Press release, 8th April 2019 – International Romani Day.
On April 8, the International Roma Day is celebrated worldwide. This date, recalls the Roma International Congress held in London on April 8, 1971, in which the flag and the Romani anthem were instituted.
In the last years, the 'April 8' is gaining great notoriety, serving as occasion for different celebrations and communications by multiple national and European institutions.
RomaniLesson, "the chapter missing from our history books". An awareness raising campaign that seeks to increase knowledge of the Roma people among the general population in an effort to build a more intercultural and diverse society that promotes equal rights for all and breaks down discrimination.
This April 8, 2019 we share the English version of our "Romani Lesson" with the aim of giving visibility to the history and culture of the Roma people and their contributions to the shared heritage to help to break down deeply rooted prejudices and stereotypes. Shall we get to know each other?
Click here to know more: http://gitanos.org/romanilesson/
The aim of the campaign is to give visibility to the worrying levels of segregation in Spanish schools that affects thousands of Roma pupils. This practice constitutes a violation of their right to education and perpetuates discrimination and social inequalities.
The video of the campaign shows a family of Romani origin who moves to a new neighbourhood and is looking for a new school for their daughter. During a school visit, the family is openly invited to visit a segregated school where most of the pupils “come from your same background”, using comments such as “our pupils are “normal” girls and boys”, “we would have to evaluate whether she would fit in”, or probably the other school “will fit better with your profile”.
“Samuel´s Question” is a campaign launched by the NGO´s in the State Council for Roma people on 8th April, 2017 to mark the International Roma day.
Why are Roma history and culture not in my schoolbooks? Samuel is a 10-year-old Roma boy who put this question to his parents, his teacher, his headmaster and even an Education inspector... but as yet no one has been able to answer him. This is why he takes the question to the Ministry of Education to get an answer from the Minister himself.
The campaign´s objective is to focus attention on the absence of any contents regarding Roma culture and history in the national curriculum; make society aware of the need for the inclusion of a minimum content about the Roma community in order to change negative perceptions and eradicate stereotypes and prejudices that stigmatise and lead to their discrimination.
Once again, on 8th April we launched, together with the entities of the State Council for Roma People, a multi-aspect awareness campaign (video, poster, graphic on social media, etc).
Under the motto "For a dignified treatment of the Roma people in the media", we called attention to the stereotyped image that some TV programs still show, based on caricatures and clichés, with the subsequent damage on the Roma community social image.
As part of the action, a video was released early on the morning of April 8th through social networks. In the video, the boys and girls of the 2015 #IAmNotaSwindler campaign gathered again, together with other Roma adults, to show their disapproval for these TV programmes and the damage to the Roma community image. The video was accompanied by a poster of the cartoonist Eneko, postcard, plates and a Manifesto of the International Roma Day signed by the well-known writer Manuel Rivas.
8th April posters (2006-2015)
8th April- 10 Years, 10 Posters (2006-2015)
Since 2006, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano has published a commemorative poster for the International Roma Day on 8th April. Since 2014, this poster has been signed by the entities of the State Council for Roma People with the aim of promoting a more cohesive Roma associate movement.
The elements and actions of 8 April have been carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the European Social Fund.
Poster 2015. #IAmNotaSwindler Initiative
Under the emblem 'A discriminatory definition generates discrimination', the entities of the State Council for Roma People (of which the FSG forms part) launched an awareness-raising initiative focused on the definition of 'Roma' in the new (23rd) edition of the Spanish Language Dictionary. From several years ago, NGOs and institutions such as the Ombudsman had been calling on the Spanish Royal Academy to revise the definition of Roma in the Dictionary, as for example, in the 22th edition the 4th meaning read as follows: "That scam or work with deception." In late 2014, the Academy published a new edition of the Dictionary and replaced it with a new one that meaning: ‘swindler’, meaning "with cunning, deceit and lies trying to trick someone into a business."
The main piece of the campaign is a 2 min spot starring some Roma children and their reaction of surprise when they discover the meaning that the Dictionary gives the term Roma, which had a meaningful impact on social networks and the media. In addition to the spot, flyers, bookmarks and posters, including a photograph of a little girl and boy holding the message: #IAmNotaSwindler, were produced and widely distributed.
