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Roma Rights 2 2015: Nothing About Us Without Us? Roma Participation in Policy Making and Knowledge Production

7th, December, 2015


Knowing Differently: On Thinking and Doing ‘Roma’

Marett Katalin Klahn

Discussions on knowledge production on/about, by, for or with ‘Roma’ ought to take cognisance of the discursively and socially marginalised and minoritised context in which ‘Roma’ are conceptualised as a static category. Their construction as ‘the other’ along racialised and essentialist lines serves the cause of reinforcing prevailing social divisions into the categories of those who belong to the ‘we’ (mainly nationalist) and those who do not. These divisions are starkly mirrored in the existing ‘knowledge’ on ‘Roma’ and the nature of the institutional culture behind its production. The construction and preservation of Romani persons as a homogenous category of the internal ‘other’ is one of the basic pillars of the normative and hegemonic discourses that render equal access and representation for Romani persons, in all their individual and collective diversity, impossible. Using a constructivist approach to the question of knowledge production, one must see the difference (but also the entanglement) between ‘Roma’ as a category, holding a certain systemic function and serving as the tool for the ‘self-reassurance’ of the dominant group on the one hand, and Romani persons on the other. These dichotomising categories, in spite of being epistemic in nature, nonetheless result in the very lived, real and visible invisibility and domination of the Romani people and in turn, also fundamentally influence their self- perceptions and everyday lives.

Part one of this article broadly presents the theoretical sensitising framework to the systemic dimension of the theme. Part two introduces the readers to the case study of the Dr Ámbédkar School in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén/Hungary to exemplify the multidimensional modes of (re-)action to the complex thematic of knowledge production on Roma.

Thinking ‘Roma’ in epistemic and systemic terms

The field of knowledge production is immediately related to social power structures and the distribution of resources. Hence, one has to look at the conditions of political and collectively negotiated processes that produce certain social realities and the therein resulting knowledge(s) linked to them. These processes are represented in the struggles on socially contested categories of belonging like gender, nationality and ethnicity1 and the access to “symbolic power” that fundamentally affects the construction of reality.2 It is a crucial fact that the resources to participate in these struggles are distributed in a highly unequal way. Thus, the outcomes of these struggles for representation also reflect that very asymmetry.3 In the prevailing social conditions, hegemonising definitions of “reality” and “truth” come into existence that legitimise social hierarchies, the distribution of privileges and the social division of people into minorities and majorities4 and their access to what Bourdieu calls “symbolic power”. The knowledge underpinning these dominant discourses thus requires to be considered as “positioned, situated and not absolute”5 as it not only reflects their constructedness but also that they articulate certain power relations.6 Under such hegemonising circumstances, Romani persons have hardly any chance to become visible in their diversity – as individuals and as groups. It leaves little space for visibility which is independent of a hegemonic canon of imaginations and putative knowledge on a “group” that is constructed by means of homogenising stigma.7 The result is a widely spread knowledge on “the” Roma or what Adichie calls a “single story”. This implies the manifestation of a single, one-sided and allegedly true story that creates stereotypes. “[A]nd the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”8 By making the ambiguity of stories, identities and knowledge invisible in an essentialist manner, this single story contributes to the manifestation and the “strategies of perpetuation”9 of ‘the other’.

The “complicity”10 of all groups belonging to the particular system constitutes and feeds the sustainment of the asymmetry of power relations and their ensuing systems of knowledge production. Symbolic power can only be exercised because of a “consensus” among those dominating and those being dominated.11 This entails a reciprocal imagination and agreement on the unequal values and positions of each group and their relationship to each other.12 As a consequence, the belonging and not belonging of the dominated group is established simultaneously. On the one hand, the dominated group is a constitutive part of the larger social order but, on the other, its affiliation to that very social order is denied in that it serves the dominant group as ‘the other’, or becomes the static counterweight against and from which the dominant group demarcates itself.13

