Intervence #34: Robert Gabris – White Cinema
Robert Gabris in collaboration with Ulda Sarah Carcamo Vallejos
The Jindřich Chalupecký Society in cooperation with the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno presents an extensive intervention by Robert Gabris, laureate of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2021. In his work, Gabris has long been dealing with the identity of queer Roma embodiment, and, in his recent projects, he emphasizes the need for the sensitive involvement of (art) institutions in these topics – reviewing the possibilities of inclusivity, creating safe spaces for groups systematically excluded by the dominant society and dealing with issues of equality.
The exhibition project at the Museum of Romani Culture titled Biela televízia (White Television) deals with the topic of racism in Czechoslovak cinematography. In a large-scale installation, it presents a series of several dozen of Gabris’s drawings and their associated research. Regarding the idea behind the project, Gabris writes: "Before us opens up a picture of cinematographic violence, humiliation and systematic degradation of Roma identity. Clichéd images of Roma hopelessness have subtly crept into the education and upbringing of the generations that are now coming of age. We grew up exactly the same way, just on the other side of that divide. There, we either identify with the systematic exclusion and violent representation of Roma identity, or we oppose it and start looking into why our country not only accepts but often even celebrates racism. Many examples can be found in our unwritten histories. Part of these is popular cinema, which is responsible for the exemplary and long-lasting discrediting of Roma identity. (...) If society wants to learn to be inclusive and caring, it should give us the opportunity to articulate constructive criticism and the necessary changes in our perception. Give us a camera and your position in society and we will shatter your foul ideas about us."