Monday, March 14, 2011


By Eszter Pásztor

08/03/2011 -

On the 15th March 2011, the Bodvalenke Women’s Choir is going to sing at the European Parliament during a slide-show presentation of the Bodvalenke Fresco Village Project.

Bodvalenke is a 95% Roma village in the North of Hungary, sunk in dire and hopeless poverty.

The Fresco Village Project ( was initiated two years ago: Roma painters paint monumental murals on the walls, creating thereby a fantastic permanent exhibition of Roma art. So far, 13 murals have been painted; as of this spring, they invite Roma painters from all over Europe , to give a European dimension to the project.

The goal of the Fresco Village Project is twofold: to fight prejudice and to create a venue for meaningful dialogue between the Roma and the non-Roma on the one hand, and to pull the village of Bodvalenke out of poverty by attacking poverty from all possible sides, on the other hand.

The women of Bodvalenke will have travelled twice two days to present their pains and sorrows and their hopes and plans to the EU decision-makers. They can do so only through the pictures, and their songs. This, however, needs to be verbalised for society, and the decision-makers to take note. Will they be heard? Will they even be asked?

Many have said, Roma people have amassed so much deprivation and so much disadvantage that it is virtually impossible to help them. The Bodvalenke experience proves how wrong this tenet is.

There are 10 million Roma in the European Union.


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