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RomaMoMA at Manifesta 14

July 22–October 30, 2022

Farija Mehmeti’s body of work as a painter is brought together with the RomaMoMA Library at the National Library of Kosovo by ERIAC in Roma Rajni: RomaMoMA Library featuring Daniel Baker and Farija Mehmeti. In order to mark the First World Romani Congress’ 50th anniversary, the RomaMoMA Library was established in 2021. It is mobile and dynamic, interacting with surroundings wherever it goes. The library’s expanding collection of contemporary Roma literary, artistic, and cultural works, which consists of about 150 books, highlights this rich Roma tradition while critically examining the brutality and injustice that the Roma have to endure in Europe. In this instance, the library is brought to life through the exhibition of 39 portraits by Kosovar painter Farija Mehmeti and Adjacent, a mobile information gadget designed by artist Daniel Baker for RomaMoMA. Mehmeti honors the everyday bravery and battle for survival of common Roma women by presenting a diverse mosaic of fictional characters. In contrast to conventional forms of biased representation of Roma women, the artist’s depictions of strong brown women wearing traditional Romani clothing and jewelry against colorful backgrounds reclaim the pivotal moment in identity and storytelling that is all too frequently assigned by non-Roma and is then historicalized and maintained by dominant culture. Mehmeti cultivates a sense of the past herstories as well as a vision for the future by portraying these commonplace female heroines.Her images serve as tools for remembering and re-discovering suppressed Roma forms of knowledge, including Roma knowledge of nature and the cosmos, methods for maintaining mental health, and general healing practices. The images act as reminders for the elderly in the community who hold and transmit these reservoirs of information as well as memories and embodied experiences of them. By honoring the past and creating methods to continue to envisage the interdependencies and inseparability of living in community, Farija Mehmeti’s colorful and brilliant visual vocabulary provides a perspective through time and opens a door to the creation of new possibilities.

This initiative is co-funded by the European Union and is carried out as part of the Manifesta 14 Western Balkans project.

Further exhibitions of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC)
Eugen Raportoru: The Abduction from the Seraglio. Roma Women: Performative Strategies of Resistance
Collateral event at the 59th International Venice Biennale
April 23–November 27, 2022

One Day We Shall Celebrate Again: RomaMoMA at documenta fifteen
Participating artists: Daniel Baker, János Balázs, Robert Gabris, Sead Kazanxhiu, Damian Le Bas, Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Omara (Mara Oláh), Tamás Péli, Selma Selman, Ceija Stojka
Curated by Daniel Baker, Ethel Brooks, Tímea Junghaus, Hajnalka Somogyi, Eszter Szakács, Katalin Székely, Miguel Ángel Vargas
documenta fifteen, Kassel
June 18–September 25, 2022

Emília Rigová: And the One Doesn’t Stir without the Other
Roma Pavilion at the 23rd International Art Exhibition Triennale Milano
July 15–December 11, 2022

All the Birds Are Praying for Our Children
Sead Kazanxhiu, Farija Mehmeti, Zoran Tairovic
Manifesta 14 parallel event at ERIAC Belgrade
August 2–October 30, 2022

Press: [email protected]

The National University Library of Kosovo
10030 Prishtina
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