Romania: Creative Storytelling Workshops with Roma Gypsies

From May – June 2016 Brush&Bow undertook a six week project funded by The British Arts Council in collaboration with Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (FSC), an NGO working with arts therapy in northeast Romania. Brush&Bow provided creative storytelling workshops with Roma gypsy children, using comic strips and street photography to allow them to explore their daily experiences. During this time Brush&Bow also worked with a community of rural Roma Gypsy musicians using sound-recordings to document the rich cultural heritage of marginalised groups within Europe. The stories from this project were published in various publications and the artwork and photography from the workshops with the children into an exhibition in the coming year. 

During this project we hoped to create spaces of trust, whereby art and music could be used as a form of communication to transcend boundaries and open up space for communication. The Roma Gypsy community have faced systematic discrimination from all directions for generations so naturally we faced difficulty as ‘outsiders’ showing an interest. However over an extended period of time, and through the clear intention that we were simply there to listen to what they wanted to share, moments emerged where we were proudly shown traditional music, art, told local stories of discrimination within the classroom, and asked about our own worlds.