Cultural and social actions of the project in the first half of the school year 2014/2015

(The stages are discussed in detail in the section: photo- calendar)


Project Objectif Culture on concrete form right from the beginning of the school year 2014 / 2015. Already in the first, opening meeting of teachers, school management and pupils, director of the Private secondary school, Mrs. Koptová, informed in detail about the aims and objectives of the project. The students listened with interest the interpretation of Mrs. director and expressed interest in individual segments of the project. Among pupils for the profiled several important personalities, natural leaders , opinion leaders during the lifetime of the Private secondary school, who will be able to determine and influence the direction of the project . Mainstream of interests among students are artistic activities connected with the Roma culture (ensemble Kesaj Tchave), sports activities (hockey) and media communication (journalism).

Several actions, which are developing during this school year, reassuming the previous school years, naturally fits into the strategy of the project. The dominant event was the preparation and implementation of foreign artistic and sightseeing tour of school ensemble Kesaj Tchave in Belgium and France , which culminated in touring in prestigious, world-renowned concert hall Olympia, where ensemble Kesaj Tchave performed many Roma songs and dances.

The uniqueness of the event puts this event on a special place not only at school level and the project level, but also in relation to the hometown of participants, the region and Slovakia, and, in fact, whole Europe, since Roma are par excellence ethnicity trans-national, transfrontier and the impact of the event extends well beyond the frame of Slovak Republic.

On the contrary, thanks to the Notoro of Private secondary school and school ensemble and through numerous contacts with Roma people at international level (Balkan peninsula, Western Europe) and also due to proper publicity through TV Arte and TV5 International, which documented the whole event and then broadcast it, this exceptional event has Europe-wide importance. The French ambassador in Bratislava, Mr. Didier Lopinot highly positively judged the whole event, and as well as its predecessors, called Kesaj Tchave the showcase for French-Slovak relations. He proposed to carry out at the Embassy the exposure of  achievements of  students of Private secondary school, where will take place the presentation of the project and its results.

Olympia is a real top of the art world, appeared at the scene of Olympia is the prerogative of top, internationally recognized artists or artistic groups. In the area of ​​Eastern Europe it is of such a few, so far no one from Slovakia. School students who work hard for many years hammer out of this performance and therefore they give evidence not only about themselves but also about themselves (Roma) community and its (Slovak) homeland. At the stage of preparation for the concert, along with artistically side concentrated on artistic skills, was conducted in-depth discours with students about Roma culture, identity, their interaction on the image and perception of Roma origin in the public eye, but also in the eyes and perception of Roma themselves. The preparation and subsequent implementation of concert tour, which led young people from underserved settlements in eastern Slovakia to the limelight of the world scene in Paris, was a living laboratory of analysis and introspection of Roma, their cultural heritage and present, their place in society, their place outside the society. A precious asset was short timeframe (10 days) and long distances between starting point and destination (along 4,200 km). In addition to nationals of particular countries (Slovakia, Belgium, France) were directly involved in the action, as its actors, the Roma from Slovakia, Romania, France, Hungary and Spain (partners from the past, partakers at present).

Immediate preparation for the trip as well as its execution were captured in a documentary film of production What's Up Production for TV Arte and TV5 International. The students had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with top experts in the field of television news and their work directly in the execution and implementation reports which were themselves the subject and the actors. Analysis and self-reflection were documented by cameras and outputs were published shortly after processing (13. 12. 2014 TV Arte , TV5 International - Slovakia : les enfants de la Fée , Slovakia: Die Kinder der Fee – in English: Children of a fairy). An artistic program was carried out within the established arts drills according to the project Schedule - 3 times a week , so that it can be combine with the work on the text for workbooks.

Foreign artistic tour (23.11 - 31.10.2014) also had a social, cultural, education and training dimension. The culmination of the tour was performing in Olympia, but no less interesting were the accompanying events - meetings and discussions with the Balkan Roma migrants in illegal encampments, where the interaction of the Roma and the majority culture and society, views the past with links to the present, Roma linguistic, cultural and social reciprocity were discussed.  

The language of communication was Romani, the language barrier between the Romani people from different States didn`t exist. Students also visited the exposure Current Roma art in the Mediathek Matéo Maximoff the premises FNAS (National Federation of Associations in solidarity with the Roma shares) in Paris. Accompanying word and expert commentary provided by one of the exhibitors, the Franco-Spanish Roma, Gabi Jimenez. The whole trip is detaily documented in the reportage of TV Arte (DVD) and the accompanying photo-documentation.

