The Roma ethnic minority make up 30,000 persons within the Polish Republic, often coming from difficult social and economic situations. They have scarce opportunity for advancement due to stereotypes, lack of trust, and misunderstanding of their differing culture and way of life. Through a collaboration with Stowarzyszenie Romów we Wrocławiu Romani Bacht (Roma Association Romani Bacht), Jubilo initiated an intensive work session from November to December 2011 with a group of Roma youth in November 2011 in Wroclaw, Poland. The work sessions took place in the Brochów district of Wroclaw in a center of The Polish Association of Dyslexia. The artistic team developed a creative process to work with the Roma youth drawing from theatrical exercises, music, rhythm, and acrobatics.  In addition, the artistic leaders drew on material from previous theatrical research expeditions, introducing dance elements from Italian Pizzica and Tarantella.

During the work sessions, the youth also exchanged with the artists by sharing the dances and songs of their own culture. After the intensive session, Jubilo continued working with the Roma youth in a series of artistic encounters continuing the performative and musical work. Additionally, Jubilo held visual arts workshops with the youth exploring painting, drawing, and crafts.  Eventually, the youth of Romani Bacht presented their work together with the artists of Świat Nadziei in the Jubilo presentation in May 2012, entitled ‘Searching for the Language of Joy.’  The presentation was held in the Teatr Piesn Kozla (Song of the Goat Theatre) space in Wroclaw, Poland, along with screenings of documentary films, a photography exhibition, and sketches of the rehearsal process by local artists from The Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw. The project was realized with the cooperation of CIRS (Center for Information and Social Development).

Photos: Karol Jarek