EXHIBITION PROJECT

Miranda – The Roma Holocaust

WHO'S AFRAID OF THE WHITE MAN?

NOW ON DISPLAY:

11 May -31 Aug, Tallinn, Estonia, Museum of Occupations

15 May - 15 Sep, Latvia, Riga Ghetto Museum

EXHIBITIONS TO COME:

17 Jun – 31 Aug, Municipal library, Rautalampi
Opening ceremony 17 Jun at 2 p.m.

29 Jun - 31 Aug, National and University Library in Zagreb (Croatia)

2 Aug, Slovak National Museum/ Sered Holocaust Museum (Sered)

4 Aug, Holocaust Memorial Centre (Budapest, Hungary)

"Miranda - the Roma Holocaust. WHO'S AFRAID OF THE WHITE MAN?" is a touring exhibition produced by Drom Association in 2011 under the lead of its chairman, Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar.

Miranda exhibition started its tour in Finnish cities in March 2012. The exhibition and its story have so far reached over 1 mill Finnish citizens. The exhibition was on display at the National Museum of Finland 9/2013–3/2014 breaking the audience record: “Museum has for the first time ever given an opportunity to a national minority, the Roma, to tell their own story with the focuses they themselves consider important.”

Miranda represents internationally unique, innovative project. It is based on distinctive vision and way of discussing Holocaust in art and pedagogics. Veijo Baltzar wanted to create multidimensional, youth-friendly and easily approachable exhibition that would enable experiential learning process, touching visitors souls.

In WWII about half of European Roma got killed in the Holocaust. The world recognized the genocide of Jews and forgot the Roma. Topic still remains unknown to general public. In 2001 Cultural Counsellor Veijo Baltzar, initiator of the project, interviewed Slovakian-born Miranda, a Holocaust survivor and became inspired by her story.

When beginning a wider research on the subject, Veijo Baltzar, renowned scientist and artist run into a claim by the Nazis about the life of the Roma not being worthy of living. This created a vision of a new innovative concept of teaching about Holocaust by using art as a method of promoting a life worthy of living and depicting it together with the societal developments before, during and after WWII.

In cooperation with 13 European archives, one from US, Anne Frank Foundation, Museum of Romani Culture (Brno, Czech Republic) and University of Helsinki, Baltzar turned Miranda´s authentic story into a novel and an exhibition "Miranda - the Roma Holocaust. Who's afraid of the White Man?" in 2011.

MIRANDA tells about the civilised world that did not know, see or hear what was taking place while enacting laws and creating rules that led the Roma people to concentration camps and gas chambers during the Second World War.


"Miranda's eyes revealed the fighter that she had been all her life. But was she also a victor? In any case, gypsies were survivors. Miranda proved this by bringing to the present day and momenta living message of the past. - Give this world, the new generation, beautiful memories of our past, our soul, our way of thinking and way of life so that the world will remember the suffering of the Roma during the Second World War."

- Veijo Baltzar

Drom Association owns and administers the Miranda exhibition. The exhibition has been produced in association with the Anne Frank Foundation of the Netherlands, the Museum of Romani Culture (Czech Republic) and Miika Tervonen Ph.D. (University of Helsinki). Former Finland’s Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen is a patron for Miranda exhibition project.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Svenska kulturfonden have kindly provided support for realization of the exhibition project.

Miranda exhibition at the National Museum of Finland from 13 Sep 2013 to 23 Mar 2014.

Tour in Finland

2012

Kouvola, City Library, 6 - 31 Mar
Opened by Mr. Jari Suomela, Chairman of the City Board.

Tuusniemi, Main Municipal Library, 2 - 30 Apr
Opened by Municipal Manager Toni Auvinen.

Mikkeli, City Library, Mikkeli Hall, 15 - 31 May
Opened by Member of Parliament Pauliina Viitamies.

Lappeenranta, Vihreä Makasiini, 28 Aug - 28 Sep
Opened by City Councilor Anne Selenius.

Pieksämäki, Poleeni Cultural Centre, 1 - 31 Oct
Opened by Mayor Tapio Turunen.

2013

Jyväskylä, Gloria Multicultural Centre, 8 - 30 Apr
Opened by Henna Virkkunen, Minister of Public
Administration and Local Government

Turku, City Library, 10 May - 16 Jun
Opened by Member of Parliament Ilkka Kanerva.

Rauma, City Library, 2 - 30 Jul
Opened by Ristor Kupari, Director of Cultural Affairs.

