Belgrade, 13 May 2010
"Roma Women in the Decade" Regional Conference organized by CARE International
After the introductory speeches by Mr. Petar Antić, Assistant Minister, Ministry for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia; Ms. Siri Andersen, First Secretary, Norwegian Embassy; Belgrade and Ms. Luitgard Hammerer, CARE International MEERMU, Eastern Europe Coordinator, the Romedia Foundation's „I'm a Roma Woman“ regional campaign video was screened to the governmental and civil society participants of the Conference, as part of Care International's Roma Women Empowerment Project.
Ms. Katalin Barsony, director of the video, presented the campaign and talked about the fruitful cooperation between the Romedia Foundation and Care International which resulted in a particularly wide dissemination for the campaign video in the region's mass media and through the Internet.
Campaign video also available with:
In the original language without subtitles
The I’m a Roma Woman Regional Campaign Video
The Romedia Foundation is a media-centered NGO which produces quality audiovisual material shot in a great number of European countries, at the rate of one news documentary per month. Our films deal with subjects as varied as the explosion of violence against Roma in Italy since 2007, the ongoing refugee crisis across the former Yugoslavia as well as amazingly effective NGO initiatives in Turkey, Israel, the Czech Republic or Albania. We are in the possession of several thousands of hours of digitalized archives on Romani communities and Romani activists. Our clearly defined focus is visual and narrative influencing, with the objective of bringing an alternative, positive story about who the Roma are. We salute Care International's efforts to change the stereotypical image Romani women have in the media across Europe and consider these efforts an example to be followed among international organizations as well as local, national and regional bodies dealing with minority issues.
The 2009 I’m a European Roma Woman campaign, which preceded the one presented to you today, serves as a framework concept into which both Care International and Romedia wished to include the new campaign: the structure, the testimonies, the presentation of real, flesh and blood Romani women and the final message.
The idea for this campaign video was born about six months ago. During this period, the partnership between the activists of the partner Roma Women NGOs of the four represented countries, Care International North West Balkans and our team was close and ultimately very successful and fulfilling for all involved. The decisions as to what the key messages should be were made together with the activists of the region, from whom four ambassadors were chosen to carry our common message through their own, personal stories and outlook on the past, the present and the future.
We made this campaign together, each partner bringing essential elements to the final product in an exemplary type of collaboration process and in spite of some unforeseen difficulties. The video was shot in four different countries with a team of the most professional camera, lighting and sound technicians in Hungary, who are more used to working on Hollywood movies than on independent NGO initiatives, with state of the art film making technology to provide a quality rarely to be seen in social video production. Such quality is necessary to bring not only credibility and strength to the narrative and purpose of the video but also to reach the widest public possible by making the experience of watching the video a cathartic one. We often worked in freezing cold conditions during hours and hours for each and every shot to perfectly carry our message through: in a sewing factory near Podgorica; in a remote school some 30 kilometers from Valjevo in south-western Serbia; outside Nada’s childhood home, in the snow, in Jagodnjak, Croatia; in a hospital ward next to dozens of patients in Budapest. All this to create the background for the emotional impact we wished our video to have on the public.
Because the use of a video as part of an empowerment project and as a vehicle for igniting social change is primarily based on the exceptional emotional impact of a compelling, high quality audiovisual narrative.