FSG participated in the organisation of commemorative events throughout the country, reading manifestos, holding ceremonies at the river and local and national receptions. It joined official events and in Madrid also carried out a street demonstration to act out "enough with discrimination". You can see the video here (Spanish).
The 2014 poster, which was created by the designer Montse Motos, represented the arrival of Roma people in Spain (six centuries ago).
Poster 2013. Author: Montse Motos
8th April 2013
In 2013 we dedicated 8th April to the European Year of Citizens, with a design by Montse Motos.
Amnesty International and FSG took the Roma issue to Brussels, to challenge the EU to put an end to discrimination in a session of the European Parliament.
Poster 2011. Author: Montse Motos
8th April 2011
2011 marked the commemoration of 40 years of the World Roma Congress held in London, which instituted the Roma flag and anthem. Our poster, produced by Montse Motos, was a celebration of this.
The slogan for FSG's institutional campaign for that year, "Roma with education, Roma with a future" was also the slogan for the national lottery ticket of 9 April, dedicated to International Roma Day.
Poster 2010. Author: Montse Motos.
8th April 2010
2010 was the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, which harboured special meaning in Spain due to the holding of a high-level European Roma Summit in Cordoba, on actions and policies for Roma people.
Montserrat Motos designed a highly successful poster for this year, which hangs in the offices of the heads of leading institutions. A limited run of prints was subsequently commissioned as institutional gifts (including to Her Majesty Queen Letizia)
Poster 2009. Author: Montse Motos.
8th April 2009
In 2009, the leading European institutions of defence of human rights issued a joint statement on the occassion of the International Roma Day.
This was the year that we began our collaboration with the illustrator Montserrat Motos, who was to design our posters from 2009 to 2014.
8th April 2008
The 2008 poster was designed by Jesús Salinas, a well-known figure in the Roma associative mouvement thanks to his decades of dedication to education and awareness in the Asociación de Enseńantes con Gitanos (AECGIT), and thanks to his photographic recording of milestone events.
The photo shows three young Roma girls "escaping from the box they've been put in", in line with FSG's awareness-raising campaign for that year.
8th April 2007
This was the second consecutive year celebrating the International Roma Day, with a poster designed by the agency Art Press. The headquarters of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano and other entities throughout Spain began to engage in this celebration with various events.
8th April 2006
In 2006, FSG began to commemorate 8th April by publishing a poster and a specially-designed logo. For that year, the protagonist of the image was Tabita Barrull, a young Roma girl from Santiago de Compostela.
The same image was used on a national lottery ticket (ONCE lottery) that was released a few days earlier (31 March).
What is 8th April?
The 'International Roma Day' is commemorated on 8 April. It shares the date of the first World Roma Congress held in London on 8 April 1971, which instituted the Roma flag and anthem.
The flag is green and blue, symbolising the sky and the countryside, with a red spoked wheel in the centre which symbolises the journey from India and freedom. The Roma anthem, "Gelem, gelem" (I went, I went), was composed by Jarko Jovanovic and remembers Roma victims of Nazism.
At the 4th World Roma Congress held in Serock (Poland), 8 April was named the International Roma Day in memory of the London Congress.Over recent years, the date of 8 April has been gaining great notoriety, becoming an occasion for numerous celebrations and communications by a great many national and international institutions.
The River Ceremony is one of these celebrations enjoyed in many locations. Women scatter petals into rivers and men light candles in memory of their ancestors.
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2019. Romani lesson (1.01 min)
2018. #DontWantASegregatedSchool (2.17 min.)
2017. #SamuelsQuestion (2.00 min.)
2016. #TrashTVisNotReality (2.48 min.)
2015. #IAmNotaSwindler| Subtitles English, Basque, Galician and Catalan (2.10 min.)
2014. Prejuicios absurdos (2.22 min.)
FSG statement 8 April 2019 social progress, recognition and participation
Dossier 8 April 2016. It gathers relevant news items, press releases, events...
Manifiest of the 2016 International Roma Day, by the writter Manuel Rivas.
Institute of Roma Culture. Since 2008, it annually awards the 8 April Roma Culture Awards.
State Council of Roma People. It organises, on an annual basis, a commemorative institutional event at national level which gathers public administrations and organisations working for Roma inclusion.