Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Once we were birds

Once we were birds

click above for link to
There is even audio with this one.
Thanks Jake

Friday, 22 January 2010

Oriel Myrddin Gallery 09.01.10 - 20.02.10

Part 3

Note the new video bar on the right of this page.
Last week we launched OnceBirdsTV on YouTube so we
are in the process of putting up video shorts of
memorable musical moments from the OnceWeWereBirds Archive.
Keep an eye on this space for some stunning live
performances from the leading Roma musicians of today.

Kavics and Son, Petofi Settlement

Marianne and Tibby, Bodvalenke

Rita and Josi, Bodvalenke

Sandor, Shani and Pali Solyom Settlement

Monika and Edit, Sajokaza Village

Che House Family with congenital eye problem.

Zsolti and his mother Mari

Igrici Cucumber Project - the third largest in Hungary.
Roma owned, employing both Roma and non-Roma workers.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Press Coverage

Thanks to Len Phelan, Margaret Keenan
and Kathryn Campbell for the following:

A & T with Angharad Pearce Jones during filming for the S4C programme 'Wedi 3'

When We Were Birds / Exhibition / Arts / Culture / Home - Morning Star

** Life of the Roma on show in Wales **
Discover the Roma people, though the eyes of Carmarthenshire-based artists Tina Carr and Annemarie Schöne.
< >

Photoes and Bards in Wales
Live link to Jai Bhim Network website and an article written
after we left Sajokaza.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Oriel Myrddin Exhibition 09.01.10 - 20.02.10

Part 2

Angelika Biro, Photographer

The Legend of The Sun and The Moon

Once upon a time there was no Sun and there was no Moon. They were chained at the other end of the world among dragons and giants who would not let the Sun and the Moon go free.

There lived two men. In these two men there was huge strength, they were
said to be the bravest and strongest people on earth - not afraid of anything.
They were the only ones to know where the Sun and the Moon were kept hidden,
in chains, and they wanted to free them.

They journeyed for a full six months, through the land of
dragons and the land of giants until they reached the Sun and the Moon.

They fought the wild dragons and the terrible giants and beat them.

Then one of the men said:

I will carry the Sun!

And the other man said:

And I will carry the Moon!

The Sun and the Moon agreed to go with them and the men released them from their chains. They started their journey back from the other end of the world through the land of the dragons, through the land of the giants.

On the return journey the Sun heated up as fire, so the man carrying it was burnt dark.
That is why the gypsies are dark skinned, because they are the descendants of this man. While the descendants of the other man, who carried the Moon remained white....

(collected and translated by Károly Bari from Romanes to Hungarian and from Hungarian to English by Szasz Zsuzsi)

Bodvalenke Fresco Village: The Legend of the Sun and Moon

Ana and Zsolti, Petofi Settlement, Sajokaza

Baby with Pink Shoes, Sajokaza

Ali and Krisztina, Sajokaza Village

Roma cave Dwellers, NE Hungary

Edi Neni, Petofi settlement, Sajokaza

Edit and Sandi, Solyom Settlement, Sajokaza

Jeno Zsigo, President of the Roma Parliament

Monday, 11 January 2010

Oriel Myrddin Exhibition 09 January - 20 February 2010

Part 1
The following 7 photographs are all 48 x 40 inches
(122 x 102 cms)

Angela Bodi, Vivienne and Kristian, Sajokaza

Erno Kallai, Student at the Juilliard School in New York, Budapest

Anastazia, Lajos and Bea, Solyom Settlement, Sajokaza

Petofi Washday, Sajokaza

Petofi Family, Sajokaza

Giero Restaurant, Budapest

Eva Kiss Kalmanne, Budapest

“Once We Were Birds” by Kate Pawsey.

