Dancing on the edge of a volcano: East European Roma performers respond to social transformation

Hooker, Lynn (2011) Dancing on the edge of a volcano: East European Roma performers respond to social transformation. Hungarian Studies, 25 (2). pp. 287-302. ISSN 0236-6568


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The advent of a more open society in Eastern and Central Europe has created space for political and cultural freedoms unthinkable under state socialism, particularly for the Roma (Gypsy) minority. The years since the change of regime have revealed apparently insatiable appetites for “Gypsiness” among consumers, impresarios, and recording companies, and artists from the East Bloc, many of them from extremely modest backgrounds, have filled niches in the business of sating those appetites. Yet for many Roma in the region, the political changes of twenty years ago have been disastrous: the end not only of full employment and a robust social safety net but also of the limitations on free speech and rigidly enforced state monopoly on violence that hid racial tensions under a veil of oppression. This paper addresses the contrast between the conditions of the Roma population at large with the successes of a handful of successful musicians. It also considers the ways some musicians in Hungary are working to improve both the conditions for Roma and the perception of Roma by non-Roma in and out of the region.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences / társadalomtudományok > H Social Sciences (General) / társadalomtudomány általában
Depositing User: Ágnes Sallai
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2016 05:38
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2016 05:38

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