Roma Journey passes through Budapest

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The play Born to Wander (Journey / DROM), focusing on the journey from Novi Sad to Berlin that was the only way out of poverty and discrimination for the Roma of the Balkans for years, features on the program of the Budapest Spring Festival at the Átrium Film-Theater on April 12, with the support of the Goethe Institute, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The English-speaking performance with Hungarian subtitles reveals the poetry and politics of "being on the road" in the form of a sensationalist TV show with lots of humor, live music and film, the producers say.

Born To Wander (Journey / DROM) is a collaborative theater project with Roma and non-Roma artists and communities, in which an artistic platform is provided to tell the stories of Roma who traveled from the north of Serbia, through Hungary to Germany. What circumstances did they try to escape? Which difficulties did they face on their journey? What dreams did they have – and what happened in the end? Is there an end?

For Roma coming from the Balkans, the route from Novi Sad via Budapest to Berlin is often the only gateway to seek asylum in Germany. Over 1,050 km are covered in overcrowded, broken cars – or even on foot; leaving behind homes and family roots, hoping for a better life. Through artistic residences in the three cities, the real stories of those who have attempted this journey have been collected to become the basis of a stage production with cooperation of Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian and German artists.

The artistic result is Journey / DROM, a show which the producers say destroys your expectations of what a Roma performance should be – full of humor, just the right amount of chaos, and some hard-hitting moments which touch the nerve of what it is like to be Roma in Europe today.

Originally initiated by Per Aspera (Berlin), the project is developed together with RomaTrial (Berlin), Pro Progressione (Budapest) and Kulturanova (Novi Sad). The multicultural ensemble with artists from Serbia, Hungary and Germany will examine how Roma identity and culture is portrayed today – including the ongoing struggle against stereotypes and racism, which create social, political and economic barriers in every corner of Europe. Through this project, the artists act and advocate for a better representation and understanding of Europe’s largest minority.

The play can only be seen in Budapest on April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Átrium Film-Theater (Margit körút 55, Budapest 1024) on the program of the Budapest Spring Festival, with the support of the Goethe Institute. The event is jointly organized with Pro Progressione Nonprofit Ltd.

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