On the ground, the possibilities
Yiddishland (1/3)

On the ground, the possibilities

The imagined homeland for Roma people—from the 1930s—frames the video and provides a springboard for rhizomatic reflections on the roots and routes of Roma in Hungary, with a focus on poetry, painting, and song.

The Yiddishland Pavilion debuts at the 59th Venice Biennale this month. Maria Veits and Yevgeniy Fiks, curators of the pavilion, edited this series for ArtsEverywhere. The Yiddishland Pavilion is the first independent transnational pavilion bringing together artists and scholars from more than 15 countries who activate Yiddish and diasporic Jewish discourse in contemporary artistic practice.

The video work, On the ground, the possibilities, is a continuation of an earlier project How I realized/How I found out, which was first exhibited in Budapest in the summer of 2021. How I realized/How I found out deals with the commonalities and differences in concealing, rejecting, or embracing Jewish and Roma identity by members of the Third Generation after the Shoah/Pharrajimos.

After viewing this project, the organizers of the Yiddishland Pavilion invited me to participate in this hybrid online-offline project connected to the 59th Venice Biennale. They commissioned me to create a new video work, building upon How I realized/How I found out. While researching my project, I discovered that in the 1930s some Roma intellectuals drew inspiration from contemporary Zionist dreams of a Jewish state and envisioned a future, independent Roma homeland of their own. This imagined homeland frames the video and provides a springboard for rhizomatic reflections on the roots and routes of Roma in Hungary, with a focus on poetry, painting, and song. This video, On the ground, the possibilities, uses my own artworks and research diary, along with television interviews and film clips that I recorded from the computer screen with a digital camera, and then incorporated into a video collage as visual quotations. 

The video is 13 min. 43 sec. long
Language: English, Hungarian, Yiddish
Subtitle: English, Yiddish

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