Ha outlines two opposing “strategies of survival” employed by dominated groups, which are a reaction to the denial of belonging and an attempt to be equally acknowledged, namely, “assimilation and self-ethnicisation”.14 The former aspires to a “consubstantial conformity with the racialised subject”.15 This leads to the denial of the self and the specificities of the self, therein resulting in self-denigration. Given that racism and racialised structures always depend on differences that are fabricated and produced, this strategy of aspired assimilation with the dominant group can never be achieved.16 The very attempt to “assimilate” presumes the seemingly unalterable nature of one’s “otherness”. Crucial to this internalisation of “being different” – resulting from decades, or centuries, of maltreatment, trauma and exclusion embedded in mental, physical and institutional violence – is that the members of the dominated groups themselves therein contribute to their own domination.17 Their ‘otherness’ can become one of their central arguments for self-assertion as, within the prevailing patterns of perception and communication, this tends to be the only vocabulary that has a realistic chance of acknowledgement. This is what Ha, among others, describes as “self-ethnicisation”, often considered a counter-reaction to a failed attempt to assimilate. This self-ethnicisation tries to establish a historical continuity and group specificities for the purpose of self-affirmation by sticking to one’s own origins and it “reassesses the ethnic identity from a symbol of commonness and inferiority to an identity-establishing privilege”.18 What is common to both these mechanisms is that they eventually stabilise the prevailing epistemic dichotomies as they affirm the existence of ‘the’ dominant as well as of ‘the’ dominated in a reductionist and stigmatising way. Both assimilation as well as self-ethnicisation need to be seen as mechanisms to cope with the symptoms of racism.19 They do not tackle the systemic and historical roots of it mainly because it is a one-sided attempt to move out of the predominant social situation. But as described above, this exercised domination is always an expression of a relationship which cannot be transformed only by one of the two engaging sides alone.

Many self-organised collectives of people who experience discrimination claim more representation in, and access to, the field of knowledge production for the purpose of equal acknowledgement and visibility. They also emphasise the peculiarity of their situation as a particular “group”, viewing practices of not-noticing and rendering their group invisible as effective instruments of domination.20 In both cases, Schaffer offers cutting-edge thoughts: The high risk of only asking for more representation is to be satisfied only with visibility alone whereas in effect the aesthetic and epistemic forms of representation are reproduced and affirmed according to the dominant order.21 When, in this case, Roma become visible as musicians or dancers, for example, or as researchers, it mostly remains coupled with the ethnicised ‘Roma’ attribute, which both the Roma themselves as well as the audience/readers strongly stick to with reference to authenticity and truth. This leads to the homogenising perpetuation of the existing stereotypes as the assumed (‘ethnic’) expertise or asset constructed is only based on one of the numerous defining characteristics of the (Romani) person. End calls attention to the fact that it does not matter whether the stereotype has a ‘positive’ – as in the case of music or dance – or ‘negative’ content – like the assumed unwillingness to integrate into social norms – as in both cases it is a reductionist perspective used for the purpose of creating differences.22 Schaffer refers to this practice of making persons visible within a certain prejudiced framework as “conditional acknowledgement” because it shows that only a regulated visibility of the marginalised persons is accepted and economically utilisable in producing the essentialist category of ‘the’ Roma.23 A researcher of Romani origin is most often obliged to meet the expectation of being an ‘expert’ on Roma related topics. At the same time, she*he would probably feel obliged to be the carrier of such expertise. Both reflect the conditioning which underlies the production of knowledge on and by Romani persons.

Morrison states that within racialised social structures it is rather impossible to escape “racially inflected language” and knowledge because it is the only available tool for all members to become heard and visible within the prevailing dominant discourse.24 It is also the only possible means through which images, stories and meanings can be taken up by hegemonic and majoritarian knowledge.25 As a consequence, for both Roma and non-Roma it turns out to be more profitable to apply the dominant sets of categories and to stick to ethnic ‘branding’ for the purpose of serving the economic functionality of the images and meanings.26 Similar to the implied ‘complicity’, there is a commonly experienced applicability of racialised knowledge that makes escape and emancipation from hegemonic practices of imagination, thought and (inter-)action extremely difficult.

The emphasis on the peculiarity of a group as a legitimisation strategy to claim for more representation reproduces a false impression: that the problems the group suffers from are the group’s problems only. It (re)constructs a homogenous, static group which serves the imagination of the unconditional, decontextualised ‘other’. Schaffer makes an appeal for not only seeing the problematic representations but also for observing the underlying structures, processes and effects of becoming visible, being perceived and acknowledged. She calls for making the dominating and excluding patterns of domination visible. If our critique thereby focuses on the structural and discursive conditions of becoming visible and of social participation we distance ourselves from the logics referring to certain static and exclusivist identities and from playing off one marginalisation and discrimination against the other.27

All the above-mentioned aspects point to the importance of giving due regard to the complexity of knowledge production in the case of Roma. They also indicate the lack of representation of Romani persons, their relegation into being a merely systemic category, and how their grievances are looked upon as being solely a group-specific issue. This calls for attention not only to quantitative indicators of participation and visibility but also to qualitative aspects such as new forms of perceiving and producing knowledge that emancipate in a more fundamental way from the hegemonising structures.

