SozialMarie Prize for the Feather Picking Project

Is a problem if I hate the Roma people?

-asked a student. For such questions young people usually get either racist answer, which say
’it’s okay’, or the answers of tolerance, which say ’you aren’t right’. 
They hardly have opportunity for real discussion and recognition related to their opinions. The peer trainers of ’Feather Picking’ aren’t embarrassed; don’t say the student shouldn’t say that: ’It’s all right. We have come here, in order to speak about such topics with you in a sincere way.’

But what is it ’Feather Picking’, which have received special Sozial Marie prize on the 1st of May in Vienna?

·The first play, which presents trough real stories, how we have got to the murderers of Roma children in the last years. That all of us – teachers, parents, leaders and employees - have responsibility in what happens around us and with us in school, public transport, workplace and home. That even if we think it’s not true, children can see into us, till the time we won’t make their eyesight unclear, or we don’t kill them – with different tools: guns and silence.
·Theater education for young Roma people, who still don’t have their place in the theater structure, although their talent and way of thinking should receive it.
·Domestic and International performances, where the young artists gained success because of their professional work and not because of social compassion.
· Movie, with the help of which the many questions and stories of the play, which must be discussed not only the intellectuals of the city, can reach much more people. It can reach also the youngsters who are always left out finally from the discussions.
· Education of peer trainers, who can bring to the students through their genuine personality social facts and values of the Roma culture – which still miss from the schools books or appear only in a malformed way.
·  Workshops in schools,  which ensure opportunity for youngsters to share their opinions, feelings in a sincere way and to discuss their thoughts about prejudices, discrimination and many questions we all have to face independently from the family, where we were born. The young people not only have discussions during the workshops but they can also react trough community art creations on the world, where they live,  and they can formulate their messages related the world we could create, if we didn’t close our eyes, and didn’t look for the reason of the problems in the other people.

The award of the Unruhe Private Stiftung can be gained by social projects, which are innovative and their influence have been verified also in practice.

In the frame of the project in this semester 20 secondary schools and universities participated in the workshop countrywide in Hungary. The series of workshops is supported by the Badur Foundation.

Discrimination on top level

Saint Cows – action theater performance on the International Theater Day

On the 27th March 2014 the Independent Theater presented pictures of today’s Hungary for the co-workers of a Norwegian Alesund Adult Learning Centre and the passers of the street. Before the performance one of the artists read the alternative message of the Roma theater professional Alina Serban, which she has written for this day. 

The performance showed situations related many actual issues from the corruption and the inciting hate speech of politicians, through the manipulation of the mass media and the civil initiatives till the hate crimes on the street and in the family. 

At the end all the performers were kicked out by an employee of the labor office because of unjustified pretenses and were mixed by the participants of a flash mob, who pulled attention to the 600 thousand young Hungarian, who left Hungary because of many reasons, which were symbolized by flags held by them. The audience was able to understand the background of the many immigrants from Eastern Europe they meet in Norway and the reasons why they left their home country.

As the performance was played on the street of the city, it reached many people, who otherwise wouldn’t go to the theater, but this way they were also able to enjoy theater on this special day.

