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May 23, 2022



Czech civic organization Konexe celebrates 10th anniversary and Roma Resistance Day in Prague with discussion about Romani refugees from Ukraine

14.5.2022 7:33
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

On Sunday, May 15, the Cross Club in Prague will see celebrations will take place for the Konexe organization's 10th anniversary and the annual celebration of Roma Resistance Day, which is commemorated every year on 16 May, Miroslav Brož of Konexe has informed Admission to the event is free of charge. 

"Experience a day full of reminiscences and entertainment, taste Romani culinary specialties, enjoy Romani music and participate in a debate about Roma resistance to Fascism and Nazism during World War II. Due to the current situation, we are including a discussion about aid to Romani refugees from Ukraine on the program," the invitation from Konexe says.

At the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, something absolutely extraordinary happened when the Romani people imprisoned in what was called the "Gypsy Camp" there rebelled against members of the SS; news server first reported on this history in 2015, publishing a study by historian Michal Schuster describing the Auschwitz Roma Uprising. In 2019, representatives of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum questioned whether 16 May had been the exact date of this event. 

"Thanks to recent research, we know today that the passive resistance at the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau took place not on 16 May, but at the beginning of April 1944. The active resistance subsequently took place during the liquidation of that sector of the concentration camp in August, when more than 4 200 Romani people were murdered," officials from the memorial announced.

Be that as it may, the day of the Roma resistance at Auschwitz continues to be commemorated traditionally on 16 May. "Together we will recall the heroism of the Romani prisoners and discuss what it means today," Brož said.

The Czech-Roma Konexe association was established in the spring of 2012 in response to a series of violent anti-Roma demonstrations in the Czech Republic in 2011; its main agenda is to support Romani communities during times of crisis and endangerment and the defense of the human rights of Romani boys and girls, men and women. However, the organization also focuses on community work, critical and radical social work, activation of impoverished Romani communities and their empowerment. 

In recent years, Konexe has been involved, for example, in the fight for the removal of the industrial pig farm from the places where the genocide of the Roma happened at Lety u Písku during the Second World War. Konexe has provided moral support to Romani communities targeted by hateful demonstrations, provided aid to those Romani communities targeted for forced evictions, and assisted Romani victims of hate-motivated violence.

16:30 - Debate on the Roma Resistance and the Roma Uprising in Auschwitz on 16 May 1944
17:30 - Discussion about the situation of Romani refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic (in collaboration with Initiativa Hlavák)
18:30 - 10 years of Konexe
19:30 - "Gypsy Brož" concert - Romani Dance Music by an authentic Romani band from the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem. The band was put together by tenants evicted from residential hotels in 2018.
21:30 - "I Don't Have To" concert - RAP/HIP HOP continuing the work of the legendary Romani Gansta Hip Hop crew, De La Negra.
22:30 - DJ

Traditional Romani dishes will be available for tasting throughout the day!

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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