Life Among the Romanies: the Heroic Past & Present holds materials from the “Life Among Romanies, the Heroic Past and Present” program in 2007 and photographs from the Romanies without Romance cycle by Jindřich Štreit which were also part of the 2007 program.

In March and April of 2007, the University of Florida Libraries presented a multimedia educational program for the university and Gainesville communities entitled “Life Among the Romanies: The Heroic Past & Present.”  It was developed and organized by Alena Aissing. The program was the result of three years of preparatory work, which included collaboration with the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno in the Czech Republic.  The goal of this project was to develop an educational program that promoted cultural awareness of the European Roma minority group for both the University of Florida campus and the Gainesville community. This project contributed to greater awareness of ethnic diversity to illuminate the issues related to Roma in Europe for students, staff and faculty at the University of Florida. The initial event included academic lectures, film presentations and an exhibition opening with dance and music showing how Roma art influenced other cultures. This multimedia educational project was the first of its kind at the University of Florida Libraries, giving the library a different kind of visibility in the Gainesville area and demonstrating the power of cooperation and the level of interest for cultural affairs in the community. The Roma project also coincided with the celebration of International Roma Day around the globe.


Exhibition Opening and Reception
March 23, 2007 at Smathers Library
Featured Photographers:
Eva Davidova, Czech Republic
Jindrich Streit, Czech Republic:
Jan Yoors, Belgium/USA:

Lecture Series
March 19, 2007: Dr. Walter Weyrauch, Distinguished Professor of the Levin College of Law, UF: “Gypsy Law: Romani Legal Traditions and Culture.”

March 26, 2007: Edit Nagy, Lecturer. Center for European Studies, UF: “Roma Education and Integration: Case Study: Hungary.” Lecture and slide show

April 4, 2007: Jennifer Hu Corriggio, Visiting Assistant professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville, FL: “The Spanish Roma: Gitano Cultural Identity, Flamenco and Legal Governance.” Lecture, slide show and a dance performance

April 5, 2007: Dr. Geoffrey Giles, Associate professor of History, Department of History, UF: “Gypsies and the Holocaust.” Lecture and screening of a documentary film Porraimos: Europe’s Gypsies in the Holocaust.

Film Screening
March 27, 2007: The Time of the Gypsies by director Emir Kusturica with an introduction of Dr. Dragan Kujundzic, Department of Slavic Studies, UF

Center for European Studies
Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
Department of History
Reitz Union Board
Gainesville Jazz and Blues Society
The Roma Museum in Brno, Czech Republic
Khamoro International Festival, Prague, Czech Republic