RomArchive, the Digital Archive of the Roma, makes arts and cultures of Roma visible, illustrating their contribution to European cultural history. Through narratives told by Roma themselves, RomArchive creates a reliable source of knowledge that is internationally accessible on the internet, thereby countering stereotypes and prejudices with facts.
The idea for RomArchive was based on intensive research and numerous interviews that the project initiators Franziska Sauerbrey and Isabel Raabe conducted with Romani artists, curators, activists and academics across Europe. This was made possible by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Over the course of many conversations with Roma, it became clear that there was a need to create an internationally accessible site that makes Romani cultures and histories visible; this would make it possible to counter the recurrent stereotypes and entrenched prejudices with narratives told by Roma themselves.
It is not Roma who determine what image of them is circulated in public. Instead, the age-old clichés prevalent in the majority societies continue to dominate, with perennial ascriptions imposed by others which are characterised by a mix of fascination and disdain. There are virtually no positive counter-images or enlightened sources of information on Roma cultures and their genuine social realities. Ultimately, exclusion and contempt are also expressed in the fact that the many different Roma cultures remain largely ignored by European cultural institutions. [+]