January 25, 2022

‘Quit speaking to the centre’

I think that the politics of representation are also connected to media representation. When it comes to talking about Roma issues, there is no media representation, so there is no one to advise the majority to attend to these concerns. Individuals of the majority have to influence political leaders and check what they are doing for Roma communities. You can raise awareness of political truths when you have a voice in the media. Thats why I feel that more Roma must talk with the people along with to their communities. When you take a look at how the government is built up, and by whom, you do not see Roma individuals. Its apparent that decision makers can not represent our interests, and this requires to change.

Growing up as a Roma, I never felt represented. In Hungary, we are totally out of media representation and yet we are 10% of the population. Thats why I felt the need to focus on the representation of Roma LGBTQ communities.Together with them, we produced pictures and video product.

I feel that nowadays, thanks to social media, our society ended up being a little bit more democratic. On social media platforms, young Roma individuals have begun to be present and their followers are mainly their Roma peers. I also feel like we are developing little ghettos online.

While it is a design that has actually enabled the inclusion of a plethora of voices long omitted from the public sphere, it is also far from perfect. What does it suggest for you to be represented and how does it relate to being present?

LG: Raising the issue of representation and the absence of it also invites us to think about the importance of self-representation. Could you elaborate on this concept?

JM: For me, self-representation suggests that we are now the ones who decide what we are going to appear like in photos and videos in the general public area. When we talk about the lack of representation, we likewise require to discuss the bad representation that comes from the reality that we are not the ones who blaze a trail we are depicted. And its not almost Roma people. Think of females: we cant state that females do not have representation, however sadly, their representation has historically been led by males.

I frequently feel that I cant get rid of the conception of the people of the bulk. This is what we require to consciously get rid of. They are both important but they need to be distinguished.

Listen to Joci Márton in discussion with Lore Gabriel on the European Pavilion Podcast.

LG: How should we approach the question of representation from the viewpoint of Europe?

JM: I have a European identity. However I often feel that Roma individuals can just feel this if they take a trip. Its actually hard to feel this European identity and togetherness if you have actually never ever left the location where you live, when you dont speak languages, when you dont have buddies from other countries. Thats why, when there is a political celebration marketing itself as European, I seem like theyre speaking with me due to the fact that I am a middle-class male who has taken a trip and seen the world. What about people who dont have the very same action? For me, its really fascinating to consider how other individuals can be included in this Europeanness: how they can feel it.

Europe is more than a collection of nation-states and it requires a different story to engage with its future. The European Pavilion task looks into prospective representations of Europe with its podcast series serving a creative examination.

LG: In your creativity, what could the European Pavilion look like and what shall it attend to?

We tend to think that the representation is a mirror of our society however it is not: so numerous individuals are not represented. When I state that we require to be brave, I suggest that we need to stand for our worths. If we truly think of human rights and democracy, we need, as we say in Hungarian, to give up középre beszélni, or speaking to the centre.

Thats why I felt the requirement to focus on the representation of Roma LGBTQ communities.Together with them, we produced pictures and video product. When we talk about the absence of representation, we likewise need to point out the bad representation that comes from the truth that we are not the ones who lead the way we are represented. Think about ladies: we cant say that ladies do not have representation, but regrettably, their representation has actually traditionally been led by males.

I think that the politics of representation are also connected to media representation. I typically feel that Roma individuals can only feel this if they travel.