Being a Citizen

They forced me into the car and took me to the police station

This story was told and discussed in Terezin, the former Nazi transport camp in the Czech Republic, during the opening session of a Stories Exchange Project workshop, ARTS OF TOLERANCE.18 September 2000John ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange ProjectWhat happened in Terezin during World War II continues to happen today throughout Europe and throughout the world – sometimes in [...]

Slavery was like what happened in Terezin, and we’re still wrestling with its legacy

"New Roles for Roma in an Integrated Europe?”Session III, ARTS OF TOLERANCEDiscussions, Workshops and Performances organized by the Stories Exchange Project in Terezin, formerly a Nazi concentration camp from which Jews were sent to AuschwitzJohn ShattuckU.S. Ambassador to the Czech RepublicWe should remember where we are right now: we’re in Terezin. And this is the [...]

I was a revolutionary, but I know I did not keep my promise

Katerina SidonovaPragueIt was early in the winter of 1989. The Velvet Revolution had just got under way, and I was a student at the Pedagogical Faculty.I remember standing on a stage in a hall full of Roma. I don’t remember the name of the town where this meeting took place. I only remember that I [...]

Czechs don’t know how to live in a democracy

MirekStudent, Business AcademyUsti nad Labemillmaic@post.cz. Sometimes a demented child is born to a white family. And sometimes a child is born among Gypsies who is able to live in our – not ideal, that’s true – society.It seems to me the way it is when you move animals into your flat. You can spend time, money and effort to [...]

If people know their rights, they will know how they should behave

Monika HorakovaMember of the Czech Parliamentin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange Projectat the Czech Ministry of Foreign AffairsPrague1 December 2000Jack ErwinThe last time we were together, Monika, we were in Terezin, for the Stories Exchange Project conference "Arts of Tolerance.” As you remember, one of the participants in the conference, Kumar Vishnawathan, was [...]

Roma as a nation have a right to have our own representatives

Monika HorakovaMember of the Czech Parliamentin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirector, The Stories Exchange ProjectCzech Ministry of Foreign AffairsPrague1 December 2000Jack ErwinSo what about your story? How did you get to do what you’re doing? You’re a member of the Czch Parliament, a woman, a Rom, not too old: how did this come about?Monika HorakovaThank you [...]

If we’re dissatisfied about something, we’ll complain

John ShattuckU.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republicin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirectorThe Stories Exchange ProjectU.S. Ambassador’s ResidencePrague28 November 2000 John ErwinThe situations in the States and in the Czech Republic are of course very different. What’s been your experience of translating – and mediating, in a sense – between these two cultures?John ShattuckThe most important thing to do here, I’ve found, [...]

They worked together

John ShattuckU.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republicin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirectorThe Stories Exchange ProjectU.S. Ambassador’s ResidencePrague28 November 2000John ErwinHow about the Roms? How well do they remember – and what do they remember? Are they putting themselves into their story, their history, at this point?John ShattuckThey’re just beginning to write some of their stories. In Romany culture [...]

You pull the levers of democracy

John ShattuckU.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republicin conversation withJohn W. ErwinDirectorThe Stories Exchange ProjectU.S. Ambassador’s ResidencePrague28 November 2000John ShattuckThe Stories Exchange Project, I think, is a way of getting people totalk about things that matter to them: things that are in their heartsand in their backgrounds.People often see each other in settings where they speak [...]

So you’re armed, you dirty Gypsy?

Jan Horváth Sr. StudénkaAugust 2000 I am going to tell you what happened to our Indian friend Kumar Vishwanathan, who is well known for helping Roma in the Ostrava region. His organization called Vzájemné souzití (Co-Existence) arranged a summer camp for two groups of Romany children from Ostrava in the beautiful country of the Beskydy [...]