GATEHerts: Dikh He Na Bister reflections part 3 by Claire Rice
Travellers' Times is bringing you a series of blogs from GATEHerts this week, following the journeys of UK participants who attended the international youth event 'Dikh He Na Bister' (Look and don’t forget)
Today, Claire Rice Report Racism GRT Hate Crime officer shares her thoughts on the third day of the unique event that gathers 300 young Roma and non-Roma from across the world together to learn about the Roma genocide and the mechanisms of anti-gypsyism.
After our emotional and thought provoking visit to Auschwitz on the 31st July, the first session was spent reflecting on our visit.......writes Claire Rice.
Members of the seminar expressed their feelings, the general consensus was one of sadness. We discussed the things that had struck us, some talked of the railway tracks, some of the lack of wildlife living at Auschwitz, it is true there is not a bird in the sky over Auschwitz, not a mouse or vole to be seen, it truly is an eerie experience.
Some spoke of the emotions they had felt in the housing blocks, the grief was tangible. The thing that struck me was the piles of shoes, these shoes were confiscated on arrival to Auschwitz. There were shoes of all sizes, from baby shoes to working boots, the thing that really hit home was the fact that there were shoes from all seasons, winter boots to summer sandals, it seemed to me to be a timeline of shoes.
The second session was given over to art, a kind of art therapy session, all groups joined together in the garden to paint draw or write poetry. The talent within those groups was amazing, there were reflections of Auschwitz, messages of peace calls for love and signals of hope.
After lunch the whole youth group, participants, facilitators and group leaders all joined together for a group photo. In my humble opinion it was a beautiful experience to share a space with 300 Roma. Roma from 26 different Countries , Roma of all genders sexualties creeds and colours, united on one mission EQUALITY.
Look out for Dikh He Na Bister reflections part 4 by Leanne Wall.