Once We Were Birds
Defending and Advocating the Dignity, Culture and Human Rights of the
Roma People in Hungary
Over the last decade there has been a surge in violence between Roma (Gypsies)
and the majority population in Hungary, and numerous documented cases of police
brutality and abuses of human rights against the Roma.
Violence against Roma by right-wing extremists is on the rise fuelled by the
Hungarian Guard, the paramilitary wing of Jobbik - an extreme right wing party on
the rise that sadly, won 26 seats in the Hungarian Parliament in the 2010 elections.
Over the last 2 years at least eight Roma have been killed (one woman and child execution style, in their own home) and Roma leaders have counted 30 Molotov cocktail attacks, often accompanied by the shooting of people as they try to escape the fires. Rarely are these crimes prosecuted as racist crimes - the perpetrators are either given light sentences or never brought to book for violence against Roma.
Our project focuses on positive aspects of the Roma peoples' situation. Rather than concentrating on their abject poverty we focus on their close familial ties, their culture, skills and musicianship.
We make positive images that challenge the stereotypical view and try to break down
prejudice and negative attitudes towards this very misunderstood people.
For more info about the project visit: www.oncewewerebirds.blogspot.com