Czech Republic: NGO campaign draws attention to anti-Romani prejudice
A new campaign against prejudice toward Romani people has been launched in the Czech Republic to mark International Romani Day this year by the ARA ART organization. The campaign is called #PrayForPrej and its main ideas is that Romani people do not live according to prejudiced expectations, but fully participate in Czech society, and people should not believe the lies disseminated about them.
In a video spot for the campaign called "That's Not How We Live" (My žijeme jinak) feature film actor Roman Michalčík plays the main role. During the clip he offers examples of the usual prejudices about Romani people living on welfare and committing crime, as well as the favorite prejudice that Romani people have "something" in their genes.
"They say I steal, they say I beat people up, they say I get medicines for free," Michalčík says in the video, which ends with the statement: "They say you all believe that stuff - but that's not how we live." David Tišer, director of ARA ART, told news server Romea.cz that "We are drawing attention to the prejudices and stereotypes that still prevail against our community. On the occasion of International Romani Day 2016 we are sending the message that no matter what labels are applied to us, that's not how we actually live - we are a full-fledged part of this society."
The campaign was launched on the occasion of International Romani Day 2016. The main theme of ARA ART's celebrations this year is "Honoring the Invisible" - the young Romani people who are still constantly subjected to the many biased allegations made about them by Czech society.
ARA ART's gala evening celebrating International Romani Day will take place on Friday 8 April 2016 at 19:30 in the La Fabrika theater in Prague's Holešovice quarter. Musical performers will include Gejza Horváth, Antonín Gondolán, Marta Balážová, Gitana, Radek Bagár, Funky Brothers, Jan Bendig, Miro Bartoš and many others.
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