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Eva Sajovic has emailed to say that her phenomenal and moving exhibition about the lives of the travelling community now has two new exciting venues.

If you missed it the first time around, you now have an opportunity to see the work of an extraordinarily talented artist as she brings to life stories that would ordinarily be lost to most of us, even though they are written in the fabric of the community about us.

You can see this exciting exhibition, that tells the story of some of the most persecuted communities in our country, at the following locations:

Exhibition 27th May – 30th June 2010

Central Hackney Library, 1 Reading Lane London, E8 1GQ

Tel: 020 8356 5239

Exhibition 1st – 30th June 2010

West Norwood Library, Norwood High Street, London, SE27 9JX

Tel: 020 7926 8092

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Be-Longing: Travellers’ Stories, Travellers’ Lives, the ground breaking exhibition from Slovenian photographer Eva Sajovic, is in its final week at the 198.

There are two events being held.

On Thursday 18 March 2010,  7-9pm, there will be a film screening of Romano Hip Hop:

The final day of the exhibition is Saturday 20 March, 11am-5pm, with music provided by DJ Damian Le Bas, 6-9pm.

Don’t let the opportunity to see this ground-breaking exhibition from a highly talented artist pass you by.

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Eva Sajovic’s “Be-Longing” exhibition is still running at the 198.

On Tuesday there is an all-day seminar on the future of travelling communities, chaired by Brian Foster of the Inner London Traveller Education Consortium.

Those taking part include:

The programme is set our below:

Programme

10.30 – 11.00 Registration and Coffee

11.00 – 11.10 Introduction

11.10 – 11.30 Prof. Thomas Acton

11.30 – 11.50 Rocky Deans

11.50 – 12.00 Bobby Rostas

12.00 – 12.05 Brian Foster

12.05 – 12.45 Panel Discussion

12.45 – 1.00 Q&A

1.00 – 1.45 Lunch

1.45 – 2.00 Patricia Knight

2.00 – 2.15 Dada Felja, RSG

2.15 – 2.30 Tricia Bowie Phillips, STAG

2.30 – 2.50 Prof. Judith Okely

2.50 – 3.10 Damian LeBas

3.10 – 3.15 Brian Foster

3.15 – 3.45 Panel Discussion

3.45 – 4.00 Q&A

Better community understanding depends on people being prepared to take an interest in things that at first seem one removed from their immediate environment.

Book yourself a place by emailing info@198.org.uk.

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Readers may be interested to know that Eva Sajovic, the Slovenian photographer I’ve been writing about, has her own blog. Please check it out. Please stop by and take a look.

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News of two workshops being run at Eva Sajovic’s “Be-Longing” exhibition at 198.

Workshop with Delaine Le Bas – Saturday 13 February 2010, 12-5pm

Delaine Le Bas is part of the UK Romany community. In her works she explores many of the experiences of intolerance, misrepresentation, transitional displacement and homelessness that the community continues to experience. She uses multi media creating installations that include performance and music. Le Bas’ work was included in Paradise Lost, The First Roma Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2007; Refusing Exclusion, Prague Biennale 3, Prague 2007; Living Together, Museo De Arte Contemporeanea De Vigo, Spain, 2009 (curated by Emma Dexter and Xabier Arakistain). Her most recent exhibition was Foreigners Everywhere, with Claire Fontaine, Karl Holmqvist and Damian Le Bas at Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv. She is included in Sixty: Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future by Thames & Hudson. Delaine Le Bas is represented by Galleria Sonia Rosso, Turin and Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin.

Delaine is inviting people to join her for a workshop to create a piece for the gallery window cabinets, exploring the themes of Eva Sajovic’s  “Be-Longing: Traveller’s Stories, Traveller’s Lives”:  BELONGING, IDENTITY, MIGRATION, COMMUNITY, DIASPORA.

Delaine is asking participants to bring objects and images related to these ideas to contribute to the installation that will be created at the workshop.

See more examples of her work on Flickr.

The Role of Photography and Media in Challenging Stereotypes and Prejudice when Representing Gypsy, Traveller and Roma Communities – Wednesday 17 February 2010,7-9pm

This seminar will be chaired by leading  Gypsy Journalist Jake Bowers.

After growing up on the road as one of 17 children, increasingly hostile public attitudes and the impending arrival of the first of his three children pushed him into a more settled life. He now runs the Gypsy Media Company, providing education about Gypsies and Travellers through media, and presents Rokker Radio, a BBC programme for the travelling community.

With:

Resonance 104.4 FM

Delaine Le Bas

R Point

Michael Cleere

Sarah Butler

And others including people from http://www.oicd.net/

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Wednesday evening, after work, I took a taxi to 198 Railton Road, home to 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning. A few days earlier I had received an invitation to the preview of its new exhibition of photographs by Eva Sajovic, the Slovenian artist I have blogged about previously.

To call 198 a gallery is to do it a disservice. Rather, it describes itself in the following way:

“198 is a pre-eminent cultural space in Brixton, which explores the rich diversity of artistic practices informed by globalisation and emerging cultural identities.”

Sajovic’s exhibition, focused as it is on the experiences of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in the United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia, could not find a more appropriate home. The minimalist, white-washed lines of the 198 are the perfect contrast with Sajovic’s vibrant pictures that capture the raw and sometimes confused emotions that arise at the intersection of diverse migratory cultures and the settled community. Perhaps most humbling is the sheer force of will required by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers to maintain their traditions and social structures in the face of overwhelming hostility, mistrust and misrepresentation. As Sajovic’s pictures, and their accompanying stories remind us, the persecution of difference is as great today as ever it was – the UK, Italy and Slovenia representative of European societies where society appears to deem it acceptable to discriminate against travelling communities in a way that it would not contemplate with those from other minorities.

Eva Sajovic's “Be-Longing” at the 198

Eva Sajovic's “Be-Longing” at the 198

For me, talking to two Travellers living in Southwark, the greatest irony is that the value that drives them to maintain their traditions above any other is the same as that of their fiercest conservative critics: family. It is the belief in inter-generational support, of the transmission of knowledge and tradition from one generation to another, that creates the tremendous familial bonds in travelling communities. How sad it is that as the settled community laments the loss of that ideal, the communities that are the object of so much of its hatred earn that ire as a consequence of living out that same ideal. Sajovic spoke movingly of the warmth and generosity with which she was received upon gaining the trust of the communities she worked with. For me it all gives Matthew 7 a very modern context:

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Matthew 7, 1-5, New Living Translation

An exhibition of photographers of travelling communities may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking how to spend a couple of hours of an evening. However, this initiative represents another small but very important step in helping to foster understanding between settled and travelling traditions that are steeped in a mutual suspicion that is centuries-old. Be adventurous and give it a go – and see something special from an exciting new talent.

And enjoy Brixton and the 198.

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Photo by Eva SajovicTen days ago I blogged about the exciting upcoming exhibition from Eva Sajovic, the Slovenian photographer who has worked extensively with Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, including Traveller families from Basildon, for the past two years.

The exhibition opens on Thursday (4 February) and runs until Saturday 20 March. Throughout both months there are various events associated with her exhibition:

Sat 13th Feb 2010
12-5pm
Workshop with Romany artist Delaine Le Bas
Weds 17th Feb 2010
6-9pm
Seminar exploring the role of photography and other artistic media in challenging stereotypes and prejudice.
Tues 9th March 2010
10.30am-4pm
Seminar:  The Future of Travelling Communities
Thurs 18th March 2010
7-9pm
Film Screening of Romano Hip Hop by R Point
Sat 20th March 2010
1-5pm Gallery Open & Closing Event with music
6-9pm

Spaces at these events are limited so please contact the Brixton arts space 198 to reserve yours: info@198.org.uk

For more details please read the full text of her press release.

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