Exhibition in the Cabinet
In her exhibition Giants and Mosquitoes Annja Krautgasser offered documentary glimpses into the life of the politically and socially marginalized Roma minority in Italy. Two video installations portray Roma youth from the Roma camp Villagio Attrezzato on the outskirts of Rome whose everyday lives range between the desire for normalcy and the search for their place in society. The viewer is confronted with the question of reality and fiction and the associated line between predefined role models and prejudices.
The video piece Romanes is based on 270 minutes of material recorded during a video workshop in 2009 with Roma and Sinti youth in the Roma camp Villagio Attrezzato in the Centocello district of Rome. The three-day workshop gave teenagers between the ages of 16 and 21 the chance to gather experience in front of and behind the camera. The video medium proved to be an exciting format for the teens with which they could interview each other but also address and share their personal situations and experiences concerning cultural, political, or social marginalization within Italian society by acting it out. In short role-plays during which the participants appeared both as actors and as cameramen/women, the teenagers were able to work creatively and thus express personal issues and everyday situations encased in a video.
The main intention of the video project was to portray a culture and a generation whose protagonists were born in Rome but had no claim to Italian citizenship. Through the video piece Romanes, the young people were offered a public sphere that they are usually denied. Following the workshop, the HD video camera used to record their work was made available for the teenagers to use.
Anja Krautgasser, born 1971 in Hall in Tyrol, lives and works in Vienna