ERCF wishes to serve as a platform, a reference point for Roma arts and culture on the European level as well as for advocating for the incorporation of issues of Roma arts and culture into the overall European integration processes.
Programming principles and focus areas:
ERCF aims to unite the cultural advocacy and emancipation efforts made by the different generations of Roma cultural and political activism. Through intergenerational initiatives ERCF insures knowledge sharing, the continuity of ideas and the transfer of the ‘lessons learned’ which are all prerequisites for the improvement and proper programming for future Roma activism. This initiative shall develop an inter-generational sensitivity which shall transform Roma activism and build the respect and the constructive examination of the Roma past.
ERCF honors the Romani Elders who spent a lifetime in Roma activism and aims to ensure that their achievements will never be neglected or forgotten and their wisdom will be re-invested in our societies. ERCF felt that the knowledge, experience, and achievements of the Roma community’s Elders were not explored, collected and returned towards Europe. ERCF and it’s generation of Roma intellectuals wishes to give their role models the attention and respect they deserve. The ERCF objective is to build an archive and a comprehensive website where ERCF will present the life story, achievements, publications, activities, statements and leadership character of the charismatic personalities of ‘The Romani Elders’ in Europe. The initiative will start in February 2012 with the invitation of five Elders, the founding members of www.theromanielders.org.
- Roma Youth / Young talents
Special emphasis in the focus areas is given to young talented Roma. Considering the mission and long-term aims of ERCF, it is essential to invest in capacities of young Roma artists, presenters, managers and entrepreneurs to help them to succeed, to learn, to be accepted positively by broad audiences, to become more knowledgeable and actively engaged in networking and collaboration in Europe and beyond. An emphasis will be given to motivate the development of innovative projects and experimental cross-disciplinary work of young Roma.
ERCF researches and recycles knowledge about Roma arts and culture, using the methodologies provided by the academic field of cultural studies, which concern the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. The ERCF research concentrates on how a particular medium or message relates to ideology, social class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, and/or gender.
· Research of the Roma Holocaust: ERCF conducts research and artistic investigation in connection with the Roma Holocaust.
· Data Collection: It is a primary objective of ERCF to accumulate and disseminate information about Roma artists, Roma cultural and artistic projects, events and organizations across Europe, and especially in the targeted countries. ERCF wishes to become a “Roma arts and culture information hub”.
Other, general principles:
- To focus on non-traditional Roma arts and culture and on new contemporary forms of arts created by Roma talented individuals (without being exclusive). This would help break the stereotype that Roma culture is only connected with traditional music and dance.
- A multidisciplinary character of program areas should be maintained.
- To use existing online tools and social networks to promote, connect, make visible.
- The ERCF focus is on targeted European countries, facing significant problems with a large Roma minority population, especially the new Member States (e.g. Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine), while at the same time to keep a long-term mission meeting global needs and building partnership coalitions with stakeholders and funders outside Europe as well.