IN LOVING MEMORY
Damian Le Bas
Especially today, on 9 December, we miss our friend, the creator of our beautiful eye logo and a beautiful soul: The British-Romani artist Damian Le Bas whom we used to call The President, president of GYPSYLAND EUROPA.
“Gypsyland Europa is my dream, just like Martin Luther King’s dream. My maps are a subversive imaginary conquest, a Roma resistance against racism and right wing propaganda. I cannot read and write very well so my art is my voice and weapon for my Roma resistance.”
Damian Le Bas
Damian Le Bas was born in Sheffield U.K. in 1963. He studied at the Royal College of Art London 1985–1987. He was one of the sixteen artists who were part of Paradise Lost, the first Roma pavilion at Venice Biennale 2007. Together with his wife, the artist Delaine Le Bas, they created Safe European Home?. Gypsy Revolution and Gypsy DaDa were also two other artistic creations initiated by Damian Le Bas. His works have been exhibited internationally since the late 1980’s. Damian was the initiator of COME OUT NOW! 1st Roma Biennale.
Damian has gone way too early on 9 December 2017 – exactly a year ago. We still can’t believe he isn’t with us anymore. This drawing by him reminds us of the beautiful time we spent with him during his visit of the 1st edition of AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Film in October 2017 and gives us power to continue what we have started together: JELL ON, PHRALLAS AND PHENS! GO ON, BROTHERS AND SISTERS!
The AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Films opens up the dialogue between artists & the variety of Romani groups, but also between Romani and non-Romani people. In that sense the festival’s central topic is not only to make the unseen be seen, but also to encourage exchange and dialogue.
This blog wants to mirror this open structure. Out of multiple perspectives it will accompany, document, and comment AKE DIKHEA? The blog team provides the festival community with interviews, photos, podcasts, and further impressions of AKE DIKHEA? 2018.
Invitation to AKE DIKHEA? Festival of Romani Film vol. 2
Seven reasons why to visit the Festival of Romani Film 2018 - directly from the festival jury Artur Conka, Éva Kalla, Candis Nergaard, Katalin Gödrös and Pablo Vega, who are responsible for this year's film selection!
THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN PUBLISHED!
In this year, the festival program contains 25 feature-long, documentary and short films, two screenings for schools, a workshop about criticizing power through images, a panel discussion about Romani women in film and of course a legendary AKE DIKHEA? party. With its motto #EUROMA4EVER, the festival is a plea for an open Europe in which Roma live for centuries - and in which they finally claim an equal, self-determined space in the society after centuries of oppression.
Opening evening with two premieres
The festival is going to be opened on 6 December with two premieres: the world premiere of the Britisch short film WRESTLING WITH MY ROOTS by Charles Newland and the Germany premiere of the Hungarian documentary film GHETTO BALBOA by Árpád Bogdán. Both directors will present their film personally to the Berlin audience.
Focus on Romani women in film
On Sunday, 9 December, the main focus is on Romani women in film in different roles. Therefore all the Sunday films show strong female protagonists - no matter if they are world famous flamenco dancer like LA CHANA in the documantary of the same name by Lucija Stojevic, a poor girl called VALENTINA (by Maximilian Feldmann) living in a run down one-room shack in the Romani municipality of Šutka, in Skopje, Macedonia or one of the most important civil rights activist of 21st century from Sweden like TAIKON (by Gellert Tamas & Lawen Mohtadi).