(Un-)Doing ‘Roma’: transforming the conditions of knowledge production

The Dr Ámbédkar School (DAS) in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén/Hungary is an extraordinary example of attempts to create a space where renegotiation of identities, imagination(s) and knowledge occurs in an extremely emancipative way.28 The school works, in a groundbreaking way, on strengthening Romani young people and on abandoning the reciprocal ‘othering’ between Roma and non-Roma persons, encouraging mutual understanding and empathy. The school associates itself with the Ambedkarian Dalit movement in India, as well as with other groups which have histories of experienced exclusion and humiliation. This is, however, not for the purpose of producing collective victimisation nor for constructing nationalist, exclusivist identities. Through their transgrouping approach, with a global perspective, they transform the understanding of the prevailing problems of Roma to historical, systemic and structural ones and thus do not fall into the trap of ethnicising either the problems or the possible claims made as a reaction to the problems. They explicitly consider the transformation of the social conditions under which Romani persons suffer as a task for society as a whole. This means that both Romani as well as non-Roma persons need to emancipate themselves from their previous ways of knowing, seeing and handling ‘the (respective) other’. This first of all necessitates that both ‘groups’ share a space where they have the same resources to participate in negotiating collective issues, in the above-mentioned “processes that produce certain social realities and knowledge”. This sameness is pursued by the feminist’ and Buddhist guiding principles of the school, strongly influenced by the Dr Ambedkar example.29 The school puts a strong emphasis on mediating between different attitudes and perceptions, which is essential for not tabooing certain prejudices and, at the same time, not allowing them to influence reality in the ‘usual’ way. In ‘usual’ circumstances this would mean that non-Roma (and) teachers would have a fundamental influence on the assessment of the competences of their Romani students very often based on racist stereotypes. In the DAS, both Roma and non-Roma are made to work on emancipation from the reciprocal prejudiced ‘knowledge’ and the reductionist (self-)perception which keeps the social hierarchies stable and the domination unquestionable.30

Another important aspect is that in the DAS Romani persons hold positions as teachers and decision-makers. This not only creates the fundamental basis for equal participation but also serves the very important purpose of making Roma visible in leading positions and thereby demonstrating their agency and expertise independent of their ethnic origin and associated (in-)capabilities.31 At the same time they also become urgently needed idols for the pupils, a majority of whom are Roma and have failed in other schools because of the above-mentioned interrelated exclusivist structures. János Orsós, one of the directors of the DAS, said in a personal interview: “I asked my teacher: Madame, why do I actually never get a mark better than C? – What would you need it for? In any case you will not continue studying. […] In seventh grade I gave up the fight. By that time I was quite adolescent and not in the mood for studying. And anyway the teacher had said I would not be capable and eligible. As a teacher had said it I believed her. After all nobody from our settlement had continued studying after primary school and so the teacher must have had knowledge that I could not grasp yet.”32 This excerpt points out the different psychological and structural dimensions of racialised knowledge, which is (re-)produced in core social areas like schools and has a tremendous effect on the self-confidence and capability of Roma students. The outcome, true for many cases including the Orsós one, is that students become school dropouts. This in turn feeds stereotypes about Roma as “unwilling to learn” or “less capable because of their ethnic origin”. As Steel describes it, this not only leads to the stabilisation of the teacher’s authority – as a teacher and, in this context, as non-Roma – but additionally to the immobilising fear of fulfilling that negative ascription that can increasingly become the self-perception, a “stereotype threat”.33