Helsinki, National Museum of Finland
13 Sep 2013 –
23 Mar 2014

Miranda exhibition was on display at the National Museum of Finland from 13 Sep 2013 until 23 Mar 2014. The exhibition was opened by the Finland’s Minister of Culture and Sports Paavo Arhinmäki, gathering the audience of over 400 people.

2014

Iisalmi Cultural Center, 1 - 30 Jun
Opened by City Mayor Jarmo Ronkainen.

Vantaa, Tikkurila Library, 1 - 30 Oct
Opened by Member of Parliament Antti Lindtman.

2015

Vaasa, Culture House Fanny 21 Nov –18 Dec
Opened by City Mayor Thomas Häyry.

2016

Kokkola, City Library, 4 - 28 Jul
Opened by Lasse Lehmus.

2017

Espoo Cultural Centre, 15 Feb - 15 Mar
Opened by Director General of Department for Art and Cultural Policy (Ministry of Education and Culture) Riitta Kaivosoja.

Tallinn, Estonia, Museum of Occupations, 11 May - 31 Aug
Opened by Estonia's Parliament's vice-chairman, Member of Parliament Enn Eesmaa.

Latvia, Riga Ghetto Museum, 15 May - 15 Sep
Opened by Mayor of Riga Nils Ushakovs.

References

"The exhibitions of the Finland’s National Museum have traditionally been produced by the museum’s own or external researchers, and the Museum is in charge of the content of the exhibitions. In case of the exhibition “Miranda – the Roma Holocaust. Who's afraid of the White Man?” the National Museum has for the first time ever given an opportunity to a national minority, the Roma, to tell their own story with those focuses they themselves consider important.

The content of the exhibition is strong and polemic and its message is important. The National Museum is being visited by numerous school groups, to whom the faith of the Roma has been totally unkown. For them the exhibition has opened a new kind of perspective to European history. Many adults have faced a need to reconsider their perception of the 20 th century Europe as well.”

General Director, National Museum of Finland Helena Edgren

”Seeing the Miranda exhibition was like a shower that cleans the soul."

Deputy, Finland’s former foreign minister Ilkka Kanerva

"The Miranda exhibition is a remarkable cultural act and a great object of pride for us Finns, because in Europe
it is the first and one of its kind in regard to its subject and artistic content and realization. The subject of the Roma Holocaust has remained in shadows and mostly undiscussed European history. This matter needs correction and therefore the project deserves international attention and support.

Cultural Councillor Veijo Baltzar has been the first to raise the subject of the Roma Holocaust in Finland. This exhibition, born under his direction, has received significantly positive feedback for its impressiveness, soulfulness and its touching nature. The cultural projects such as Miranda are extremely important not only for the future of the Roma but for enhancing intercultural dialogue and multiculturalism in Europe."

Deputy of Finland, Pauliina Viitamies

"The popularity of the Miranda exhibition in the city of Pieksämäki during its display was significant. The exhibition exploited the possibilities and venus of the cultural centre Poleeni in a creative and fantastic way. It was regarded by its audience as highly rewarding both historically and culturally. The fact of Miranda having visited our city has led us to co-operate with Drom Association in larger terms today."

The Mayor of the City of Pieksämäki Tapio Turunen

"The exhibition produced by Veijo Baltzar and Drom ”Miranda – the Roma Holocaust. Who is afraid of the White Man?” presents European history from a Roma perspective in a touching way. This exhibition presents in an unadorned and straightforward manner things of which our society has remained silent for decades. It does not, however, shock audiences with terrible personal histories; things are described factually, in a plain and unadorned fashion.

Miranda exhibition reminds us how cruel a Man can be to one another and that all citizens have a right to equality despite their social or ethnic background. The exhibition was on display in the Rauma City Library in July 2013 and was seen by over 20 000 visitors. The feedback the exhibition received was solely positive."

Cultural Director of City of Rauma, Risto Kupari

Visitor comments

”Touching, wonderful exhibition on a grave subject.”
Turku, 2013

”The heart won’t understand, why people acted how they did. Why did the rest of Europe, the world, not help. Schoking!” National Museum of Finland, 2014

”I had no idea that this kind of thing has happened. Forgive me my ignorance. I knew about the Jewish genocide, but not about this!” Iisalmi, 2013

“My greetings and support for the producers, this is valuable legacy and information for the rootless people of today.Turku, 2013

”A splendid exhibition of many different aspects… How the will to live, the spark of humanity, has made its winding way through darkness. Viva forever the memory of the Roma!” Jyväskylä, 2013

In cooperation with