Immediately after returning home, coinciding with school duties, training activities started again, this time also with the participation of individuals from the settlement under the bridge from Matejovce to Poprad . This location is extremely marginalized, its inhabitants suffer from stigma and all the devastating effects of poverty and exclusion. During the upcoming season, we gradually integrate its people into the project activities. To this end , we implemented on May 12, 2014 , a week after returning from the trip, the presentation of the project activities related to the cultural edification right in the village. Although the weather has been unkind, fortunately it didn`t rain, and we could realize our intention outdoors  and perform a cultural programme directly in front of the hut and in front of the entire settlement.

About a week later , we have participated in trials with the Czech Philharmonic, so that we can at Monday, November 17, perform in the ensemble of Ida Kelarová, Čhavorengre duriung the Days of students in Rudolfinum in Prague. Again, it was the exceptional event when was the Roma culture presented at a high level in front of the professional and lay public. The concert was broadcasted live on Czech Radio. 

The following week was dedicated to work on a text, artistic exercises were suspended for one week. When a lecturer return from Prague and Paris, where he was on a business trip in order to finish for TV Arte and for Czech Television and prepare for international projects, artistic exercises started again.

On Novembre 25 and 26, the French radio station France Inter broadcast a reportage bz Hervé Pauchon, that records protesters on Espalade of Human Rights near the Eiffel Tower, which we had organized to familiarize the general public with the issue of Roma education and our Private secondary school and school projects.

On the way from Paris to Slovakia, a lecturer of cultural activities, Ivan Akimov, meet with Ambassador of the French Republic in the Slovak Republic, Mr. Didier Lopinot, and they talked about other aspects of cooperation with the Embassy of the French Institute in Bratislava. The Ambassador was particularly interested in the progress of the student , the activities of the European project and the fate of the Private secondary school. The Ambassador had promised to visit the school and give a French state honor, which Mr. Akimov gained this year, to Mr. Akimov.

Along with Ivan Akimov came from Paris to Slovakia Florian Drugonare (Mekleš), a young Romanian Romani migrant (18 years old) from the suburbs of Paris, who socialise through the activities of the school ensemble and, with help of students, learn alphabets and continue in education, because he had never attended school. His presence is a rare opportunity to discuss the topics of Roma identity, language, social environment, social status and international reciprocity once again, based on personal contact , a specific human story of Florian Drugonare. Students had the opportunity to take over and analyze observations and findings from this direct contact during the work on the texts, which took place according to schedule of the project.

From December 2 to December 5 2014 the selected students working on the project  participated in the International Youth Camp within the project For the Tolerant Youngsters of organisation V4 (The Visegrád Group), along with Hungarian partners from the association Volt allamigondozottak Orszàgos Egyesülete. During the presentation of national realities we can acquainted our partners with the project, which we has just realize and we use a cultural activities to prepare the event, that we were preparing for Friday, December 5 in the village Rakúsy in order to familiarize pupils' parents and representatives of local government with the aims and objectives of the project (see video document and photo).

The next day, on Saturday, December 6, was realised scheduled event on the occasion of St. Nicholas, attending Eucharist at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Prešov and commissioning of a sacred songs of Saint Nicholas, in the Romani translation: Sentos Mikulašis. In connection with practicing a new song, we take over aspects of the spirituality of the Roma during the work with texts, with a view to past and the analyze of the present. A spiritual sphere is important unpretermitted component of Roma realities of today. Numerous newly established churches and Christian movements merge in their ranks more and more Romani people, mainly from excluded communities, and provides its members with new horizons and outlook on life . In the ranks of our students are adepts of various religions and spiritual currents, their personal experiences give a unusual , interesting, personal dimension to a discussion about Roma in society. 

Cultural drills and work on texts continued acoording to Schedule of the project with regard to the last presentation of this year, planned for December 18 in Liptovský Mikuláš, for pupils of Elementary school of Aurel Stodola, which is attended only by Roma children. From our perspective it is important to present the project in front of a variety of audiences, to familiarize the largest possible number of listeners with the content of the project and achievements of our Private secondary school and also we think that it is important to encourage by personal example similar initiatives in other members of the Roma minority, especially in those, who come from marginalized, social and cultural environment strongly marked by their own communities affected by long-term social exclusion and intractable poverty.

Single presentations are documented and accessible in section :