Monday, 13 July 2009

'We are living in fear ... all the Roma people are ... '

Prejudice against Roma has swelled into a wave of violence. Over the past year at least 7 Roma have been killed in Hungary, and Roma leaders have counted some 30 molatov cocktail attacks against Roma homes often accompanied by sprays of gunfire.
This painting depicts the funeral of Robert Csorba aged 27 and his 4 year old son who were gunned down as they tried to escape from their home which was set on fire in such an attack. Both were buried in the same coffin.

These two paintings were created last week at the Fonyod Artist's Summer School in reponse to the murder of Robert Czorba and his four year old son in February this year. The artists will be credited in due course - apologies for the delay.

The extreme right wing party Jobbik has used the issue of what its leaders call 'gypsy crime' to rise in the polls to near the 5% threshold for seats in Hungary's parliament in next years election, which would be a first for the party. (In the Euro election they gained 3 seats so the can keep the BNP company!)
Opponents accuse the Hungarian Guard, the paramilitary group associated with the party, (see previous posts) of staging marches and public meetings to stir up anti-Roma sentiment and to intimidate the local Roma population.
Experts on Roma issues describe an ever more aggressive attitude towards Roma in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe, led by extreme right wing parties, whose leaders are playing on old stereotypes of roma as petty criminals and drains on social welfare systems at a time of rising economic and political turmoil. As unemployment rises officials and Roma experts fear the atacks will only intensify.
'One thing to remember, the Holocaust did not start at the gas chambers' said a senior state secretary in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.
excerpts from an article by Nicholas Kulish in the New York Times.

This poster is a parody of the Jobbik Euro Election poster (transl. 'Hungary for the Hungarians'. The well chosen doppelganger representing Krisztina Morvai bears a strong resemblence to Kathy Bates in 'Misery' don't you think? Ouch!

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