Guerilla movie >>> video section >>>

Photos by Erika Lakatos

Message of Alina Serban

Alina Serban
Photo by: Romedia Foundation
Theatre is an encounter ! thank you fellow humans for meeting my thoughts today 27th of March.
27th of March is a day to reflect on the importance of theatre. But is also the day when the woman who gave birth to me was born.
My mom, Niculina, is a Roma woman who works as a cleaner in Bucharest, Romania. She is a short, strong woman who struggled all her life. She is one of those thousand and thousand women of that theatre should speak about
Today we must remember the importance of so many untold stories that need , please allow me to repeat, that need -to be told.
I wish my words could grow hands now so I could touch you, embrace you my fellow actors-all theatre makers, and tell you that we are needed and that what you are doing is important.
Is crucial that us maintain our eyes and hearts open to what is happening around us.
When this so called' power' / authority is delaying in making justice, when it's giving fuel to hate, to violence against other fellow humans is up to us to speak up, to say' we are NOT part of this'
I only have a half of page and there are so many things I'd like to say, if I'll have just one phrase to say I'll choose to say ' please do not delay in uncovering, in cornering, pointing out the hate around you'.
It's not possible, that in 2014, after our universal history to still have people leaving in fear because of their ethnicity, color, sexual orientation.
It's up to us to show our artistic fists and put our truths on loud speakers!
In this short time we have to pass this earth, please ask yourselves as I ask myself too: what kind of artist do you want to be? In what type of society you want to live in ?
Your answers matter.
As an artist, as a Romanian Roma, a woman, an immigrant- I aim to create and be part of a theatre that cares that challenges the privileged perspective and discrimination.
I think I passed my half of page, so I will try to leave you with another thought about my mom.
She asked me' my dear, I know your smart why don't you get a normal job and you run up and down to pay rent?'
Many times I asked that myself too, but I just keep on doing it with the hope that what I do today will help the Roma kids, and non Roma to be treated better .
Long live theatre and moms!

Expanded Spaces – 50 years of Hungro-Gypsism

Documentary movies made between 1960’s till today related to the issues of Roma inclusion, deep poverty and cultural initiatives. Some of the movies could have seemed very old and showing a very different reality related to today’s Hungary. But the screening of the movies on the 13th December in the Roma Parliament, Budapest was very special, as the movies were linked together by the acts of the Independent Theater’s performance.

The movie-performance showed many similarities between the social situation, political attitude and cultural challenges of the state socialist times and today. The event started as a round table discussion, where a politician, an artist, a human right activist and an architect businessman participated. Although they played roles, their discussion didn’t seem a theater performance – just a normal discussion before a screening. After the first video, the actors started to interpret it, and debate about actual questions as the movie wasn’t made 50 years ago but yesterday. They also involved the audience in the discussion. Their debate showed we still have similar problems related to the examined issues like 50 years ago. In the later scenes the actors came back in different situations, where they face existential and moral questions in their present life, which were quite similar to the ones seen in the screened movies. At the end of the performance the audience was the witness of an unmoral agreement , which was made by the human right activist and the politician, and also the fact that it depends on us, if we do such compromises and if the situation will get any better in our country in the next 50 years or remains the same for 100 years.

The documentation of the performance become a part of the movie made by Sebestyén Kodolányi the co-worker of the oldest Hungarian alternative movie studio (BBS), who was fired afterwards – which is also very similar situation to the 60s.

Hiking Theater on the Gellért Hill

Sin Village

300 souls 301 interests


design: Panna Köves & Aurelia Nemes

Independent Theater Hungary: Peer Gynt’s Children

Program: In a 3-hour-long walking tour on the beautiful Gellért Hill in the Heart of Budapest you can watch the performance of the UN price winner Ibsen Award scholar Independent Theater Hungary, played by young Gypsy and non-Gypsy actors. The scenes of the performance come to life in different spots of the picturesque hill. You’ll never know where, what will happen. The only thing you can be sure that after the performance a nice outdoor dinner will wait for you, where you can chat with the creators of the performance.

Story: The adaptation of Ibsen’s world famous play: Peer Gynt tells the story of a poor guy living in a small, corrupt village, where no one dares to resist the dirty affairs of the mayor’s mafia. Although he is very popular among women especially the daughter of the mayor, he needs a lot of luck after mentioning in public the anomalies of the small Hungarian Village.

The performance is in Hungarian with simultaneous interpretation.

Photos of the performance >>>

Date: 27th September
at 4pm - 7pm

Meeting Point: By the waterfall close to 
the Elisabeth Bridge on the Buda side at 4:45 pm

Tickets:  7500 HUF (only presale)

Tickets for professionals: 3000 HUF
(You can ask for it by phone or email)


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