THE JOURNEY / DROM is a collaborative theatre project with Roma and non-Roma artists and communities, in which an artistic platform to tell the stories of Roma, who went from the north of Serbia, through Hungary to Germany, is provided.
What circumstances did they try to escape? Which difficulties did they face on their journey? What dreams did they have – and what happened in the end? Is there an end?
For Roma coming from the Balkans, the route from Novi Sad via Budapest to Berlin is often the only gateway to seek asylum in Germany.
Over 1050km are passed in overcrowded, broken cars – or even on foot; leaving behind their homes and familiar roots, hoping for a better life.
Through artistic residencies in the three cities, real stories of those who have attempted this Journey will be collected to become the basis of a stage production, as well as a printed graphic novel.
Originally initiated by Per Aspera (Berlin), the project is developed together with RomaTrial (Berlin), Pro Progressione (Budapest) and Kulturanova (Novi Sad). The multicultural ensemble with artists from Serbia, Hungary and Germany will explore the poetics and politics of “being on the road” (Ando Drom), and examine how Roma identity and culture is performed today – including the on-going struggle against stereotypes and racism, which create social, political, and economic obstructions for them in every corner of Europe.
Through this project, we act and advocate for a better representation and understanding of Europe’s largest minority.
It is our goal to work towards better mutual understanding, improvement of Roma standing in publicity and politics, and more harmonious multicultural communities through intercultural exchange and the telling of stories that are seldom heard.
Already as a result of this project, a network of Roma and non-Roma artists is being established, opening the possibility of future collaborations.
The artistic result is a show which destroys your expectations of what a Roma performance should be – full of humour, just the right amount of chaos, and some hard-hitting moments which touch the nerve of what it is like to be Roma in Europe today.
On the 8th of April – the International Roma Day – the project’s first work-in-progress performance in Gorki Studio Я was met with a more than sold out house (over 110 people showed up to a 75 seat theatre) and rave reviews from both the Berlin artistic community as well as some prestigious guests from the Roma political and activist prominence.
The project continues as a co-production with the Gorki Studio Я, to premiere in ehemaliges Stummfilmkino Delphi on October 27, 2016, with guest performances in Gorki Studio Я, Budapest, and Novi Sad to follow.