lecture by Ladislava Gažiová
13 July 2021, 6 p.m., tranzit.sk, Beskydská 12, Bratislava
The lecture will be held in Czech/Slovak.
The Romafuturismo Library is based on the afro-futuristic concept in which similar baselines for the context of the present-day Slovak or Czech Republic can be found. The broadening of social, aesthetic and political imagination and the uncovering of disagreements and present day conflicts are possible by creating futuristic fictional worlds, as described and theoretically elaborated by Samuel R. Delany, the famous Afro-American writer, LGBT sci-fi pioneer, university professor and literary critic.
Roma and African-Americans share an uprooting due to the lack of clarity of where they came from and when and the history of slavery, which fortunately, the Romani people experienced “only” in the region of then Wallachia and Moldova. Last but not least, it is oppression and living on the margins for many centuries which also exists outside the framework of the Roma and African-American context.
However, we cannot see any direct parallel between the Cold War period and the popularity of the aforementioned science fiction, since access to opportunity and the necessity of imagination and fantasizing about a better world by the Roma, among others, of the Eastern bloc and Western bloc was completely different.
After moving to the Chánov housing development in the city of Most and long discussions with the local population, the Romafuturismo Library was renamed the Library of Josef Serinek, in honor of the famous Roma partisan and communist, considered by many to be a model of a hero fighting for a better world. A world which remains nothing more than a relic of nostalgia.
The lecture will touch on the activities of the Averklub team which was created thanks to the cooperation of the Romafuturismo Library (currently the Library of Josef Serinek) and the Aver Roma society, and which just recently resulted in the establishment of the Aver klub cultural center in Chánov.
The team elaborated and now implements a daily cultural and leisure time program on the premises of the former kindergarten which is open to everyone from this housing development. Furthermore, a social enterprise aimed at improving the social economic situation of the local residents is being formed. This is a self-supporting activity which has been forced to contribute to necessary structural solutions.
In addition to others, the team from Averklub also carries out research on the silenced history of the Roma and other social and political issues related to excluded locations in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
Ladislava Gažiová is a painter, curator and activist from Slovakia, and has been living in Prague in the past years. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of Vladimír Skrepl and later at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in the Studio of Jiří David. In 2008, after graduating from UMPRUM, she won the Critics’ Prize for Young Painting. Her early work is characterized by its inspiration from graffiti, using stencils and sprays, and its reference to socially engaged topics. In recent years, Gažiová has been focusing on curatorial work reflecting social themes, particularly the topic of the Roma minority. The most recent major project of Ladislava Gažiová is the Romafuturismo Library, which was opened in 2018 at tranzit.cz in Prague.
Event is part of the actual exhibition entitled Love, Death, Love and Justice.
ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit. Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.
Exhibition and its events have been also supported by Goethe- Institut Slovakia and Amnesty International Slovakia.