HERE WE STAY... CONTEMPORARY GYPSY ART IN GRANADA
The Federico García Lorca Center in Granada, where the bibliographic collections of the most universal Andalusian poet are kept, is hosting until January 7 the international exhibition of contemporary gypsy painting and sculpture Akathe te beshen, sastipen thaj mestepen (Here we stay, health and freedom), which brings together, for the first time, artists from that ethnic group in Spain.
The exhibition, which has already been seen in other European countries such as France and Germany, was organized by the Institute of Gypsy Culture and curated by Moritz Pancok, from Berlin´s gallery Kai Dikhas, a reference in the promotion of Romany culture. It also had the collaboration of the Goethe Institute and Romarchive.
It brings together techniques as varied as their authors: watercolors, oil paintings, illustrations, photographs, installations, audiovisual performances and sculptures created by artists from several nations of the old continent, some Spaniards and mostly gypsies.
While going through it, the spectator travels through the history and the present of the gypsy people: fear, exile, concentration camps, holocaust, cries of survival, of recovery of the collective memory, of homage to the victims, of creative freedom and movement. Because, even today, the gipsy or Romany people are a much ramified community in the international scene, but without a defined territory of their own. After so many centuries, nothing seems to have changed, and persecution, discrimination and obstacles to integrate into society continue to haunt them.
Currently, between ten and fifteen million Europeans are gypsies; of them, one million live in Spain, mainly in Andalusia. After the Second World War and since the beginning of the 21st century, artists of gypsy origin have been making their way and attracting the attention of critics. Some of them have come to stay, like some of those present in this exhibition that speaks of the freedom and good health of this millenary culture.