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June 26, 2022



Romafuturismo Library moves to northern Czech town of Most with new name: The Josef Serinek Library

23.2.2019 6:47
Ladislava Gažiová, the initiator of the multilingual library of literature about Roma and by Romani authors, a project first called
Ladislava Gažiová, the initiator of the multilingual library of literature about Roma and by Romani authors, a project first called "Romafuturismo", participating in the 12-hour marathon reading to launch its first location in Prague on 1 February 2018. (PHOTO: Facebook page of Romafuturismo)

After one year of operation, the multilingual library of literature about Roma and by Romani authors, called Romafuturismo, is now moving into a new space. The collection is leaving Prague and relocating to the Chanov housing estate in the town of Most, which is mostly home to Romani community members.

The library has also changed its name. After reaching agreement with the residents of Chanov, the library will now be called the Josef Serinek Library, a reference to the historical figure of an anti-Nazi fighter.

The grand opening of the library will take place at its new address on Saturday, 2 March. "The books we have are rare here, and for that reason, readers in Chanov will now have the opportunity to access Romani authors and books describing Romani history," Ladislava Gažiová, the founder of the library, told Czech Television.

The founder said there is already interest in the facility in Most and some local readers are placing requests for books before it officially opens. According to those running it, from the beginning the library has been a place for discussions and meetings where the main actors were meant to mainly be Romani.

Romafuturismo was originally based in the spaces of the Tranzitdisplay Gallery in the Nové Město neighborhood of Prague. Administrators of the collection said the fact that the library has been located at an arts institution has been a big barrier to the Romani community accessing it.

"We have long considered moving the library closer to a Romani community and now we have managed that. We will be addressing what the library will contribute and shaping it together with people from Chanov," Gažiová told Czech Television.

"That kind of connection was the main aim of the library and it appears that we are finally fulfilling that," the founder said. The organizers want to hold activities for children and youth as well as regular readings at the library.

Debates and lectures for adults will also be included on the library's program. The opening in Most will feature Romani author Iveta Kokyová, whose reading will be accompanied by a screening of the animated Romani fairytales produced by the Budapest-based studio Kecskemét Film.

The founders of the library want to raise awareness about Romani authors and are collecting works that are mainly by European Romani authors. Currently the library has about 300 titles available.

Most itself has been the center of attention ever since Czech Television launched a controversial comedy series ("Most!") set there at the beginning of the year that has broken records for Monday-night ratings. The town was visited earlier this week by Government officials and legislators, whose tour of Chanov was broadcast live online by ROMEA TV.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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