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Author(s): Rüthers, Monica
Date: 2014
Abstract: Jews and Gypsies are marginal men in the cultural topographies of Europe. During the past 25 years, both minorities underwent a process of festivalization. Jewish Culture Festivals and Klezmer music as well as Gypsy Music Festivals and Balkan Beats became highly popular. Jewish and Gypsy spaces were established and serve as tourist borderzones for the encounters of "Europeans" with their exoticized Other. A new European folklore emerges, successfully blending kitsch and terror, remembrance and the romanticized nomadism of post-modern lifestyles. Two case studies of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kazimierz and the Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer reveal telling asymmetries. After 1989, the imaginary Jews were located in the former Jewish districts of Central European cities such as Cracow, Prague and Budapest or Czernowitz. The Holocaust became the foundation of a common European culture of remembrance, a new European tradition. Gypsies are revered as musicians, yet reviled as people. The very same regions of Jewish encoded "Central Europe" shifted eastward on the mental maps as soon as the Roma were concerned. Europeans are in fear of a Roma "invasion" from the East. The European ambivalence towards its Others is symptomatic of a community striving to imagine itself. In this process, to have or have not a common European history plays a pivotal role. The imaginary Jews seem to embody a common multicultural "European" past, whilst the Roma "come from India". They are represented as belly-dancing Orientals and used for drawing boundaries excluding non-Europeans.
Author(s): Huber, Jasmina
Date: 2017