ABSTRACT / Mihaela Drăgan presents Giuvlipen, the first Roma feminist theatre company formed by professional actresses of Roma origins in Bucharest. In the talk, she covers the discourse in Roma art practice as it developed in parallel to the escalation of anti-Gypsyism and stronger stereotypes concerning Roma women. Mihaela examines the landscape of the Roma artists and the institutional framework of neglecting Roma art that laid the ground for creating an independent company. She discusses her artistic practice as actress, playwright and organiser and her performances Del Duma: Tell Them About Me (four real stories of Roma women facing early marriage), Sara Kali: The Dark Madonna (invocation of the Roma saint Sara Kali against anti-gypsyist hate speech), Razzing (about evictions of Roma people in Bucharest, written and performed together with evicted Roma women), Gadjo Dildo (about the hypersexualization of Roma women by non-Roma men, heteronormativity and sexuality issues in Roma communities) and Iovan (about traditional Roma families, arranged marriages and the desire of young Roma women).
BIO / Mihaela Drăgan (n. 1986) is a Roma actress, activist and playwright who lives and works in Bucharest. Her performances focus on the connection between theatre, Roma identity and social justice. She is the president of the Roma Actors Association and the president of the board of E-Romnja – The Association for Promoting Roma Women’s Rights. In 2014, she founded Giuvlipen Theatre Company, together with other Roma actresses. She studied acting and Romani language and collaborated over the years with Logos Theatre and Theatre for Few in projects that focused on expressionism, eurythmics and acrobatics.
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