I decided to write my poem on the entertainment side of Romani history. The film that I used for my research project was about a Romani street performer, and after watching the movie so many times, it sparked my interest in Romanies involved in carnivals and performances.
According to ROMBASE, street performers and carneys were treated like guests, but they were not respected as human beings, but rather as “idlers and charlatans.” In Germany, they were not given basic rights, and had no voice in court. They were also not allowed to become members of craftsmen’s guilds. I hope to point out these flaws in society in my poem.
I am going to take the point of view of a non-Roma viewing a Roma performing on the street. I feel like I will be able to relate the most to someone in that position. The narrator will be a little girl who has been fascinated with performing Roma for her whole life, and how she has the dream to run away with them and experience a free lifestyle. According to The Gypsy Chronicals, “a common misconception about Gypsies is that they have romantic carefree lifestyles and are free to point the wheels of nicely decorated caravans in any direction and travel at will.” I think it is important for non-Roma to understand that this is not the real way that Romanies live.
The narrator will encounter one of the street performers outside of his performance and she will see how different his life actually is than what she expected. She will witness things like poverty and prejudice. She will then understand the injustice and it will completely change the perspective that she has. I hope that my readers will also experience this and realize that this still happens everywhere today.