Visuelle Dimensionen des Antiziganismus
How to cite this chapter

Kovács, Éva and Szász, Lujza: Ich höre nicht, was ich nicht weiß. Der Dokumentarfilm "Die Zigeuner" und sein Nachleben, in: Reuter, Frank, Gress, Daniela and Mladenova, Radmila (Eds.): Visuelle Dimensionen des Antiziganismus, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021 (Interdisciplinary Studies in Antigypsyism – Book series initiated by the Research Centre on Antigypsyism, Vol. 2), p. 385-410.

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ISBN 978-3-96822-054-3 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-055-0 (Softcover)
ISBN 978-3-96822-072-7 (Hardcover)

Published 16.12.2021.

Éva Kovács, Lujza Szász

Ich höre nicht, was ich nicht weiß. Der Dokumentarfilm "Die Zigeuner" und sein Nachleben

Abstract Modern conventions of the “Gypsy” image(s) emerged in the second half of the 19th century and have not changed significantly since then. Roma people as necessary outsiders of Western civilisation is not alone with its con­ception: texts, films, exhibitions all tend to look at Roma as a group of people which are different by nature and stand outside of society. Contemporary studies in the fields of Romani Studies and Antiziganism increasingly recognise the importance to deconstruct the existing visual regime and the colonial relations inscribed in it and restitute the place of Roma in history, further to highlight the deficiencies of an essentialised understanding of “the Gypsy” and articulate a rather contextual understanding of what it means to be Roma.

The need for a credible representation of the Roma in Hungary arose in the 1960s in the media during state socialism. This article analyses this discrepancy between knowing and recognition as well as the pitfalls of emancipation from ethnographic and sociological approaches. The focus of our study is on the memory of the Nazi genocide of the Roma in Hungary, which as an invisible and inaudible knowledge, was present in public discourse quite early on, even if only in an opaque form. Nevertheless, the genocide seemed like an image of the “optical unconscious”, which until the regime change in 1989 never moved into the centre of this discourse.