As mentioned earlier, the fact that certain Romani persons are visible and have access to certain positions is not enough and cannot be viewed as a fundamental change in the quality of the conditions in which participation happens. What is remarkable about the school and its handling of ‘Romani identity’ is that they manage a balancing act which neither collectively victimises the students nor constructs or enforces a “counter-nationalist attitude”34 among them, which would again produce a static ‘we’ and ‘other’, either below or above them. Both extremes would prevent an understanding of identity in a pluralistic, fluid way where every person holds different identities, or rather, is constantly in a process of identification that is never definite or permanent. The way in which knowledge is imparted and the kind of knowledge produced and selected contributes enormously to the acceptance of one’s own diversity as well as that of the others. ‘Being Roma’ plays a role in nearly every subject taught at the school because the majority of students are of Romani origin but it is decisive that it is not (mis)used for the purpose of stigmatising or excluding the students. It is simply present in a very ‘normal’ way in the sense that if students choose a Roma-related topic – i.e. traditions in their families – in an essay or homework, they can do so without the risk that they would either be reduced to it or discriminated against because of it. The more important aspect, however, is that students can also choose any other topic. The teachers think and are called upon to think that the students are capable of working on any topic in any subject independent of their ethnicity or gender.35 As previously mentioned, this initiates a sensitisation process for some of the teachers.

Not only does the curriculum contain Romani language, but in every subject persons of Roma origin are present in their historical contexts and roles unlike in other school contexts where, in spite of being present, they have been rendered invisible and ‘unknowable’, in continuity with the prevalent hegemonic structures of historiography and knowledge production. These are of course historically connected to a social practice of domination and exclusion so that there is of course also a ‘real’ or rather externally ‘induced’ lack of Romani persons in certain power positions. Another important dimension is that members of other excluded groups are also shown and put into context, i.e. Dr Ambedkar or Dr Martin Luther King. This is how their “shadeless participation in the dominant cultural body”36 is counteracted by inscribing formerly marginalised narratives, stories and biographies into the curriculum in an equal way, therein making that knowledge approachable and visible. There are two praiseworthy aspects to this: Firstly, there is no counter-nationalist overvaluing of ‘other’ inscribed (hi)stories for the purpose of producing another exclusivist knowledge that would only intend to turn power relations upside-down but would fail to theoretically tackle the problem of inequality. Secondly, the differentiated and inclusive knowledge – about Roma and non-Roma – thwarts the ‘single story’ about Roma. By making the historicity of Roma’s social participation visible, it breaks from the “strategies of perpetuation”37 which produce ‘the other’ as the object of self-reassurance for those dominant in society.

Furthermore, diversity consciousness plays an important role with regard to plurality among and within Romani persons and Roma groups. The students learn about the different Roma groups, their languages and origins and also about prejudices and the reasons for exclusion and discrimination. One of the students shared with me the perception that knowledge of the diversity of Roma groups would also foster acceptance among Roma themselves, therein resolving conflicts which would otherwise often occur owing to lack of knowledge.38 Though this is not a representative statement, in my perception the way in which knowledge is imparted and how the students, as Roma, feel included in that knowledge production is an essential aspect of renegotiating individual and collective belonging in all its multifacetedness, whether regarding differences or commonalities. Such differentiated knowledge also prevents cleavages, which can easily result from struggles for resources and acknowledgement and become a means for domination among and within Roma groups.39 Neither the over-emphasised diverse Roma identities nor the misleading ideas of being a homogenous, marginalised group are played off against each other.

Concluding thoughts: towards different knowledge(s)

The DAS offers the students and the staff a space as well as intellectual and emotional tools for sustainable emancipation from hegemonic knowledge production and a reciprocal relationship of domination and inequality. As the given examples have shown, the way of producing, selecting and imparting knowledge is a strong determinant for how social interaction, empathy and negotiation can happen, even between persons acting in different capacities, like students and teachers. The commitment to the diversity of every person and of groups in the teaching and interaction within the DAS’s curriculum, as well as in its functioning, creates a consciousness and shapes the attitudes of both Roma and non-Roma in a way that prevents essentialised and ethnicised knowledge as a guideline for social practice. At the same time, this knowledge can only become ‘knowable’ and utilisable if systemic transformations are undertaken and institutional cultures are changed with the result that diversification, ambiguity and the contextuality of knowledge become their core values. The prevailing understanding of knowledge and learning processes in the DAS is self-reflexive and inclusive and fundamentally differs from the otherwise prevalent claims of objectivity, universal validity and permanence. The production of such hegemonic guiding principles, and their re-enforcement of reductionist, unambiguous and normative categories of knowledge for groups like ‘the’ Roma serves a profitable and promising economic functionality.40 This violently-constructed and sustained homogeneity serves marginalising regimes of representation, as analysed above, by defining a static counterweight to the dominant ‘we’.

