2021 is the 50th anniversary of the First World Roma Congress, which took place in London in 1971. Art and culture have always been in a fruitful interaction with the political emancipation movement of the Sinti and Roma. Together with Oblique Arts (Cambridge), the ERIAC European Institute for Arts and Culture (Berlin), the Romani Cultural & Arts Company (Cardiff) the Kai Dikhas Foundation, as part of the London Committee for the 50th Anniversary, is celebrating this occasion with an exhibition that, due to the pandemic situation, initially only has been available as an online gallery at https://worldromacongressart.com. But then the “World Congress Art Selection” toured with important works of contemporary art by Roma and Sinti of the Kai Dikhas Collection to Seville, where it inaugurated the new “Helios Gómez” room as a place of minority culture in the City Museum Centro Ceramica Triana. The exhibition was then shown with great success in London at Gallery 198, 198 Contemporary Art and Learning, a historical and cultural site of black culture in the Brixton district. World Roma Congress Art is now opening in the Kai Dikhas Foundation, but here with a special focus on the “Commissioned Art” section, in which works of art that have been determined in a Europe-wide competition can be seen.


We are also particularly pleased that, in addition to the art, we have received a golden suitcase from London from the English activists, which symbolizes the unifying legacy and the spirit of optimism of the First World Roma Congress.


A documentary film by Committee member Iona Constantinescu about the World Roma Congress and a collection of medals of bravery awarded to Roma soldiers of the Soviet Army in the fight against fascism, remind us that both the political activism of the minority and the work of the artists are in constant confrontation with the forces of exclusion and persecution and the current and future spaces of the culture of the Sinti and Roma can only be achieved through consistent artistic and political work.


Curated by Moritz Pankok and Beverly Carpenter


Jury „Commissioned Art“: Isaac Blake (Romani Cultural & Art Company), Beverley Carpenter (Oblique Arts), Moritz Pankok (Stiftung Kai Dikhas), Miguel Angel Vargas Rubio (ERIAC)