On 9th January 2010 a vibrant show was launched at Oriel Myrddin in Carmarthen. It attracted a flock of scattered individuals to feast on the colours and richness of the photographic exhibition by Tina Carr and Annmarie Schône. The show is the culmination of a long and sensitive project recording and interacting with the Roma people in Hungary. It is also part of an ongoing creative movement to highlight their circumstances and be part of a positive change in awareness, appreciation and respect and all that can follow from this. It is entitled “Once We Were birds” referring to a Roma story based the peoples’ own nomadic origins.

I was struck by many aspects of the photographer's work and the moving talk they gave, but two particular things that occurred have stayed with me.
Tina was telling us that at one point while they were finding a gentle way into the lives of the Roma people and had already taken some photographs, they decided to print out some of the images and give them back to the families who had allowed them in. When this became known Tina and Annmarie were actively sought out to take photographs in ways and situations that were deeply proud, hospitable and generous and their work deepened still further.

As Tina was recounting this I had sight from where I sat in the gallery of a beautiful Roma woman’s face looking out from the pink nylon lace door curtain of her home. I imagined her being able to see and feel what I was experiencing in the gallery and feel the value being added to their lives and their particularly precarious identity and existence. It reflected the dignity I felt through Tina and Annmarie’s gift of images of the Roma people to themselves, as well as through the images and stories they brought back from Hungary. These daring women have succeeded in showing me a complex scenario within which the Hungarian Roma story is a recurring one for minority groups who strive to maintain a cultural and philosophical identity, and who are scape-goated, marginalised and facing extreme poverty, prejudice and violence. The joy, love, creativity and vibrant colour of their art, music and family life is all the more striking against such a background.

Topically, it was pointed out to us that the extreme cold weather we are experiencing this winter is the norm in continental Europe, where the Roma people live in basic and un-insulated concrete buildings most without running water, electricity or central heating. In Hungary they have undergone enforced settlement.

The second memorable tale I heard was of how Tina and Annmarie, to get to the launch of their own exhibition, first walked three miles from their home in Tregroes though the deep snow to catch a bus to Carmarthen. Later the same evening, carrying a rucksack of supplies and a bunch of red tulips, they took the return bus and walked back home in the dark under a diamond studded sky. Such a colourful pair of birds ...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Varadi Gabor - Roma Artist

We met Gabor at the artist's summer camp at Fonyod, on Lake Balaton, in July 2009. He invited us to visit him at his home in Ozd, in the North East of Hungary, later in the month.
He was subsequently invited to paint a fresco at the Bodvalenke Fresco Village and has gone on to paint the largest fresco there to date @ 4 x 26 meters! As soon as we have a photo of it we will post it. In the meantime here is some of Gabor's earlier work.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year all our Hungarian friends some of whom are pictured below ... there are many more who are not ... Happy New Year to us all.
We hope that the new year will bring peace and prosperity and that the European Year for Combatting Poverty will do what it says on the tin!
We would also like to remind everyone that 2010 is the mid point of the 'Decade of Roma Inclusion' ...

Fonyod Artist's Summer Camp July 09
The wheel is a very important symbol to the Roma
representing freedom and movement.

Fonyod Artist's Summer Camp July 09

Terez and Gabor bedecked (accidentally) in red, white and green, Hungary's national colours. They are also the colours of Wales ... two small nations with more in common than one might immediately imagine?

There is a very famous Hungarian poem entitled 'The Bards of Wales' by Janos Arany that tells of Edward I's execution of 500 Welsh bards in 1277 lest they incite the youth to rebellion by reminding them in their songs of their nation's glorious past * We have the text if you want to read it & will find a link for the next post.

Ali and Krisztina

Eva Kiss-Kalmanne, VIIIth District, Budapest

Jen, Eliza, Julietta and Jennifer, VIIIth District, Budapest

The Women's Committee, Sajokaza

Bricklayers 'Crew' Sajocaza

Beno: photo by his brother Andras (see below)

Agnes and family. BP

Zsuzsi and Gergely at work.

Gal, Sajokaza

Eva and Orsi, Solyom Settlement

Rozie and Angelika, BP

Olah, BP

Andras, Terez's youngest son

Sergei and family, Sajokaza