Written texts by Roma did not exist until the early 20th century and it was not until the 4th World Romani Congress in Poland in 1990 that the International Romani Union decided on a common alphabet for the Romani language. Thus, stories have passed through generations in the oral tradition and few have been written down in the Roma people’s own language. Through their social marginalization, this part of the European population suffers also from a lack of education.
The film project Talking Letters portrays a language that is an extraordinary case of survival against social, economic, political and education-related circumstances. Showing the individual cases of Romani speakers from Austria, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine, the film gives insight into different realities of Roma who – against every pressure of assimilation – are following their own ways of keeping, transmitting and promoting their language.
Talking Letters was an interregional collaboration between AlteArte (Bucharest), KSAK (Chişinău), CAC (Vilnius) and CCA (Kiev) with the unique focus on raising awareness and interest towards the ongoing changes within the Roma communities through the language issue.
This publication is available at ERSTE Foundation Library.