RELATIONAL RACIALISATION OF ROMANIES: A PANEL AT THE EIGHTH CONGRESS OF THE PORTUGUESE ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (APA)
On 8 September 2022, Martin Fotta convened a panel at the Eighth Congress of the Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA) entitled “Relational Racialisation of Romanies.”
The process of minoritisation of Romanies is frequently treated as unrelated to other ethno-racial projects and as occurring in isolation from other communities. At best, analyses have contrasted and compared the experiences of Romanies with those of other communities, proposing boundaries that emerge as stable, produced independently, and only in relation to the “majority”, thus submerging Romani racialisation and depicting it as embedded in other relationships. This also obscures from view the ways in which Romani belonging, subjectivities, and communities — in Europe as elsewhere — have been shaped by broader colonial and postcolonial dynamics.
This panel sought to link Romani ethno-racial formations to other ethno-racial projects. What might be said about “the largest European minority” when we look for global connections that have shaped racial histories in different parts of the world and at different periods in time? How did the process of minoritisation of Europe’s “internal Other” relate to a variety of unequal relationships between Europeans and “external Others”? What connections, interdependencies, and active collaborations emerge between Romanies and other minorities? How could these be analysed without subordinating them to elements that dominate the social field of power and meaning (“the state,” “nation-building”, “the majority,” etc.), while simultaneously revealing the field’s logic?
Papers presented at the panel included:
Victora Shmidt: The portrayal of Romani communities in Petr Václav’s films: Do white lenses recreate white fears?
Ann Ostendorf: Colonial North American Romani and the Processes of Relational Racialization
Martin Fotta: Race, Nation, and Ciganos
Photo: Tina (middle) in discussion with Ann Ostendorf (left) and Victoria Shmidt (right).