Oto Hudec: OPEN STUDIO
Presentation of projects Dignity for Lety and Caravan (together with Daniela Krajčová)
Dignity for Lety is an annual gathering of Roma people and activists to protest the existence of a pig farm on the site of a former concentration camp Lety. This camp was led by czech officials of the protectorate and Roma people who were living there experienced brutal conditions and abuse.
The protest gathering on 24.6.2017 was held with participation of Roma activists and politicians from different countries. There is a hope that finally a czech government might buy the land under the farm and turn it into the memorial site. The video documents the event – the site, the activists, both Roma and Czech, music and speeches.
One Caravan, two artists, community centers in villages and neighborhoods of Eastern Slovakia and many creative children.
visited localities: Spišské Podhradie, Roškovce, Petrovany, Stará Tehelňa in Prešov, Sveržov and many others, over 15 locations
A community art project Project Caravan was designed for mostly young people from Slovak Roma community. Two artists, Daniela Krajčová and Oto Hudec travel around country with specifically equipped caravan that serves for various animation and video techniques: drawing with chalk on blackboard, sand drawing animation, blue background for chroma key effects, wooden puppets with design based on original children drawings for stop - motion animation. First workshop which used an old photography technique cyanotype explored the theme of mutual help that is deeply present in comunity life of roma people. Short interview with these children and later on an extensive interview with community workers served as base for the story line of animations and videos. Also to focus on musical talent the blue chroma key background was used to situate dancing and singing participants into an imaginary landscape of their own drawings. The participants had also chance to work with cameras and create their own view on workshops through documentary photos. At the end of three to four days workshops there was a public screening of edited videos and animations often with the presence of whole community (including parents and neighbors). As is the intention of community centers of partner organisation People in Need the authors were also including young people from majority into the creative process.
The second role of the caravan is to travel through Slovak cities to present results of the workshops to visitors on main squares where the caravan will be parked. It is important to show the Roma population in more truthful and positive view, as its media image is critical in a country with rising right wing extremism. To the contrary of this image, the results of first serie of workshops proved Roma community to host many talented, creative, joyful and active young people. But it also showed hard social conditions of Roma community, unemployment, missing interest into education and isolation.