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Participants in “Roma Voices: A Film Screening of Suspino, A Cry for Roma” at Simon Fraser University on March 5th.

On March 5th, the Mosaic Institute’s “UofMosaic” program hosted a film screening and public discussion with the Roma community in Vancouver. The event, entitled “Roma Voices: A Film Screening of Suspino, A Cry for Roma” featured Julia Lovell and Gina Csanyi-Robah, co-founders of the Canadian Romani Alliance, as speakers. Ms. Csanyi-Robah may be familiar to some readers because of her association with the Mosaic Institute’s “Next Generation” program, for which she has served as Program Manager over the past number of years. Gillian Darling and Rudi Kovanic, directors and producers of the film, were also in attendance. The event was organized in partnership with SFU’s Center for Dialogue.

The film Suspino, A Cry for Roma focuses on the plight of Romani people in today’s Europe. Set in Romania and Italy, where many Roma people have been victims of persecution and institutionalized racism, Suspino also highlights the efforts of the Roma community in Canada to advocate for Roma rights around the world.

The event brought together approximately 25 students and community members, many of them with family or personal connections to the Roma community of the Lower Mainland. The discussion following the screening of the film examined the ways in which Canada’s immigration system has an impact on members of the Roma community, and shed light on the ongoing efforts of the Canadian Romani diaspora in supporting community members and fostering solidarity with other groups, both in Canada and overseas.

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 Gina Csanyi-Robah, Co-Founder of the Canadian Roma Alliance, at Simon Fraser University on March 5th.

Many attendees with no direct connection to Roma communities expressed appreciation for the event. For them, it was a rare opportunity to learn more about the struggles of a community that is often overlooked in conversations about human rights and peace building.

“Roma Voices: A Film Screening of Suspino, A Cry for Roma”was presented as part of the Mosaic Institute’s UofMosaic program. The UofMosaic is the Mosaic Institute’s campus-based peace building program for university students. The program delivers programming at Ryerson University, York University, the University of Toronto, Concordia University, McGill University, and Simon Fraser University. UofMosaic is made possible by the generous financial support of BMO Financial Group. For more information, please e-mail info@mosaicinstitute.ca