The tragic faith of Miranda - the Forgotten Genocide
Nearly half of European Roma, the largest and one of the most vulnerable minority groups in EU, got killed in the Second World War. The world recognized the genocide of Jews and forgot the Roma. Topic remains unknown to public, educators among them. Help Miranda to share her story to ensure that the history will never repeat itself!
In 2001 world-known author and a wandering Roma by his roots, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar (FIN, www.veijobaltzar.fi), interviewed Miranda, a Holocaust survivor and became inspired by her story. When beginning a wider research on the subject, the renowned scientist and artist run into a claim by the Nazis about the life of the Roma not being worthy of living. This created a vision of a new innovative concept of teaching about Holocaust by using art as a method of promoting a life worth of living and depicting it together with the societal developments before, during and after WWII.
Veijo Baltzar turned the story of Miranda into a novel “My Friend Adolf”. In 2011, in cooperation with 11 European archives, one from US, Anne Frank Foundation, Museum of Romani Culture (Brno, Czech Republic) and University of Helsinki, Baltzar turned Miranda's authentic life story into a travelling and Online exhibition "Miranda - the Roma Holocaust". The exhibition is the first travelling exhibition about the Roma Holocaust created by Roma and depicting the Roma-point-of-view. The travelling and online exhibition is administered by Creative Association for Arts and Culture Drom (www.drom.fi).
Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar being interviewed before the exhibition opening in Seréd Holocaust Museum / Slovak National Museum 2nd August 2017.
"I congratulate the creators of this exhibition and I wish them luck in conquering the world. I hope the exhibition will further open the eyes of the many majorities around the world to see the continuing discrimination of the Roma people and to change their own behavior. This exhibition is made by Roma people. It will certainly generate curiosity and respect, I hope." President of Finland Tarja Halonen
“When I’m being asked about what we should do with the rise of extremism and nationalism today, I instantly answer that it is projects like Miranda which are the key in preventing them. This is not only a story of Slovak Roma but also of all of us Europeans.” Ambassador of Slovakia Tibor Králik
In Finland Miranda exhibition has toured for 7 years (visibility > 1 000 000). It was on display at the National Museum of Finland 9/2013–3/2014 breaking the audience record: “Museum has for the first time ever given an opportunity to a national minority, the Roma, to tell their own story with the focuses they themselves consider important.”
On 15th February 2017 Miranda launched its World Tour in the presence of former President of Finland Tarja Halonen. The World Tour was opened by Director General of Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland Ms. Riitta Kaivosoja. The patron of the project is Finland’s former Prime Minister Mr Paavo Lipponen. Cultural Counsellor Mr. Veijo Baltzar, Ambassador of Israel in Finland Mr. Dov Segev-Steinberg, Mr. Andrzej Mirga (Roma Education Fund, Hungary/Poland) and the Communication Manager of Sered’ Holocaust Museum/Slovakia's National Museum Mr. Jakub Ackerman also performed in the opening ceremony.
Since February 2017, in the framework of “Through Miranda’s Eyes” project (1.10.2016 - 30.3.2018) the national tours of the Miranda exhibition have been launched in 8 European states (FI, EE, LV, HR, SL, HU, CZ, DE, BE), 16 exhibition displays have been organised in 14 languages. The exhibition’s total European reach by the end of March 2018 has been 36 M (calculated on the basis of the exhibition visibility and coverage in national and international media channels). The Online Exhibition “Miranda – the Roma Holocaust” was published 20th March 2018 and can be visited online in the address www.romaholocaust.com.
The exhibition opening event in Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest, Hungary on 2nd August 2017.
“Recently I visited Sered' Museum in Slovakia and was very impressed with the Miranda exhibition. This is the first time I saw a discussion of the Roma and Sinti genocide in the mainstream. This is something that should have been at the forefront and discussed like other genocides of the Second World War.
By not highlighting it and by not taking steps to prevent discrimination, a second unspoken and unobserved atrocity was perpetrated - by the governments of the day. I am very happy that you are acting as the conscience of humankind by bringing this discussion to the forefront.” Visitor comment, Slovak National Museum
The practice of Drom Association is to create a country-specific language version of the exhibition in order to ensure that no language barriers will prevent the exhibition audience fully experiencing the display. This also enables the exhibition to travel freely in a country after its national tour has been launched, independent from exhibition schedule in any other country. The exhibition will be displayed in central institutions, easy-to-access and open to public.
Founded in 2009, Drom Association´s strategic steering committee plays an important role in achieving project’s objectives. Its members are Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar, Finland’s former PM Paavo Lipponen (Mr Lipponen is a patron of TME project), MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari, Members of Parliament Ilkka Kanerva and Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto, professor of multicultural education Fred Dervin, Youth Council Olli Saarela and director of the Alexander theater Reima Jokinen.
