Hackney celebrates Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month
Explore the history, cultures and languages of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in Hackney this month and find out more about the borough’s history.
Throughout June Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities across Britain will be celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) to raise awareness and explore the history of the largest ethnic minority community in the European Union.
Britain’s 300,000 Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have lived, worked and travelled throughout Britain for over 500 years, yet little is known about their history and culture. The result is a widespread ignorance about who they are, which sometimes turns to hatred, fear and misunderstanding.
Throughout the month, Hackney Council together with theTraveller Education Service, Hackney Homes, the Hackney Empire and the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit will be holding a series of FREE interactive family events to help raise awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the borough.
On 6 June the launch of GRTHM will kick-off in Hackney Central Library with a musical performance from some members London Gypsy Orchestra followed by Irish dancing. Other free events throughout the month of celebrations will include: exciting Magic Violin Storytime; Crochet Fun and Roma Journeys creative arts workshops in Hackney Libraries and a production of Crystal’s Vardo, a fantastic new play for 7 -12 yr olds about a young Gypsy girl who runs away from home, at Hackney Empire.
There will also be the chance to see Reduced to Silence: Roma Holocaust, showing very rare film footage with survivors of, and witnesses to, the Roma Holocaust telling their untold stories. This event followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker, Roz Mortimer, and local Roma speakers at Homerton Library.
Hackney is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the country. June’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Month gives us all an opportunity to learn more about Hackney’s history and celebrate the communities that have helped to shape it.
A full list of Hackney’s events to raise awareness and explore the history, cultures and languages of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities is available at www.hackney.gov.uk/libraries-whats-on or pick up a leaflet at your local library.
Here are just some of the highlights from the month long FREE events programme
Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month Launch
Thursday 6 June 4.30 - 6pm
Hackney Central Library
Join us for the launch of the month with musicians from the London Gypsy Orchestra, Irish dancing and light refreshments.
Thursday 13 June 6.30 – 8.30pm
Many Irish Traveller women have long practiced the art of crocheting. Come along to this fun workshop and learn along with the best. Open to all levels. All materials and light refreshments provided. Please book at the library or phone 020 8356 3000 and ask for Homerton Library.
Friday 21 June 7 - 8pm (with refreshments after the show)
Crystal, a young Gypsy girl runs away from home with her Grandfather’s vardo (wagon) and pony. She arrives in the grounds of a school, miles away from anywhere familiar. Initially she is wary of the school children, but realises she must trust them to help her find her way home. Age 7+. To book your free tickets call 020 8985 2424 or visit hackneyempire.co.uk
Reduced to Silence: Roma Holocaust
Tuesday 25 June 6.30 – 8.30pm
See rare film footage by Roz Mortimer with survivors of, and witnesses to, the Roma Holocaust telling their unknown stories. Followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker and Roma speakers. Music and refreshments provided. To book your free tickets, call 020 8356 7576 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Magic Violin Storytime
Saturday 29 June 2 - 3.30pm
Join us for a fantastic live Gypsy music and storytelling workshop. No booking necessary.