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May 17, 2022



Romani band Bengas issues new video protesting racist attacks after performer moves away from the Czech Republic

9.2.2019 12:35

Bengas, a Romani music group based in Prague, disagrees with the extreme politics against Romani people currently being promoted by many initiatives or even entire states. The band considers the pogroms and racist attacks underway against Romani people in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Ukraine to be absolutely unacceptable.

"We call on all democratic European politicians to clearly oppose these displays of intolerance against Romani people and to do everything they can to push the politicians of the states involved to correct the situation. We also call on all Romani people to engage in activism. Roma masoven!" Bengas writes in their statement accompanying the new video protesting racist violence against Romani people.

"As artists we must express our opinion loud and clear to the politicians about the current negative politics underway in some states. For that reason, we have chosen to record a Balkan folk song from our repertoire that clearly captures the terrible life of the Romani people," the band writes.

"This song is also a response to the fact that one of our band members, Vladimír Demeter, has moved away from the Czech Republic. One of the basic impulses for his doing so was to guarantee the safety of his children and offer them a democratic environment for their education," Bengas says.

"He wants his children to live in a country that does not decide about you based on your nationality or social background, but on the basis of your ability to succeed and be of benefit to society," the Romani musicians say. Bengas first formed in the autumn of the year 2001.

The band has performed at all of the leading festivals in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, elsewhere in Europe and the USA. When the internationally-renowned Gypsy Kings performed at Prague's T-mobile Arena, Bengas was their opening act.

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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