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Avdives Khetanes Festival – theater performances and education, creation, craftmanship and gastronomy workshops of in Ferentari (August 25 – 26)

Avdives Khetanes Festival brings together people from Ferentari and all those interested in Roma culture, aiming to create bridges and collaborations in and outside the community. For two days, children and adults will meet Roma personalities and real success models during theater perfomances and workhops of photography, painting, craftmanship, gastronomy, civil education and history of Roma culture.

Children learn to recognize emotions

Bradul Emotiilor (The Tree of Emotions) and Silvina Visan Carter helped the children today to train to recognize and name a variety of emotions. The ability to say what we feel is one that can be learned and contributes significantly to the quality of the relationships we have.

“There are many things that make me proud to be Roma, and among them is what I call the ‘Roma resistance’” – Ciprian Necula, social anthropologist and president of Roma Education Fund

Ciprian Necula sursa

Ciprian Necula is the co-founder of the Aresel platform, dedicated to the fight against racism. He also holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology and is currently coordinating a master’s degree in Roma history. He’s used his ethnicity to free himself from prejudice and is convinced that individual liberation is the solution. Ciprian Necula is, however, actively involved in many projects aimed at empowering and helping marginalized Roma communities. For him, the mere fact of the Roma resistance over the centuries is a huge thing and part of the pride of being of this ethnicity. More aout Roma identity and culture from Ciprian Necula, the current president of Roma Education Fund:

“I would tell all Ferentari children to read if they have where and how. I think only they can fulfill their dreams.”—An interview with Marian Ursan, activist and sociologist

Marian Ursan _

Marian Ursan is the founder and executive director of the Carousel Association and university lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work in Bucharest. He became involved in social services very early in life, first as a volunteer, and he has been working since 1996 as an activist in the field of HIV/AIDS, gaining a wealth of experience in developing risk reduction programs among vulnerable, marginalized groups. Marian knows Ferentari very well, and his answers to the problems faced by people here are also a call for self-empowerment and local solidarity. A pragmatic vision shared with us in an extensive interview

Interview with the young Roma artist Ionuț Niculae: “My script for Ferentari is one in which there will be workshops given by actors in collaboration with psychologists to help more these young people”

Ionuț “Jean” Niculae is one of the most gifted young Roma ethnics in Romania, a man who clawed his way up from the gutter, going through all the stages of a childhood marked by uncertainties but who managed to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. Sensitive to the dramas and difficulties of young people in the Capital’s poorer and more marginalized neighborhoods, Jean Niculae set up a theater laboratory (Brightside Drama) for high school students. You can see him on the stages of various theaters in the Capital (Point, TNB) and in recent film productions (Netflix), where he’s always surprising and willing to adapt his repertoire.

Meșteshukar ButiQ — The success story of traditional Roma craft

Very little is known about Roma craftsmen and their ancient skills. Yet, it is a cultural heritage that can change negative attitudes toward Roma, providing the families of these craftsmen with the financial impetus to lift themselves out of poverty. At Meșteshukar ButiQ, a social enterprise network, all these artifacts of Roma culture are revalued and reinterpreted from the perspective of modern design

Andrei Șerban, on political actor’s mission: “I think that one of the main stakes of the kind of theater I practice is to give voice to communities and people who are ignored and pushed to the sidelines by the system”

Andrei Serban actor

Andrei Șerban is one of the leading actors in the local political theater and one of the co-founders of Macaz, the most important political theater platform in Romania. For him, acting is art with direct social stakes, an instrument through which people become aware of the problems faced by specific segments of the population. His Roma origin didn’t prevent him from pursuing his artistic dreams but made him aware of the persistent inequalities and discrimination that certain social categories must face. He’s very fond of PlayHood and is currently working on “Povestea Gaborilor din Telciu,” where a few members of this theater group will perform.