In the heart of Romania, a new theatre group named Giuvlepin is challenging existing stereotypes of their community by exposing the world to innovative Roma theater. The following is an episode of The Stream, a program produced by Al Jazeera. According to the article posted with the video:
Formed by a group of Roma actresses in 2014, the troupe’s performance explores and busts stereotypes about Roma women and culture, challenging perceptions held both within and outside the community. The theatre company’s founders invented the term “Giuvlepin” because there was no previous Romani word for feminism.
“Roma art has always been marginalized because of the segregation of Roma people”, said the group in a 2016 interview. “There is a certain curiosity about Roma women in non-Roma communities…it was quite a surprise to observe through our audiences how invisible Roma women actually were and how the simple fact of our existence was a novelty.”
Mihaela Drăgan is an actress activating within the cultural space as part of the Roma feminist theater company Giuvlipen which she initiated together with Zita Moldovan și Mihai Lukacs. These past few years she’s been working mainly with shows that put forward an emancipating and affirmative vision on Roma women, analyzing from various perspective the situations these women are confronted with.
Mihaela Drăgan mixes artistic practices with human rights activism and an active involvement in certain communities. This year, the artist was nominated for The Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award, granted by New York’s Women’s Professional Theater League.
Also in the video were the President of Democratic Federation of Roma from Romania Nicoleta Bitu, Founder of Roma Political Theater in Romania Alina Serban, and News Editor of the Traveller’s Times Lisa Smith. Read more about the program at Al Jazeera. The video is about 25 minutes. Take a look: