ActivismStories of resistance

From Memory to Story from Story To Action

From Memory to Story from Story To Action

A significant shift in the transmission and expression of Ukranian Roma genocide memory, trauma, and representation over generations may be seen in the transition from first- and second-generation stories of the Nazi genocide to those from second- and third-generation survivors.  We are opening an open call for the second and third generations of Ukranian Roma genocide survivors to contribute with their family stories from the past and their current traumatic experience with the on going Russian occupation of Ukraine. 

The current call is focused on the collection of online verbal or written interviews with contributors for the future staging of a documentary theater performance that would be shown  in Germany and in Poland.  


● Roma from Ukraine who has memories of the Roma genocide in Ukraine through the narration of the first generation  grandparents or parents. 

● Ukrainian Roma who are interested in sharing their traumatic experience under ongoing war circumstances.

● The call is open to all genders and age groups who fulfill the requirements mentioned above.  

Why do we need it?

We would like to collect your personal stories for the staging a Documentary Theater Play based on the repetition of history, the Roma genocide during the Nazi Germany regime, and the current Russian military invasion and mass bombing of Ukraine. People who contributed to the project with their private stories could stay anonymous or take part in the future stage theater performance, which would take place in Germany and Poland. 

Shared stories would be recorded and transcribed, but only ARCA team members would have access to those files and information. All collected stories would be analyzed by the playwright and the theater director and used for writing a Documentary Theater Play scenario. From the collected stories, the playwright will make a script for a documentary play, and the director will prepare a documentary performance where actors will speak publicly on behalf of people who gave their testimonies about the Roma genocide and the experience of war.

How does the collection of stories work?

● You fill out a registration form  Link:

● You will be contacted by a project representative (most likely the person who will interview you) to get acquainted and find a time to record the interview. You agree on the format – in person or online

● Before the interview, you will be sent a permission to use your story and personal data (hereinafter – the Permission) for review

● You and your interviewer meet on a specific day and time to conduct and record the interview with you. The meeting lasts from 1.5 hours.

● Before the meeting, you sign the authorization and discuss it with the interviewer.

● The collected stories are then stored by the project team. They can be used by the project’s specialists to create a documentary performance or other cultural product.

What is documentary theater?

Documentary theater (DT) is a type of socio-political theater that founded in the 20s of the XXI century.  There are different types of DT: verbatim, witness, autobiographical, newspaper theater, documentary theater, etc. In fact, DT is a research of a topic chosen by a creative group under the direction of a director. Research actors search for story donors, who are interviewed in depth on the record. Then they or a playwright transcribe the interviews, and then a script for a future performance is created from the text. The director is in charge of staging the play.

The materials that make up the performance may include various artifacts (objects, their parts, personal or collective, etc.), documents (passports, protocols, orders, etc.), photographs, videos—anything that carries certain events and themes. The performance is usually followed by a discussion with the audience. The DT is aimed at increasing the level of critical thinking and reflection skills, which directly affect a person’s ability to make decisions, express their voice, and express their point of view publicly.

From memory to history, from history to action! 

The experience of collective trauma leads to its transmission between generations, which in turn affects the forms of perception of reality, imagination…  Language is a defense against oblivion that preserves the memory of the past, trying, as one grandson of the survivors notes, “to create a place for history and ensure that historical realities are passed onto future generations.” Please write to us if you are interested in contributing to the project!

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