HomeRacism, Justice, Environment

HomeRacism, Justice, Environment

Racism, Justice, Environment

Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Abstract

The conference Racism, Justice, Environment : Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond is dedicated to the topic of environmental justice. People in Eastern Europe have higher chances of dying as a result of pollution than those in Western Europe. The highest rates of pollution-related deaths are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Romania, all countries with significant Roma communities. Across Europe, numerous Roma communities live in environmentally hazardous areas. Critical Romani Studies therfore proposes a paradigm shift and challenges the dominant academic and policy discourses and suggests inquiries into forms of oppressions Roma are facing, highlighting the importance of structural forms of injustice.

Announcement

Presentation

The Romani Studies Program and the Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group at Central European University, the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, in cooperation with the Critical Romani Studies Department at Södertörn University and the European Institute for Arts and Culture are pleased to invite scholars the conference Racism, Justice, Environment: Critical Approaches in Romani Studies and Beyond dedicated to the topic of environmental justice. The conference will be held on June 1-2, 2023 in a hybrid format, in Vienna (Austria) and online.

People in Eastern Europe have higher chances of dying as a result of pollution than those in Western Europe. The highest rates of pollution-related deaths are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Romania, all countries with significant Roma communities. As the 2019 European Environment Agency report shows, environmental inequality and toxic exposure are linked to race and ethnicity: “Roma communities in Central and Eastern Europe are often excluded from basic services and exposed to environmental pollution, with serious health consequences”.[1]

Across Europe, numerous Roma communities live in environmentally hazardous areas with restricted access to water, sanitation, and waste removal, with their land, water, and air contaminated by waste dumps, industrial farms, mines or abandoned industrial areas, and with unavailable public infrastructure and access to green zones. The uneven distribution of environmental harms and benefits significantly contribute to the inequities Roma people face in health. This gap will further grow along the impact of climate change.

The present climate crisis is rooted in structures of extractive capitalism and white supremacy, i.e. the maximization of profit by exploiting natural resources and subjugated, racialized communities. The common origin of the climate crisis and racism is the unregulated accumulation of wealth. Because the rate of profit tends to fluctuate and fall, capitalist societies have to move anew to plunder lands and people and resort to cruel modes of creating capital. The civilized space of legality and democracy is often dependent on the racist and extractive spaces of unregulated accumulation. However, it is under this perspective that we can also see a return of an allegedly ungovernable, overexploited actors - nature and oppressed racialized groups re-asserting their agency in fighting the colonial domination of exploitative and extractive governance.

The conference seeks to promote the participation of Romani scholars and professionals in documenting and shaping academic, professional, and popular discourse to counteract past practices of exploitation and exclusion. Moreover, the conference aims to facilitate a knowledge exchange between various scholars and professionals from social, historical, environmental, architecture and urbanism, and climate disciplines.

Critical Romani Studies proposes a paradigm shift and challenges the dominant academic and policy discourses and suggests inquiries into forms of oppressions Roma are facing, highlighting the importance of structural forms of injustice. When it comes to environmental injustice, blame is placed on Romani individuals and communities for making wrong “lifestyle” choices, and they are often held responsible for their own poor living conditions, environment, and health. This conference also aims to focus on structural inequities, authoritarian politics, and institutional corruption that produce and maintain uneven environmental and climate exposure.

[1]https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/healthy-environment-healthy-lives

Programme

1 June - Thursday

12.30-13.00 Registration

13.00-13.30 Welcome by :

  • Angela Kocze, Chair in Romani Studies, Central European University; 
  • Timea Junghaus, Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture; 
  • Margareta Matache, Director of the Roma Program at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University;
  • Tamara Steger, Founder of the Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group at CEU;
  • Solvor Mjoberg Lauritzen, Associate Professor, Critical Romani Studies Department at Södertörn University and the European Institute for Arts and Culture

13.30-15.30 panel 1: Pollution and anti-Roma racism

Chair: Marton Rovid (Central European University)

Papers:

  • Sergen Gül (Central European University): The Impact of Modernization and Industrialization Policies on the Roma Communities in Turkey: an Environmental Justice Study on the Ergene Basin
  • Jelena Savic: Gadjo Green Deal - Roma lost in the Balkan transitions
  • Driton Berisha (Opre Roma Kosovo) - Beatrice Lindstrom (Harvard Law School): Environmental (In)Justice, Anti-Roma Racism, and Barriers to Accountability: The Case of Lead-Poisoned Roma in Kosovo Seeking Remedies from the U.N.
  • Eva Schwab (CEU Democracy Institute): Technologies of Citizen Engagement and “Green” Displacements in Belgrade: How Middle Class Citizens Come to Matter
  • Discussant: Tamara Steger (Central European University)

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

16.00-18.00 panel 2: Waste, Recycling, Racism

Chair: Margareta Matache (Harvard University)

Papers:

  • Ciprian-Valentin Nodis - Ionut Cioarta (University of Glasgow): Environmental racism against Roma – a case study of the Pata Rat community in Romania
  • Ashok Kumar Pindiga: EU Policies and the Making of People Without Value
  • Elena Resnick (University of California, Santa Barbara): Critical Environmental Justice and the Racialized Labor of Europeanization
  • Jekatyerina Dunajeva (Pázmány Péter Catholic University): Environmental Justice and Slow Violence—The Case of Roma Informal Recycler Communities
  • Discussant: TBA

18.00-18.30 Opening of the exhibitions

18.30-19.30 Light dinner 

19.30-20.30 Mindj Panther concert (CEU cafeteria)

Mindj Panther comprises Simonida Selimovic and Sandra Selimović and is associated with the performance group “Roma Army Fraction”. Their art raises awareness about and protest against anti-Roma racist practice. 

2 June Friday

8.45-11.00 panel 3: Waste, Recycling, Racism (continued)

Chair: Gilda-Nancy Horvath 

Papers:

  • Jakub Csabay (Roma Environmental Sustainability and Development Initiative)-Viktor Teru (RESDI): Sustainable Development Challenges of the Marginalized Roma Communities at Luník IX., Košice: the Case for New Methodologies and Interdisciplinary Approaches in Romani Studies
  • Diana Popescu (University of Edinburgh): Racial stereotypes regarding scrap metal collection as a failure of ecological citizenship
  • Nikola Venkov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences): Producing a Roma community: The role of waste and the media-government complex for racialisation in Bulgaria
  • Daniel Škobla (Slovak Academy of Sciences) - Richard Filčák (Slovak Academy of Science): Living at the landfill: The case of a Roma settlement where social marginalization is compounded by environmental injustice
  • Discussant: Alexios Antypas (Central European University)

11.00-11.30 Coffee break

11.30-13.30 panel 4: Towards environmental justice

Chair: Rufat Demirov (Central European University)

Papers:

  • Edina Tordai (University of Pécs): Toward Environmental (In)Justice: Examining Human Rights of Roma Communities in Europe
  • Georgios Tsiakalos: In quest of Environmental Justice for Roma in Greece: The example of the Tsairia Settlement
  • Gergely Papp (PAD Foundation for environmental justice) – Sara Vargha (PAD): Socially inclusive, post-industrial brownfield rehabilitation as a tool in urban periphery climate change adaptation
  • Enikő Vincze (Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca), Vasile Gâlbea (Jurist in Bucharest) and George Iulian Zamfir: Whose life matters? The need for an anti-racist environmental and housing justice
  • Discussant: Brototi Roy (University of Antwerp)

13.30-14.30 Lunch break

14.30-16.00 Practitioners’ Roundtable: The challenges and opportunities of tackling environmental injustices against Roma

Chair: Mirjam Karoly (Romano Centro)

Participants:

  • Asib Zekir (Rome Enterprise Development Initiative – Recycling)
  • Diego Marin (European Environmental Bureau)
  • Bernard Rorke (European Roma Rights Centre)
  • Marek Szilvasi (Open Society Foundations)

16.00-16.30 Coffee break

16.30-17.30 Book presentations. Participants:

