’Fate shapers - Stories of successful Roma men’ - exhibition and book presentation

We presented the book of interviews entitled ’Fate shapers - Stories of successful Roma men’, published by KINCS, which provides an insight into the lives of twelve successful, purposeful and busy men. In the volume, along with Attila Sztojka, government commissioner for Roma relations; Misi Mező, singer; János Győző Balogh, Greek Catholic priest; Ferenc Kunhegyesi, painter; Oszkár Ökrös, deputy state secretary for international relations of the Ministry of Agriculture; András Farkas, opera singer; József Szénási, editor-reporter; Oszkár Nyári, actor-director, you can read an interview with Iván Sörös, head of the Children's Aid Department of the Ministry of Interior; footballer István Pisont, musician-dancer-choreographer Zsolt Farkas and István Antal, the editor of the volume.

Tünde Fűrész said at the book launch and exhibition that Fate Shapers was published as a continuation of the book of interviews entitled ’Roma women among themselves’, published four years ago, with the aim of presenting role models who can provide hope and motivation through their life journey. Another important purpose of the book is to destroy those stereotypes which are still present these days, but are less prominent. The president of KINCS emphasized that thanks to the active and consistent catch-up policy, the social perception of the Roma has improved a lot. Also, the level of employment has increased the most within the Roma community. As a result, income poverty and work poverty were halved and thanks to housing subsidies, the proportion of people living in overcrowded homes also decreased. Tünde Fűrész also thanked István Antal, who initiated the creation of the volume, participated in the work as an editor and is included in the volume.

In his video message sent to the event, Attila Sztojka confirmed that the government policy of the past 14 years has opened a new era in the life of the Gypsies in Hungary that has palpable results. According to the government commissioner responsible for Roma relations, this does not mean that we can sit back and relax, but it clearly shows that the system of tools that means creating opportunities is available and even guarantees that the fate, which still seems hopeless today, will take a positive turn.

Ferenc Kunhegyesi praised the Roma men featured in the book, who have followed an authentic life path that serves as a model for our whole society. At the same time, the painter emphasized that there are still many Roma people who have the power to shape their destiny.

István Antal thanked everyone for their contribution and expressed his hope that the life stories of successful Roma men will motivate younger generations as well. According to the KINCS presidential adviser, it is necessary to set role models in front of Roma boys, just like in the cases of girls, since boys are more likely to drop out of school. The editor of the volume also spoke about the fact that the interviewees have different backgrounds. Several of them came from very difficult circumstances, but they all achieved outstanding performance and speak with unvarnished honesty about their trials, dedication and motivation, which drove them all the way.

At the round table discussions entitled ’Fate-shaping Roma men’, among those who appear in the book, Dr. János Balogh Győző, dr. Oszkár Ökrös, József Szénási and Iván Sörös discussed the similarities and differences of their life paths, the importance of dual identity and the significance of role models, while Oszkár Nyári, András Farkas, Ferenc Kunhegyesi and Zsolt Farkas shared their thoughts about the relationship between Roma identity and art, as well as the situation of Roma communities.

The exhibition presenting the book's illustrations can be visited at the Mária Kopp Institute until April 23.

The interview volume is also available in Libri bookstores and the KINCS e-bookstore under:


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