Please visit Gallery of the “Miranda — the Roma Holocaust” Online Exhibition to view Miranda’s European tour, to listen to opening speeches and to read about Miranda’s national and international visibility in media!
How can I help Miranda? Where do the raised funds go?
Drom raises funds to carry out Miranda exhibition touring plan for Autumn 2018. Raised funds will contribute to the translation and production of 4 exhibition language versions (Ukrainian, Albanian, Slovenian and Icelandic). It will cover the transport costs of the Miranda exhibition national opening displays:
2.8. — 30.9. The Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Kiev, UKRAINE
2.9. — 31.10. Institute for Romani Culture in Albania, Tirana, ALBANIA
6. — 30.11. Kresija Gallery / The Ljubljana City Hall, SLOVENIA
9.11. — 15.12. Safnahus Cultural Center, Husavik, ICELAND
The raised funds will cover the exhibition insurance as well as travel costs of Drom’s exhibition team participating in the mounting of the exhibition and Miranda's opening ceremony. They will contribute to the overall effort that Drom is making for the coordination and management of the exhibition. The funds will help Drom to maintain touring activities in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Denmark and Belgium, as well as to coordinate planning of Miranda’s future tour. In 2019, new national exhibition openings will be realized in Lithuania, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Bosnia-Hertzegovina, UK, Poland, Germany, Greece, Russia, India and Argentina.
The raised funds will contribute to the management and development of the Online Exhibition. During 2018 Drom will develop the soundscape of the Online Exhibition with voice-acting features (Miranda’s life story) and other contents. It will contribute to the translation (English), promotion and publication of three Roma fiction literature works about Roma Holocaust: In Love and War (Baltzar, 2008), My Friend, Adolf (Baltzar, 2018) and Phuro (Baltzar, 2000). The three works will be presented in the Online Exhibition in 2019.
Your support is needed — help Miranda to tell her story!
Help Miranda to speak to young generations about the risks of agitation, extremist thinking and discrimination; help Miranda to overcome negative stereotypes and to make the Forgotten Genocide forgotten no more! Let us make sure that the history will never repeat itself!
The President of Finland Sauli Niinistö paying visit to "Miranda — the Roma Holocaust" exhibition in Jyväskylä, 2013.
"Miranda — the Roma Holocaust" exhibition on display in the European Parliament in Brussels, in March 18.
PARTNERS OF THE MIRANDA INITIATIVE
The National Museum of Finland
City of Kouvola
Municipality of Tuusniemi
The City of Mikkeli
The City of Lappeenranta
Poleeni Cultural Center, Pieksämäki
The City of Jyväskylä
The City of Turku
The City of Rauma
The City of Iisalmi
The City of Vantaa
The City of Vaasa
The City of Kokkola
The municipality of Rautalampi
Espoo Cultural Center
Museum of Pietarsaari
MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari
Museum of Occupations (EST)
Valga Museum (EST)
Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum (LAT)
Slovak National Museum/ The Sered’ Holocaust Museum (SVK)
National and University Library in Zagreb (HRV)
City of Osijek (HRV)
K.V.A.R.K/City of Krizevci (HRV)
Kali Sara -Croatian Roma Union (HRV)
Parliament of Croatia (HRV)
Galeriski centar Varazdin (HRV)
Koprivnica City’s Cultural Office (HRV)
Holocaust Memorial Center (HUN)
Finnagora Cultural Institute (HUN/FIN)
Copenhagen Main Library (DEN)
Dansk lnstitut fér Internationale Studier (DEN)
Finsk-Norsk kulturinstitut Norway
The National Holocaust Centre
Beth Shalom (UK)
Museum of Romani Culture (CZE)
Ombudsman’s office, Brno (CZE)
Latin Art Gallery (CZE)
Asociatia Tikvah (ROM)
Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma (DEU)
Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies (UKR)
Finnish lnstitute in St. Petersburg (RUS)
Institute of Romani Culture (ALB)
Anne Frank Foundation (NET)
The Archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (POL)
Gedenkstétte for die Bonner Opfer des Nationalsozialismus,
An der Synagoge e.V. (DEU)
The Ethnological Archive of the Museum of Ethnography (HUN)
The Archive of National Library (AUS)
Memorial Center Camp,
Bundesarchiv - Federal Archives, Koblenz (DEU)
Landelijke Sinti Organisatie (NLD)
Bildagentur bpk (DEU)
Benelux Institute (FIN/BEL)
Photo Archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA)
Museum del Holocausto in Buenos Aires (ARG)
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India (IND)