The research project Participatory Approach for Roma Inclusion (PARI), on Facebook, investigates the role of religion and religious actors in Roma inclusion. Financed through Norway Grants and the Romanian state budget, the project includes historical, sociological, and theological participatory research.
The project has case studies in two Romanian counties, as well as in Oslo in Norway. It has recently started activities to share experiences among actors working with Roma inclusion in Romania. The project is led by the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu and VID Specialized University.
The mid-term conference was an opportunity for everyone engaged in the project to meet. The last time the team met was in May when most of the Romanian team came to Oslo. Also, members of the international advisory board of the project participated in the mid-term conference.
Stephanie Dietrich, Bjørn Hallstein Holte, Annette Rose Leis-Peters, Inger Marie Lid, and Tor Slettebø travelled to Sibiu and participated in the conference from VID. Carl Emil Vogt from the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies, who is a member of the advisory board of the PARI project, travelled with us and participated in the conference. The delegation was in Romania from 26 to 29 October.
Important perspectives and discussions
Wednesday evening, the team participated in opening an exhibition of historical documents on slavery in Romania. Many of the slaves in the regions that comprise Romania today were Roma. The exhibition featured original documents and copies of documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that describe slavery in different ways. The documents were translated into Romanian and English and accompanied by explanatory texts written by their Romanian colleagues as a part of the PARI project.
Vogt held a short speech about Norwegian experiences as part of the opening, which was attended by representatives from Roma communities. The exhibition was a part of the PARI project and was on display in a venue open to the public in the Astra Library in central Sibiu for a week and a half.
- Thursday morning, we visited the villages outside Sibiu where two of the case studies in the PARI project take place. The visits were important for our understanding of the work being done in the case studies in Romania, says Bjørn Hallstein Holte.