In the case of the DAS, one can speak about an alternative ‘complicity’ to the one described in the first part of this article: a complicity in the commitment to diversity and constructivism. This, however, is not to reinforce existing master narratives and to exaggerate difference through reciprocal ‘othering’, but rather to induce an environment of empathy. In the DAS there is no need for either assimilation or self-ethnicisation. The article has highlighted that both reactions are mechanisms to cope with the symptoms of racism. However, as racist structures and knowledge production are fundamental themes which are constantly engaged with at the DAS, the necessity for utilising such mechanisms is diminished or highly reduced. Besides, one could even state that assimilation or adaptation, which occurs and is intended at the school, encompasses institutional structures and patterns of mutual perception and treatment. The primary objective is to make the ambiguity of stories, identities and knowledge visible, ‘knowable’ and thereby a determinant in the production of reality. At the DAS, Romani persons belong to the ‘we’, not as ‘the (internal) other’ but as an equal member with equal rights, as this ‘we’ is not defined in nationalist terms but through a shared attitude. All members of DAS, especially Roma students and teachers, have the freedom to live, explore and develop their pluralistic individual and collective identifications which are mirrored and promoted by the character and the content of the knowledge put into action. This knowledge is adaptable to the complexity and constant diversification of reality and thereby allows individuals to situationally and contextually stay in or leave their categories of belonging. Here, staying does not contain the risk of getting caught but also leaving does not imply being uprooted. The Dr Ámbédkar School thus presents a vanguard of engaging with the themes of diversity, mutual understanding and the transformation of knowledge(s) and imaginations.

Endnotes:

