Roma Visual Lab 8. (2018)

Roma Images in Archives

Returning for a seventh season in the spring of 2018, the Roma Image Studio was an unconventional form of learning and education in the scope of a community film club, with its activities based on the inclusion and active participation of its members. The Roma Image Studio ambitions to become a scene of cultural resistance in the spirit of socially engaged science. In terms of content, it devotes critical attention to the cinematic and general visual appearance and representation of Roma people, but in broader terms it is interested in the visual representation of every minority. The critical basic stance of the studio is resultant from the fact that the appearance and representation of Roma people in images throughout history has never actually meant their visibility as well, and this has not changed. In the process of making these images sharper, focusing on the relation of majority and minority as well as the social and cultural context of constructing images are of key significance. The Roma Image Studio focuses on a different aspect in its analysis of Roma images each year, also relying on viewers’ response, guests’ impressions and suggestions in the development of the program’s concept and content.

The Roma Image Studio is organised collectively, on a participatory basis. Its scope of activities is diverse, as it involves more than the mere selection and screening of films: also research related to the selected pieces, knowledge production and the practical implementation of the concept of “moving movie”, in other words, site-specific cinema, more specifically, establishing a close relationship with the venues selected for the programs. Additionally, organising also involves proper communication, designing the promotion of each event, embedding in into social media, moderation, recording and archival of the discussions following each screening. First of all, visitors of the program could get acquainted with the previous activity, programs and pedagogical concept of the Roma Image Studio, followed by the exploration of the 2018 season’s central theme, the archive, with the help of individual films and screening venues. The following program description includes the six main themes and the program itself, that is, the titles of the films screened, as well as the venues, additional information and an essay that facilitates the approach and interpretation of each archive. Staying faithful to its traditions, the Roma Image Studio took part in organising several extra programs, such as the screening of a specific film at several locations on the occasion of the International Roma Day, and we participated in compiling the program of  Saját Színház (Proper Theatre) at Trafó in the second half of the semester, and also in the storytelling festival organised by Független Színház (Independent Theatre).

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