Thanks to the recent amount of discourse brought on by WandaVision
, and inspired partly by Instagram accounts such as Romani Herstory,
I decided to make a series of posts dedicated to Romani artists who have broken the mold of stereotypes, be they musicians, artists, actors or activists.
The Romani do not enjoy the best rep in pop culture media - for centuries, we've been the boogeymen to scare children with, the roving bands of criminals that will rob you blind and betray you to Generic Monster of the Week, or monstrous cannibals hiding in the dark. Romani women in particular enjoy two very popular archetypes - seductive young woman who exists only to tempt white men and then die, or evil old witches who cast curses on anything that moves and then die. Rarely is nuance and complexity ever shown with Romani characters, and even then, when those characters do defy stereotypes, Romani actors are never cast to depict them in films or Romani culture is simply wiped away, treated more as a nuisance than an ethnicity that deserves positive representation. However, one of the many pros of the digital era is the easy access Roma actors now have to produce and distribute their own content. For once, Romani are given control over our image, one that is divorced from the villainy we are associated with. In part one of this series, I focus on seven Romani women in particular who have broken through the stereotypes associated with our culture, reclaiming female Romani identity from the white, gadjekano gaze. also, English isn't my first language so I apologize if something reads weirdly. 1. Elena AndújarBorn in Seville to a Spanish Gitana mother and African American father, Elena Andújar is a renown flamenco dancer and singer who has also experimented in other forms of dance and music such as jazz and blues. She began to study flamenco at the age of ten, and graduated at the school of Matilde Coral and Rafael el Negro, two of the most renown artists in flamenco. While dancing was her passion, she would also delve into singing, touring throughout the world in the early 2000's. She would eventually open up her own school in 2004. At the latest, she is currently recording her latest album. Fun fact - she briefly appeared in The Devil's Advocate and danced alongside Al Pacino, but there's no clip of the scene online. Here's another clip of her performing instead!WEBSITE and IG( Collapse )
Stick around for part two, which will focus on LGBT Roma artists! And if you've got any more suggestions, I'm all ears!