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Carlos Martiel
Agonía Romaní, 2019
Gilda Lavia Gallery, Rome, Italy.

The Rromani people, or more commonly known now as “Rromà”, are an ethnic minority in Europe. Some theories suggest that they arrived to European territory through two large migrations. According to the linguist Vanya de Gila-Kochanowski, in the ninth century, Muslims invaded India and the Indians living in the northwest territories of the Hindustani peninsula began a large migration westward. The second migration occurred in the thirteenth century, when the people now self-identified as Rromà left their homes after the Mongol armies arrived and finally conquered the territory. From then on, the exodus of these travelers has been continuous.

The Rromà people have suffered countless violations of their human rights, such as slavery, repression, and political persecution. Nowadays, some of the main challenges facing this community are the social stigmatization that makes them victims of xenophobia, racism, poverty, and exclusion from the labor market.

This work was conceived from the elements and colors that make up the Rromani flag. I stand on a sculpture shaped as a wheel. Three Europeans of different nationalities take turns using a hammer beating the sculpture until it is reduced to debris.

Produced as part of the solo show “Intruder”

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