San Sebastian 2016 goes inside the largest gypsy ghetto in Europe

The travelling embassy Europa Transit is in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) filming its eighth documentary.

Ten cities facing different challenges are the scenarios of ten documentaries that Europa Transit is filming to promote San Sebastian 2016's motto "Culture to live together".

Europa Transit, travelling embassy of San Sebastian 2016, is currently in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, immersed in the filming of its eighth documentary, which in this case will focus on the Roma people and the discrimination that they suffer.

Plovdiv, which will hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2019, is the location for what is possibly the biggest Romani ghetto in Europe: the district of Stolipinovo, home to between 40,000 and 50,000 Roma people. The Europa Transit team, accompanied on this occasion by the artistic collective Sra. Polaroiska (formed by Alaitz Arenzana and María Ibarretxe), are working inside Stolipinovo organising workshops for the Roma community and preparing a flashmob in the centre of the city.

Based on the relationship that will be established between the inhabitants of Stolipinovo and Sra. Polaroiska, the documentary Xuban Intxausti is directing for Europa Transit will investigate the prejudice and discrimination faced by the Roma people, the marginalisation that they suffer and the difficulties involved in their social integration. The Roma make up the largest ethnic minority in Europe, present in concentrated communities that are scattered throughout the continent; and it is surely one of the groups most discriminated against as a result of prejudice. The film will seek to encourage reflection on the obstacle that people’s own convictions and prejudices (both those of the Roma and also those of the rest of the population) suppose for the integration of the Roma community in Bulgarian society.

Europa Transit: ten stories towards European coexistence

Europa Transit, one of the three embassys of San Sebastian 2016 European Capital of Culture, set off in early January on its journey to ten cities that have been or are witnessing conflicts or the challenges of the coexistence of different peoples: Ceuta, Belfast, Dresden, Wroclaw, Sarajevo, Paphos, Moscow, Plovdiv, Pristina and Istanbul. At each destination, the team of ambassadors film a documentary about the current state of the conflict, which also incorporates a cultural perspective to more closely examine the values ​​of coexistence and mutual understanding. Since March, ETB has been premiering the documentaries (all directed by Xuban Intxausti) within the framework of the series of monthly broadcasts by Europa Transit.  

In addition, the travelling embassy is also composing a mash-up that brings together the testimonies of the people from each place that the project has visited, in order to create a digital mosaic of the multiple identity constructs that inhabit Europe. The mash-up is hosted on the europatransit.dss2016.eu website and continues to grow as Europa Transit arrives at new destinations.