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International Roma Day Commemorated in Albania

The 8th of April, International Roma Day, is celebrated by the Roma community worldwide in order to commemorate the First World Romani Congress in 1971 when the Roma started rising up as a nation, expressing their self-determination and desire for socio-political recognition.
Tirana 8 April 2020
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Artwork by Dejvi Koci (participant)

Artwork by Dejvi Koci (participant)

This year’s International Roma Day was commemorated at a moment when the world is coming together to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As an important and significant day, the ROMACTED team in Albania launched the virtual exhibition “Misto avilen me khereste /Welcome at my home” to mark the 8th of April during this year’s pandemic outbreak. The young Roma artists transformed their homes into a gallery to exhibit their individual artworks, reflecting their spiritual inner-self and societal values of tolerance, solidarity and co-existence.

Orsiola Kurti, ROMACTED Project Officer in Tirana, and Sead Kazanxhiu, visual artist and ROMACTED facilitator, participated in the A2 CNN TV broadcast on 8th April via Skype. Ms Kurti highlighted the ROMACTED Programme’s achievements both at policy and community level, focusing on the Local Action Plans for Roma Integration and the National Guidelines on Roma Responsive Budgeting at Local Level:

“Roma Responsive Budgeting helps local authorities in Albania to serve the most vulnerable citizens during the Covid-19 pandemic and the access of Roma to potable water and decent housing conditions is indispensable”, she highlighted.

 

Mr Kazanxhiu introduced the legacy of International Roma Day and explained the importance of celebrating it in the current crisis, giving emphasis to the self-empowerment of the communities and promotion of the artwork of Roma artists. This virtual exhibition “Welcome at my home” is also an additional means of drawing attention to the lives and needs of the Roma community in Albania.

This initiative was supported by the Institute of Romani Culture in Albania (IRCA), within the framework of the joint EU/CoE ROMACTED Programme “Promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at local level”.

For further information, the virtual exhibition “Misto avilen me khereste /Welcome at my home” s available here as well as the A2 CNN TV broadcast here.