Romani Lives - Gypsies in Spain

Exhibition of the Instituto de Cultura Gitana, Madrid 5/Apr/2013 - 9/Jun/2013
Vidas Gitanas (Gypsy Lives) is a project developed by the Instituto de Cultura Gitana (Gypsy Culture Institute) - a public foundation of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, and by Spanish Cultural Action (AC/E) that shows the social and cultural situation of the Spanish gypsy people. It is a comprehensive and multimedia show that looks in greater detail the modern view of a people that have been so relevant for the understanding of the history of Spain in general, and Andalusia in particular, their culture, ways of life, their vast legacy, historic evolution, future and their touch with mainstream society.


The gypsies -or roma, in Romani language are the most relevant minority in Europe however, they are still unknown and ignored by the majority society. The old traveller life, which they have kept for centuries, has forced them to focus only in their own community; an attitude that has given rise to the racism they have been suffering in the different societies where they have lived. These factors have resulted in a great lack of knowledge of their situation which has culminated in a deep cultural rift with this people present in Spain for more than five hundred years.

The exhibition, which includes original objects characteristic of the gypsy culture, as well as, photographs, interactive videos, works of art, books, engravings and all type of texts, is divided in three stages: Past (The Travelled Road), Present (Gypsy Lives) and Future (Gypsy Future). Actually, the last two stages compose a single thread that is imperceptibly tacked for the visitor.

In order to understand the most recent history of the gypsy people, it is necessary to look back at their origins. More than one thousand years ago, the gypsy people spread throughout the world from India and this fact has defined their relationship with the other peoples they have coexisted with. Such spread covered great areas of the whole world, from Europe to Africa, Asia and America. Since their exodus -except for an initial period of prosperity caused by the curiosity that they aroused almost six hundred years ago- their history has been marked by oppression and isolation.
Their survival, which is not without risk, is hope for a people that, despite the fact that they have never had a common territory, has learned to keep its identity and roots in such a way that, at present, they are the largest European minority with more than eight million people, where almost one million are Spanish.
A Spanyol Kulturális Minisztérium közalapítványa, a madridi Instituto de Cultura Gitana (Cigány Kultúra Intézete) által rendezett Vidas Gitanas. Cigányok Spanyolországban című kiállítást Spanyolországban már két helyen, Granadában és Madridban is bemutatták. A kiállítás egy európai uniós projekt keretében valósul meg, amelynek magyar konzorciumi tagja a Kisebbségi és Emberi Jogi Alapítvány (KEJA). A kiállítás tőlünk tovább utazik Bécsbe, majd Portugáliába.

A kiállítást a Fundación Instituto de Cultura Gitana (Cigány Kultúra Intézete Alapítvány) az Accion Cultural Espanola (AC/E) támogatásával készítette.

A kiállítás spanyol kurátorai: Joaquín López Bustamante és Joan Oleaque Moreno.

A kiállítás magyar társkurátorai: Szeljak György és Szuhay Péter.