  • Angéla Kóczé, Editor of the Critical Romani Studies Book Series, Chair of the Romani Studies Program at CEU
  • Emily Poznanski, Director of CEU Press
  • Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, author of MOBILIZING ROMA ETHNICITY, Deputy Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture
  • Jekatyerina Dunajeva, author of CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES OVER TIME , Researcher at the Centre for Social Sciences and assistant professor of political science at Pázmány Péter Catholic University

17.30-18.30 Farewell reception

Participation modalities

Website: https://events.ceu.edu/2023-06-01/racism-justice-environment-critical-approaches-romani-studies-and-beyond

Please register by 25 May at https://forms.office.com/e/qR2jYHYHY1

Draft program: https://bit.ly/41gKzpH

Abstracts and biographies: https://bit.ly/44T2VAh

Facebook event : https://www.facebook.com/events/920005355986963

Organisation

The Romani Studies Program at Central European University (RSP) aims to engage scholars, policy makers, and activists in interdisciplinary knowledge production and debate on Roma identity and movement; antigypsyism; social justice and policy making; gender politics; and structural inequality. RSP encompasses the Roma Graduate Preparation Program and the Advanced Certificate in Romani Studies. RSP offers courses for MA and PhD students of CEU and summer courses for graduate students and activist scholars from all over the world. RSP organizes annual academic conferences promoting critical approaches to Romani Studies and publishes Critical Romani Studies an international, interdisciplinary, double blind peer-reviewed open access journal. RSP supports internships and offers various fellowship primarily targeting Romani students and scholars.

The Environmental and Social Justice Action Research Group (ACT JUST) at Central European University is a platform for dialogue, scholarship, and activism in environmental and social justice. In a world that is increasingly complex, people are facing constant challenges  in their everyday lives involving secure meaningful opportunities for sustaining themselves, their families, and the environment.  At the same time, the wealth of opportunity for a very small percentage of the world's population has been expanding resulting in a tremendous rise in social inequality manifested as limitations on access to environmental goods (food, water, air, etc.) and disproportionate exposure to environmental risks.

The Roma Program at the FXB Centre for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University aims to shift Romani studies away from the margins of academic interest and toward a central place in social and political theory and in multidisciplinary and multiregional studies. We seek to put Roma rights on academic and policy agendas in the United States and elsewhere by amplifying the voices of leading and emerging Romani scholars and leaders through research, events, and publications. A cornerstone of our program is the use of participatory action research and case study methodologies to give voice to the issues identified as problematic by Roma themselves, to strengthen the capacity of Roma communities, and to support leadership among Roma youth.

The Critical Romani Studies Department at Södertörn University has the governmental assignment to develop Romani Studies as a field of research and education, including a teacher education in Romani chib. Within research, the department has had a strong focus on human rights, including the right to education, antigypsyism as a particular phenomenon and in comparison with other forms of racism, Romani history, including both the history of persecution and liberation, as well as the Romani language. The department strive to integrate emancipatory and critical perspectives on power and racism in all research and teaching. The department has an institutional agreement with ERIAC, and uses their teaching materials in courses in Romani chib, and their Barvalipe Roma online university lectures in their courses in Critical Romani Studies. 

The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) has a unique and single mandate as the transnational, European-level organization for the recognition of Roma arts and culture. ERIAC exists to increase the self-esteem of Roma and to decrease negative prejudice of the majority population towards the Roma by means of arts, culture, history, and media. ERIAC acts as an international creative hub to support the exchange of creative ideas across borders, cultural domains and Romani identities. ERIAC aims to be the promoter of Romani contributions to European culture and talent, success and achievement, as well as to document the historical experiences of Romani people in Europe. ERIAC exists to be a communicator and public educator, to disseminate a positive image and knowledge about Romani people for dialogue and building mutual respect and understanding.

Places

  • Central European University - Quellenstraße 51
    Vienna, Austria (1100)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Thursday, June 01, 2023
  • Friday, June 02, 2023

Keywords

  • romani studies, environmental studies, racial discrimination

Contact(s)

  • Márton Rövid
    courriel : romaconference [at] ceu [dot] edu

Information source

  • Esther Holbrook
    courriel : holbrooke [at] ceu [dot] edu

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Racism, Justice, Environment », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1b5s

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search