Aims and Objectives
The aim of the Project was the creation of a virtual exhibition on the Rroma minority, their rich culture and tradition and the position of the Rroma in the Republic of Croatia that could contribute to the advancement of the Rroma national minority position in the Republic of Croatia.
The key dates and milestones for the planned project delivery were met – after the announcement of the received grant for the project from the CENL Hidden Stories Support Fund on the National and University Library in Zagreb and Central Romani Library websites, the project was announced on April 7, 2021 marking the International Rroma Day at the National and University Library in Zagreb and on November 5, 2021 the Croatian Romani Union “Kali Sara” hosted the launch of the virtual exhibition.
The outcomes of the project are the creation and development of the virtual exhibition Rroma pe droma: The Rroma Heritage and Future and the Rroma Digital Collection that present the path of the Rroma people through history, from the time of their first migrations to their way towards the future. It is a unique website providing insight into the overall history, culture, heritage, migrations and suffering of the Rroma, bringing data on notable Roma who distinguished themselves in science and culture and addressing relevant issues and events for the present-day Roma, such as the circumstances and position of Romani women in today’s society, social customs of the contemporary Roma, contemporary Romani art, the work of the Roma Memorial Center Uštica in Croatia, which commemorates the victims of the Roma genocide during the Second World War, etc. Apart from a wealth of varied visual material making part of the exhibition and made available in one place as part of the exhibition’s gallery, the exhibition also includes a digital collection featuring the publications of the Croatian Romani Union “Kali Sara “, ranging from picture books to books and serial publications. At the moment exhibition content is mostly available in Croatian but in the course of time will be translated into English and Romani chib.
The development of the project proved that the National and the University Library in Zagreb has strengthened its cooperation with the Rroma community in Croatia – the Croatian Romani Union “Kali Sara” and the Central Romani Library in Croatia, one of the special libraries under its authority and the only one in Europe, and quite probably the only one in the world focusing on collecting, cataloguing and making available as diverse as possible material and resources on the Rroma. Moreover, the project proved that the National and the University Library in Zagreb is dedicated to inclusion of the Rroma minority into the society, actively works against racial discrimination and provides assurance that different collections, events and exhibitions are genuinely inclusive and representative of and for all communities.
The Croatian Romani Union “Kali Sara” and it members recognized the virtual exhibition as a valuable resource and therefore its development will be continued, to eventually grow into the web portal bringing together resources on Rroma heritage whose maintenance, updating and translation into English and Romani chib in the course of time will be taken over by the Central Library of Roma in the Republic of Croatia, a cultural and an information centre, offering collected materials regarding the Rroma.