Route of Roma Culture and Heritage in United Kingdom
Surrey Heritage (SH) brings together in one service Surrey County Council's expertise in caring for and promoting our county's rich past. SH helps people to discover, investigate and protect the county's archaeology, historic buildings, written heritage and artefacts. SH enables people to learn more about their ancestors and the county's rich and varied history.
SH’s engagement with the local Roma community goes back a number of years. This has included a previous project funded through the Culture 2000 programme (Access to Culture), involvement in the annual Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, organising training sessions on cultural awareness. SH sees its work in this field in the broader context of its outreach activities, which have involved working together with different minority populations, veterans, refugees, people with mental health difficulties, etc. SH also engages with schools and universities, holds events and lectures for the general public and helps to explore rural history.
SH will be the overall project coordinator of the Romany Routes. Furthermore, it will coordinate the UK contribution to the project, which will have two elements. Firstly, research will be conducted to establish exactly what is held in the UK’s diverse museums, libraries and archives on Roma history and culture. Secondly, efforts will be made to support the establishment of a permanent event focussing on the Epsom Derby during the annual Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (which takes place in the UK in June). Epsom Derby, an important horseracing event, has traditionally been a time for both Roma and non-Roma from all over the country to come together.
The Rural Media Company
The Rural Media Company, based in the West Midlands region of the UK, is a media education and production charity, with a national reputation for its work with marginalized communities. It was founded in 1992 and has worked with the UK Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities on projects ranging from Travellers Remember (a digital stories history about the travelling life) to Sites and Rights (a new film about Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs and the discrimination and social exclusion, which results from the lack of sites and places to live. Rural Media is the publisher of the new portal
www.travellerstimes.org.uk and of Travellers’ Times quarterly magazine – the leading voice of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities in the UK.
The Rural Media Company will provide a Roma media team to visit all the other Roma Cultural Route partners, to make exciting, new, short films and digital stories, showing the lives and history of Roma people. This material will be gathered onto a project website to illustrate the role of the partners in the Roma Cultural Route.