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European Center of Romani Music production about Lety concentration camp for Romani people

Prague, 7.5.2014 0:04, (ROMEA)
"Lety-1942", a musical theater production, premiere 8 May 2014, Divadlo Ponec, Prague, Czech Republic.

The European Center of Romani Music in Prague, in collaboration with Slovak director Dana Račková, is producing a musical theater performance entitled "Lety - 1942". The production tells the story of the fates of the victims of the Czech concentration camp of Lety by Písek, which was called a "Gypsy Camp" at the time.   

Lety was intended for "gypsies, gypsy half-breeds and persons traveling in the gypsy way". Even though the issue of the camp has received a great deal of media coverage, there are almost no detailed descriptions available of what took place there.

The most extensive work discussing the fate of this camp and its victims is a collection of oral histories from the surviving prisoners and their families, Tíživé mlčení (Black Silence), on which this production is based. The premiere of "Lety-1942" will be in Prague's Ponec Theater on 8 May at 20:00.

Discussions between the audience, experts (historians, Romani studies scholars, theater scholars, etc.) and the producers are planned after some of the performances. The project also involves lectures at colleges, and the performances will include an exhibition about the genocide of the Roma during WWII. 

"Lety - 1942" does not aim to perfectly convey the historical truth about this concentration camp, but to silently lay a wreath at an imaginary musical monument to this history, a monument the audience creates by listening. The production combines theater, a funeral service, Romani music, a choir, artistic references, and the testimonies of those who survived the camp to create in scenic form a demonstration of respect for history, for these human beings, and for their tragic fates.  

Author and director: Dana Račková  
Music: Jiří Korman  
Scenography: Mathias Straub
Starring: Barbora Kubátová
Producers: Markéta Kocourková, Andrea Křížová
Tickets: CZK 120, CZK 190

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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