yet, social movements and scholarships continue to isolate their struggles, failing to experience the power of the global. In the past few years, the Roma Program at Harvard University and the Romani Studies Program at CEU have organized solidarity events to harness reciprocal support, learning, and cooperation among scholars and activists, including intersectional feminists, from different geographies and social movements. The Place of Roma in the Global Struggles for Liberations and Anti-Racism panel builds on that work, focusing on a connection of struggles, political tactics, and paths on how to build momentum for a joint global solidarity movement against oppression.