Talking Letters – a film on the Romani language

Directors: Pavel Braila, Angelika Herta
Publisher: AlteArte, Bucharest
Content: 1 DVD (54:10 min.)
Year: 2013

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.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.