The objective of NRAP is to…
• empower and promote the careers of Nordic Roma artists by networking, peer support, visibility and recognition activities; a special focus being on young, emerging talent
• increase awareness about the Nordic artistic traditions of the Roma
• foster and encourage international & intercultural dialogue by creating online accessibility to high-quality information about Nordic Roma artists
• combat existing language barriers that currently prevent artistic exchange and intercultural communication
• promote Roma nation’s international identity and world-wide significance and Roma artists’ feeling and awareness of their own significance – ”There is no nation without its artists, nobelists and societal status” (Veijo Baltzar, 1987)
• promote significance of mutual collaboration, representation and collective spirit among Nordic Roma artists as a resource for common well-being for both artists and nation as whole
• discuss Roma arts and artists in equal social context than those of the majority; applying equal status criteria as that of the Nordic societies (e.g. the membership criteria of professional artist unions of the majority)
• promoting the involvement of minorities and Roma to the economic and social structures of the Nordic societies, such as their inclusion in the decision-making bodies of art organizations and art committees
INITIATIVE’S OBJECTIVE 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.