Public event “Roma in Ukraine – Fighters for Democracy, Human Rights and Justice”

April 25, 2024

On 16 May in Berlin – Romani Resistance Day, ARCA together with Pilecki Institute Berlin, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and Society for Threatened Peoples Germany are hosting a public event “Roma in Ukraine – Fighters for Democracy, Human Rights and Justice” in Berlin. 

Roma consider themselves as an integral part of Ukrainian society, the diversity of which presents a unique cluster of European culture that has to be safeguarded and promoted. Roma in Ukraine have their own exclusive cultural heritage that have been safeguarded internally by the communities for centuries despite persecution, genocides and wars or globalization or commercialization. Roma took an active role in historical events, particularly during WWII when many Roma fought against Nazi-Germany. On the other hand, ten thousands of Roma became victims of the racial persecution and were killed in extermination and concentration camps or in random mass-shootings. 

In the contemporary context of the full-scale invasion of Russia, Roma in Ukraine take again an active position as citizens of Ukraine. Many Roma are fighting in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and contribute in many different ways to the defense and reconstruction of Ukraine. Women are sewing for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, musicians are giving charity concerts, NGOs are organising free meals for vulnerable people irrespective of their ethnic origin and others are collecting money to support soldiers. And this all happens despite the existing antigypsyism in Ukraine.

Though cultural diplomacy we foster recognition and appreciation of the Roma contribution in defending Ukraine against the full-scale invasion, which should be known for the broader public. The event “Roma in Ukraine – Fighters for Democracy, Human Rights and Justice” intends to make these facts more known and contribute to challenge the prejudices and stereotypes about Roma. The event with an exhibition, film screening and a discussion will demonstrate the diversity of Roma and their contributions to democracy, human rights and justice. The event should raise awareness among decision-makers and within societies and foster the recognition of the Roma communities. 

In a more overall setting, the event is linked to ongoing policy processes such as the plans for the recovery of Ukraine (Ukraine Recovery Conference, Ukraine Recovery Plan), the accession process of Ukraine to the European Union and internal documents such as the Targeted State Programme “Unity in Diversity” and the Roma Strategy 2030

Media partners of the event: Vitsche e.V, European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC)

Place: with Pilecki Institute, Pariser Platz 4A, 10117 Berlin

To register please fill up the form : 

Time: 16 May 2024, 18:00 – 22:00 CET

The event also will be streamed online on ARCA and partners social media channels.