Nordic Roma Artist Platform (NRAP)
Nordic Roma Artist Platform is a Nordic initiative dedicated to upgrading the status of Romani arts and artists within the Nordic region. The international project is led by world-renowned Finnish author and artist, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar.
INITIATIVES AND IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND
NRAP represents an encouraging example of a capacity to cooperate with the majority while being true to cultural roots and traditions. We believe that in order for a culture - and art as its expression - to survive and evolve in time, knowledge of the traditions and the related contact must be maintained. The New cannot exist without the Old.
For artists it is crucially important to enjoy the support of their own people. However, this matter is a challenge for the Roma. Apart from musicians, Roma artists have so far been outcasts without the support of their people. This has caused the lurching of Roma identity. If we don’t value ourselves, there is no use in complaining about the lack of respect by others. In that case we should accept it: the people without artists are pariah class in the eyes of the others – inevitably becoming a target of racism and discrimination.
NRAP will not support any activity that by its nature marginalizes Roma people, shifting Roma to other contexts than those representing societal structures and power of majority societies. The project refuses to involve activities in which Roma arts are handled with different status and context to that of the mainstream societies. At the same, NRAP will not support activity in which Roma act as agents of the majority society’s power structures, forgetting the nature and significance of their own nation. NRAP does not support the syndromes of coconut and yogurt raisins - dark from outside but white inside, and vice versa. Instead NRAP can support e.g. an artist writing in the language of a majority, or engaging in dialogue with the majority people (integration of multiculturality into majority society without losing one’s identity).
The reason why Roma artists might be left out without recognition and awards in their societies or internationally is often the ignorance about Roma arts and its achievements among the award and art committees. NRAP promotes awareness and status of Nordic Roma artists in relation to the artists and art of the majority.
for Arts and Culture Drom
Creative Association for Arts and Culture Drom has been founded in 1976. Drom’s mission is to promote intercultural dialogue in Finland and internationally through means of art and cultural political activity. Drom Association’s founder, author, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar acts as its chairman.
The goal of Kone Foundation is to advance bold initiatives in research and the arts. It is an independent and unaffiliated organisation, which awards grants to promote academic research, culture, art and the popularisation of research. Kone Foundation pursues active arts and research policies, and it is constantly seeking and providing alternatives to the mainstream.
The Fund contributes to positive artistic and cultural development in the Nordic Region In recent years, the Nordic Culture Fund has evolved into an active participant in and facilitator of new networks, the aim of which is to develop cultural policy in the Nordic Region.