Romanies- Romance and Reality

Romany_Vardo_of_the_English_Gypsies

In the  lectures, and in the discussions which will arise, we will try and gain an understanding of a people who have been the subject of ill informed prejudice.
We will attempt to look at the origins of the Romanies ,their migrations and their interactions with non Romanies. An “attempt” because so little is certain about a people who have had an oral culture until relatively recently.
We will investigate the Romanies today in Britain and Europe – their wide variety of cultures and ways of life. We will look at how they are using education, politics and the law to forge a place for themselves in Europe today.
There will be an opportunity to learn about the Romany arts and crafts and listen to some of the astonishing variety of music produced by the Romanies and see if we can find any common threads.
Finally, we will look at how  artists and scholars, such as Augustus John, Sven Berlin and George Borrow have interacted with Rom culture to  create the Bohemian movement which has had such an important influence on fashion and music and create stereotypes of Romanies.

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