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University of Alicante commemorates International Roma Day

The Office of the Vice President for Equality, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility has programmed a whole series of activities starting next week to celebrate the 8th of April. 

  

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Alicante, Friday  23 April 2021

The University of Alicante has programmed several activities between the months of April and May on the occasion of the 8th of April, International Roma Day, which commemorates the first International Roma Conference that took place in London in 1971. At this meeting, the Romani flag was chosen, a flag with a cartwheel. Romani was confirmed as their official language as well as their international anthem "Gelem Gelem".

The Office of the Vice President for Equality, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility in collaboration with the Chair on Roma Culture, the Regional Ministry for Equality and Inclusive Policies and with the participation of the Roma associations and entities Arakerando Association of Roma Women, Association of Roma Jurists, Valencia Region Federation of Roma Associations (FAGA) and the intercultural social non-profit organisation Fundación Secretariado Gitano has programmed a series of activities that will begin on Monday 26 April and will culminate on the 28th with an institutional ceremony where the flag of the Roma People will be raised next to the symbol of the University of Alicante, the sculpture of the hand (Drawing Space). 

Vice President Eva Espinar pointed out that this is an important milestone that concerns us all, and from the University of Alicante, we want to contribute to inclusion through mutual knowledge, training and research. 

Activities

The programme to commemorate the International Day of the Roma People will begin on Monday 26 April with a series of awareness-raising workshops that will last until 30 April. It has been organised by Roma students from the UA in coordination with lecturers from different degrees (Sociology, Social Work, History, Primary Education and Infant Education). The aim is to make  a journey from the lived history to the current daily life of Roma people in our society.

On the same day, two exhibitions will be inaugurated, "Mírame: ¿ahora me ves?" in the Main Library, an exhibition that was born from the collaborative process done over two years between members of the Roma People of Alicante and students and teachers of the University of Alicante, and "Cartelería de todo un camino hecho de la mano: Pueblo Gitano-UA", in the lecture building II, which focuses on the close collaboration between the UA and the world of Roma associations since 2004. The two exhibitions can be visited until 10 May.

On the 30th, organised by the University of Alicante Chair on Roma Culture, there will be an online meeting with Roma researchers on Conversatory: Research from the Roma perspective, where they will share the lines that are being developed from Roma thought and perspective in research in different academic spaces. This activity aims to give visibility to people who can become role models for students and contribute to breaking down stereotypes about the Roma people, both in society and in the university.

A bibliographic exhibition on History and Culture of the Roma People can also be visited online. The exhibition is structured in two guides, "History and Culture of the Roma People. Books" and "History and Culture of the Romany Population. Audiovisual resources" with the aim of offering visibility to the bibliographic resources that the UA Library has related to the Roma People and their culture. 

Among the resources offered by the exhibition, the sound recordings from the Radio Paris collection, included in the Devuélveme la voz (Give me back my voice) portal is worth mentioning. It brings the situation of the Roma people in France from a different perspective, yet always closely related to Spain. A total of fifteen recordings are preserved on different aspects of religion - with an insight of the Evangelical Church -, culture, worldview, daily problems, artistic-musical expression, etc.

Finally, the activities will be completed with the Enfokaló21 Photography Competition, open to anyone from the UA community, where several perspectives and visions of the Roma People, their culture and idiosyncrasies, traditions, experiences and aspects of their social reality can be captured. The deadline for submitting proposals is 17 May 2021.

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