Utca-SzAK Non-Profit Association
Municipality of Felsővadász
Dr Ámbédkár Iskola (secondary school)
Romama Szociális Szövetkezet (social cooperative)
The three partners above are some of those dozens of stakeholders who we work with and also benefit on the education and the mobility side of our work, as well as business aspects in Borsod County.
Vanity fuels participation, participation attracts community and leads onto stage production - production is something solid to pay with, a form of generous giving, and as such is a new starting point of reverberating circles of beneficial activities. Theatre is an ancient function: to immerse in acting fantasy is one of our basic human drives. To exploit this functionality, to create community and improve mental health in disadvantaged communities is a fair trickery.
Alsóvadász, Kázsmárk, Felsővadász, Méra and Rásonysápberencs, Cserehát region, North-East of Hungary
The people of Cserehát are just seemingly living in different space and time, the streets are dark, but the houses are mainly lit from inside, and if one dare to enter, perspectives do open. To understand the obstacles it is necessary to step into the conditions of social, economic, ethnic and cultural segregation of families. Our projects could work only through the full acceptance of the vital and mental conditions of the target group.
The main deficiency is the tremendous lack of confidence. We are artists with “social developmental specialization”. It is terribly important also for the target group to understand the quality of help we are able to offer. We need to build trust by differentiating ourselves from the schools, social institutions – generally from all sorts of authority.
To empower youngsters – as well as teachers, parents, social workers etc. – we persuade them to work according to democratic group constitutions and to influence "legally" their group. Democratic skills shall be acquired as well while working on a common agenda: on their own performance. Theatre is an ideal field to train and transmit collective competences as intra-group co-operation, moderate competition, conflict management etc.- the personal level of everyday democracy. Daily work in a non-hostile group climate helps them to develop voice and self-confidence. Staging own stories helps to articulate problems on village level. The performances of amateur companies, as community services, do break the overall passivity of the Roma minority and lead to intrinsic democratic activities.
Exclusion acts on both sides - the Roma communities are closed for the majority and sometimes for each other. Facilitating encounters is the best way to foster inclusion.
Theater mainly connects by creation and performance. We are working on seven levels:
- personal, group and family level by shaping the inclusion-culture of the group members,
- village level by performing stories of the community to the community,
- regional level by exchanging local performances,
- connecting schools with youngsters, following their inclusion in Miskolc and beyond,
- larger national scoop by including urban audiences to the 8-day TeatRom Festival in August 2020 and June 2021,
- societal level through the extended press visibility of the festival,
- international level involving RIOTE.org.
TeatRom 2020 with its 73 events will exceed its forerunners. We should build a sustainable system upon its impact. It is a unique opportunity to increase the number of active performing art goups, and to ensure their work throughout the year with inspiring interim performances, workshops, and gatherings, heading the '21 festival.
The parallel task is the establishment of a work-hub in Miskolc. Recently the mayor of Miskolc expressed his commitment to the establishment of a Roma youth theatre hub in Miskolc, which would be open to the students of the vocational schools of the city and of the rural areas.
"Education-marketing" is an essential part of our work. We will follow up youngsters in Miskolc by providing them safe community and brilliant afternoon activities.
1. Increase number of local performing art groups, and participants.
2. Facilitating mobility of the groups by invited workshop leaders and monthly exchange performances
3. Involvement and channeling of a number of youngsters in various institutions in the school year 2020/21
4. Establishment of an education/youth drama hub in Miskolc
5. Operation of a Roma youth theatre in Miskolc for the most talented young actors.
6. Academic development of mature group leaders as drama instructors with the UFTA in Budapest
7. Reinforcing the 2021 TeatRom festival with the necessary attention and support on national level.
8. Organization of 2021 festival with local stakeholders on 16 settlements
The performing art collectives with democratic group constitution shall have a fermentation effect in the segregated communities. The democratic feeling, the non-hierarchical manner of decision-making amongst youngsters shall be contagious. The dignity of creativity and the earned success as positive examples shall attract more settlements into the network of TeatRom in North-East of Hungary. Expanding vision and mobility for the younger Roma generation (as students and as group members) shall contribute to a healthier and more equal status within the whole of society, becoming equal citizens actively practicing democratic rights and duties, while the elderly generation's understanding on collective decision-making processes is shaped in the vicinity of democratic art groups.
"As the initiator of Utca-SzAK projects, I was always guided by deep love of theater, by the conviction, that theatre is the strongest tool for learning and teaching humanness of all educational forms.
Throughout the 12 years I proved situations in which unprivileged kids, lacking basic competences, showed the signs of high emotional intelligence and intellect. I've seen often when group of youngsters experience a sort of group growth in performance situation. I know hundreds of young Roma who felt privileged being Roma in our democratic group frameworks and this experience was life-changing for them. I'd like to work with my team to prove that the power of dramatic arts is capable to influence society far beyond the performance." by Balázs Simon
Funding requested from Civic Europe
office expenses&personnel cost: 7142 €
travel & acc. : 23358€
fees: 57040€ (teachers, performers, mentors etc.)
1. 10 local groups - 11428€
2. Exchange of workshop leaders, performances - 6857€
3. Mentoring - 2057€
4. Education-art hub - 17551€
5. Mature group leaders formation- 5714€
6. Semi-professional group - 19361 €
7. Festival PR - 4285 €
8. Organization of TeatRom 2021 - 45714€
We ask for advice to be able to develop our work in a manner, that our groups might overgrow us, gain political and economical independence, and become sustainable for generations ahead...