Field of Focus III – Explorer ProjectArtistic Alternatives to the Antigypsy Gaze

Project leaders: Radmila Mladenova, Prof. Dr. Frank Reuter, Prof. Dr. Edgar Wolfrum

Contact: Radmila Mladenova

Visual media, and especially the dominant medium of film, are instrumental in the formation and dissemination of antigypsy attitudes. As pioneering research conducted at the Re-search Centre on Antigypsyism (RCA) has already demonstrated, fictional ‘gypsy’-themed films represent a pan-European phenomenon since the dawn of cinema as they play a key role in the construction and re-negotiation of ‘white’ national identities in Europe. One important question in this context is what artistic alternatives there are to transform filmic antigypsyism and the antigypsy gaze in general. This is the main question this Explorer Project intends to examine, namely to analyse and catalogue artistic alternatives to rac-ist/racializing discourses by focusing on three interrelated und hitherto unexplored areas of study:

  1. A comparative study of filmic antigypsyism that explores the similarities and differences to filmic antisemitism as well as to other racist/racializing discourses.
  2. A comparative study of antigypsy films and films in which the Holocaust against Sinti and Roma is addressed, examining the transformative impact that the topic of the Holocaust has on the narrative strategies and visual aesthetics of films. Adjacent question here is antigypsyism in films produced during the Nazi period.
  3. Extrapolation of successful artistic strategies aimed at resisting, subverting and/or transcending antigypsy stereotypes in film.

As one practice-oriented transfer output, a Film Toolkit will be produced with instructive case studies targeted at professionals in the filmmaking industry and the Sinti and Roma, to be disseminated via the digital platform of RomArchive.