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Roma symposium in Montreal -- 7 Dec 2012

History Speaks: Do We Listen? Porrajmos and the Resurgence of Anti-"Gypsy" Extremism

DateFriday, December 7, 2012
Time11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Event typeConferences & Lectures
Sponsored by

In light of the many recent and disturbing events involving Romani ("Gypsy") communities worldwide, this public education symposium -open to the university community and general public at no charge- aims to encourage historical reflection on the Porrajmos (Romani Holocaust) and discussion on the extremist rhetoric and systematic misrepresentation and stereotyping which lead to violence and hate crimes. Speakers will also demonstrate the influence of arts and education in their capacity to bear testimony to the past while enlightening the present and providing hope for the future. The symposium will screen the film A People Uncounted, and encourage an open dialogue on intolerance, discrimination, prejudice, violence, persecution and genocide. Organized by the Kleinmann Family Foundation in Cooperation with Concordia University (Département d'études françaises, Department of Communication Studies, Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies). Contact: Naomi Kramer, advancingmemory@gmail.com / 514-825-1632

Press releases and poster.

Program for the day:


DECEMBER 7, 2012

History Speaks: Do We Listen? Porrajmos, and the Resurgence of Anti-“Gypsy” Extremism

11:00     Symposium Launch

Goethe-Institut Montreal, 1626, Boulevard Saint Laurent, Suite 100, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2X 2T1

Opening Remarks

Walter Leuchs, German Consul General, Montreal

Tyrone Benskin, MP Jeanne-Le Ber, New Democratic Party

Yehudi Lindeman, Professor Emeritus, McGill University

Philippe Caignon, Chair, Département d’études françaises, Concordia University

MARGINAL: Digital Exhibit, Photographs of Romanian Roma Communities, David Ward


1:30       Symposium Program

Concordia University, 1450 Guy St., Room, MB 2.130, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 2W1

Opening Remarks

Debbie Folaron, Moderator

Romani Porrajmos: A Historical Context

Ethel Brooks

In Memory of Gabrielle TyrnauerInterviewing Romani Survivors

Bill Kerrigan

The Rise of Anti-Roma Extremism Today

Ronald Lee and Gina Csanyi-Robah

3:45 - 4:00          Break

Arts and Activism: Combatting Prejudice

Lynn Hutchinson Lee, Hedina Tahirović Sijerčić, Sarah Barbieux

4:45 - 5:45          Discussion

7:00       Film Screening, A People Uncounted

Discussion led by director, Aaron Yeger

Concluding Remarks

Debbie Folaron


Kleinmann Family Foundation

Concordia University:

Département d’études françaises

Department of Communication Studies

Vice-President Research & Graduate Studies (VPRGS)

Goethe-Institut Montreal


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About the author
Debbie Folaron

Debbie is Associate Professor of Translation Studies at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, where she teaches translation, technologies and theories of translation. Her research focuses on Romani translators and interpreters in multiple linguistic and cultural contexts. She is very interested in the social dynamics that underpin translation, technologies and the Web, which allow contemporary societies to communicate and exchange information, knowledge and stories on a global scale. In this English-language blog, she talks, among other things, about the stories and the challenges Romani translators and interpreters face while exercising their professions in diverse settings and in a rapidly globalizing world.