eXiles-Rising awareness on antigypsyim through Holocaust education and remembrance
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of 2 August – the European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, ternYpe International Roma Youth Network and its partners organized this international youth activity in order raise awareness of young people about the Roma Holocaust and to strengthen the youth activism against racism and antigypsyism in Europe today.
The Roma Genocide still remains largely unrecognized in European history, t is only in recent years and thanks to common efforts of Roma and non-Roma organizations and individuals that the Roma Genocide is gradually gaining official recognition. At the same time we witness an increase of hate speech and racism against Roma and other minorities across Europe. We believe that youth plays a vital role in the process of constructing tolerant and inclusive societies, based on deep understanding of the past.
The international youth activity aimed to raise awareness of young people about the Roma Genocide, as well as the consequences for today, to develop critical thinking and reflection in understanding and analyzing the past and the present struggle of Roma in the world; to familiarize the participants with the concept of remembrance and its relevance and role in addressing contemporary antigypsyism, and to strengthen dignity, solidarity and empathy of and with people who suffer racism, discrimination and any form of injustice. In particular, this year the youth exchange focused on Romani resistance and reconciliation in the past and present.
The exchange was based on methods of non-formal education, a lot of working groups and interactive methods using art and cultural expressions of memories, oral history meetings with Roma survivors, visit to the Auschwitz museum, commemoration event, focusing on building a connection of the past with current issues of antigypsyism and hate speech online. The project created a long-term partnership between Roma and non-Roma youth organizations to share practices and experiences and to strengthen their cooperation for mutual respect and dialogue.
The exchange created an intergenerational dialogue with the last Holocaust survivors and the 2nd generation, but also with institutional representatives (CoE, EU, civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson). The youth exchange created for the first time a highly visible role and contribution of young people to the official institutional commemoration of the “European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day” – on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of 2 August.
Educational concept and educational materials
The project “eXiles-Rising awareness on antigypsyim through Holocaust education and remembrance” was based on methods of non-formal education, including working groups to share experiences and practices, interactive workshops to learn and reflect about Roma history etc. The work was based on the Council of Europe handbook “Right to Remember” and “Mirrors” Handbook to fight antigypsyism”. The handbook was developed in close connection with the Dikh He Na Bister initiative between 2011 and 2013. Based on the handbook further workshops were developed and tested over the years.
This year’s project “eXiles-Rising awareness on antigypsyim through Holocaust education and remembrance” in the framework of the DiKH He Na Bister initiative is part of the remembrance activities for the 75th anniversary of 2 August – European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day 2019. Dikh He Na Bister is featured in this joint publication with the organizers of the other remembrance activities. http://2august.eu/publication-european-roma-holocaust-memorial-day-2019/
This project took place in the context of DIKH HE NA BISTER – the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative, which was developed in cooperation also with the Council of Europe Youth Department. The project created the opportunity for 70 young people from 14 European countries to participate in a non-formal educational program which was based on the Council of Europe educational handbooks “Mirrors” and “Right to Remember”.