“Rukeli” of the Association of young Roma “Roma Future”

Croatia, Rijeka

Category: Theatre and Literature

The organisation:

“Roma Future” is a young Roma NGO, since 2013 we’ve been organising activities for Roma children and youth like youth festivals, movie shows for children, summer school, day trips and many things to break stereotypes. Also we’ve been working at schools for the last 4 years with Roma children, so regarding this last year we organised a theatre group from 4 various school with 4 Roma kids to make “Rukeli”. We are working for Roma children as children smile and happiness is a great award and feedback for our work.

About the project:

Theatre “Rukeli” is story about friendship between Roma and non-Roma at 2nd world war. It is true story about Johann „Rukeli“ Trollman, a German Sinto who became a champion boxer. He meets poor Hans and they become friends. During a boxing match a judge discriminates against him, also on street. Rukeli and Hans ended up together in the same concentration camp in 1944, so in good and bad they stick together. The friendship between the Germans and the Roma at that time of the 2nd World War shows that we are all the same and cannot be differentiated by skin color, religion, name or any other affiliation.

Roma kids (age of 12, 13) make the story effective. The story is to break stereotypes about Roma and reinforce a message of equality. It was played in Rijeka on 8th April 2019 at Roma day.

Rukeli was a victim of the Porajmos (Romani Holocaust) and died 1944 in the German concentration camp Neuengamme. The Rukeli memory stone is placed in Berlin.

Director and Scenario: Etem Fazli (Member of Government Commission for National strategy for Roma Inclusion 2013-2020)

Actors: Erion Šakaj as Rukeli, Amel Mazreku as Hans, Mehdi Ethemi as German guy and 2nd boxer. Eugen Kumicic and Kozala

Speaker: Lanna Fazli

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