  1. Ines Busch, “Das Spektakel vom ’Zigeuner‘. Visuelle Repräsentation und Antiziganismus“, in Antiziganistische Zustände. Zur Kritik eines allgegenwärtigen Ressentiments, ed. Markus End, Kathrin Herold, Yvonne Robel (Münster: Unrast-Verlag, 2009), 160.
  2. Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994), 166, 221.
  3. Ibid., 169, 223; Wolf-Dietrich Bukow, Feindbild Minderheit – Ethnisierung und ihre Ziele (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1996), 66.
  4. ‘Minority’ and ‘majority’ are not meant to be understood as absolute or solely demographic categories but as expressions of and conditions produced in an asymmetric power relationship. ‘Minoritised’ also intends to express the constructedness of such a condition of persons/groups as a result of a process of exclusion and denial of equal participation. Bourdieu, Symbolic Power, 221; Ljudomir Bratić, “Herrschaftsmechanismen und Selbstorganisation“, Dokumentation, Romanistan. Crossing Spaces in Europe (Conference, 25/26 November 2011, Vienna: IG Kultur Österreich, 2012), 28.
  5. Johanna Schaffer, Ambivalenzen der Sichtbarkeit. Über die visuellen Strukturen der Anerkennung (Bielefeld: transcript, 2008), 17.
  6. Busch, Antiziganismus, 160.
  7. Ibid., 166.
  8. Chimamanda Adichie, “The danger of a single story”, TED – Ideas worth spreading (October 2009), available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html.
  9. Bratić, Herrschaftsmechanismen, 31.
  10. Bourdieu, Symbolic Power, 164.
  11. Ibid., 166, 170.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Bukow, Ethnisierung, 66; Toni Morrison, Im Dunkeln Spielen. Weiße Kultur und literarische Imagination (Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination), translated by Helga Pfetsch/Barbara von Bechtolsheim (Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt Verlag, 1994), 66, 74.
  14. Kien Nghi Ha, “Ethnizität, Differenz und Hybridität in der Migration: Eine postkoloniale Perspektive“, PROKLA. Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialwissenschaft, Heft 120 – 30 (2000), Nr. 3, 378-82.
  15. Ibid., 378.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Bratić, Herrschaftsmechanismen, 27; Bukow, Ethnisierung, 66, 140.
  18. Ha, Hybridität, 379.
  19. Ibid., 380.
  20. Morrison, Weiße Kultur, 30.
  21. Johanna Schaffer, “Ambivalenzen der Sichtbarkeit: Zum Verhältnis von Sichtbarkeit und politischer Handlungsfähigkeit“, in Medien — Politik — Geschlecht. Feministische Befunde zur politischen Kommunikationsforschung, ed. Johanna Dorer, Brigitte Geiger, Regina Köpl (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2008), 234.
  22. Markus End, “Bilder und Sinnstruktur des Antiziganismus“, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, 22-23/2011, available at: http://www.bpb.de/shop/zeitschriften/apuz/33269/sinti-und-roma.
  23. Schaffer, Handlungsfähigkeit, 239.
  24. Morrison, Weiße Kultur, 34.
  25. Busch, Antiziganismus, 175.
  26. Ibid., 171.
  27. Schaffer, Handlungsfähigkeit, 234, 240.
  28. The author got to know the school within the context of an exchange programme between Roma and non-Roma young people from Hungary and Germany. She then decided to make the school’s work the theme of her thesis. During a week-long fieldwork several interviews were conducted mainly with the school leadership. The interviews as well as the paper in question are mainly about conceptual, institutional and political ideas, actions and aspirations of the school’s direction and are less representative for the experiences of the majority of the pupils. Regarding actual information about the school’s work, please look at the homepage http://www.ambedkar.hu/.
  29. The school makes use of various emancipative, transcultural approaches that aim at more equality and deconstructing prevalent power structures. Orsós narrated in a personal interview that one crucial moment for him and his drawing on Buddhism as a guiding principle was when he went to India and saw all that was done for and by Dalits themselves, with reference to Buddhism. “And Buddhism is that I am responsible for my fate […]. And there is only one way to go: Learning. A diploma. And then we will pay our rents and become citizens. If you call all that ‘Buddhism’, I also want to join this Buddhism.” János Orsós, Director of the Dr Ámbédkar School and chairman of the Jai Bhim society, personal interview, 13 April 2013.
    Schaffer places the topics of visibility and knowledge in the interface of theories and politics of minoritised contexts in general – meaning feminist, black, anti-racist, queer and gay/lesbian – that try to overcome and undo normative and dominant definitions and representations of reality in which “minoritisation” is produced. Schaffer, Handlungsfähigkeit, 233, 239, 244.
  30. This is of course a vision and a constant process of awareness raising and negotiation. Tibor Derdák talks about the challenge of making the non-Roma (and) teachers believe that the Roma pupils are as capable and eligible for learning and succeeding as non-Roma. “This is why our students do not learn everything they would need to learn. And this is also connected to the school being a segregated place. This is a trap we have to get out of.” Tibor Derdák, Director of the Dr Ámbédkar School, personal interview, 09 April 2013.
  31. The exclusion on racist grounds and by means of constructed inferiorities makes ‘ethnicity’ matter though. As people do experience that very exclusion because of a putative ‘ethnicity’ it’s also essential to include them along ethnic lines and make their potential visible. The distinctiveness of the DAS approach is that they let the people ‘step out’ of an impermeable category and thereby make an emancipative way of representation possible.
  32. János Orsós, Director of the Dr Ámbédkar School and chairman of the Jai Bhim society, personal interview, 13 April 2013.
  33. Claude M. Steel, “How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance,” American Psychologist, 52/6, (1997), 613-629, available at: http://users.nber.org/~sewp/events/2005.01.14/Bios+Links/Krieger-rec5-Steele_Threat-in-the-Air.pdf.
  34. Ha, Hybridität, 379, 385.
  35. These very peculiar features of course hold the risk of creating conditions that are very different to those in most of Hungary’s and Europe’s public institutions. There is a danger that pupils graduating from DAS are confronted with racism and biases they could circumvent at DAS. The conviction of the directors is, however, that during their time at DAS the students gain a lot of knowledge and confidence to face those possible struggles. The school also works a lot on building alliances and possibilities for exchange among their students and those of other schools – mainly non-Roma – from Budapest for example. “We build such a network”, Derdák says, “that should show that our students are just the same as all the others in this world.” Tibor Derdák, Director of the Dr Ámbédkar School, personal interview, 09 April 2013.
  36. Morrison, Weiße Kultur, 31.
  37. Bratić, “Herrschaftsmechanismen”, 31.
  38. Student of the DAS, personal interview, 12 April 2013.
  39. Ha, Hybridität, 382.
  40. Busch, Antiziganismus, 171.

 

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