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Fundación Secretariado Gitano hosts exhibition “History of the Invisible, the Roma people in Spain”


31 January-1 March. Madrid

FSG Promoción Cultural

Fundación Secretariado Gitano hosts exhibition “History of the Invisible, the Roma people in Spain”<br><br> This exhibition seeks to improve public knowledge about the history and culture of the Roma people in Spain and its contribution to our cultural heritage

The history of Roma people in Spain is marked by centuries of repression at the hands of the State, in its attempt to eradicate an ethnic and cultural minority that intended to preserve its identity within a society that excluded it.

Through reproductions of the originals, the public will be able to see many anti-Roma texts such as the first Decree signed by the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, in 1499 and learn about the many Roma men that were sentenced to row in the galleys or about the project of extermination of 1749, the Great Gypsy Round-up (“Gran Redada”), a raid authorized and organized by the Crown of Spain that led to the arrest of many of the Roma in the region, and their imprisonment in labour camps, which can be viewed as one of the last attempts by the crown to purify the country of Spain by large-scale dislocation of a whole ethnic community.

This exhibition will also illustrate the contribution of Roma to the cultural heritage of Spain and will show some materials Roma people used in the crafts of shearing, sharpening, basket weaving, metal working, agricultural work, etc. The music and other Romani arts will be also protagonists of the exhibition.

This temporary exhibition is aimed at society at large and seeks to contribute to improving mutual knowledge and a peaceful coexistence between communities. The exhibition can be visited in our headquarters in Madrid by anyone interested in learning more about the Roma community.

This event is part of the FSG´s efforts to improve public knowledge about the history and culture of Roma and aims to remedy the lack of knowledge that sometimes lies beneath negative attitudes and discrimination.

This is the same spirit that motivates our last campaign  #RomaniLesson, "the lost chapter of the history books" which includes a video and some other dissemination materials such as a book "Romani Lesson" (which will be available in English in mid-February) and that presents the history of the Roma people in Spain and their contribution to the common social and cultural heritage.

For more information about the exhibition or to schedule a visit contact




Manuel Martínez, the historian behind the exhibition.

Born in Almería in 1955, he holds a PhD in Geography and History from the University of Almería. He completed the doctoral thesis: "The forces of the Navy in the eighteenth century. The case of the Roma", for which he was awarded a cum laude. 

He is the author of an extensive research work with special emphasis on the history of the Roma people in the Modern Age. Manuel Martínez is one of the authors of reference to know and understand the present of the gypsy people in Spain.