Accepted paper:

Romanipen network governance: how deep could be engagement in Gypsy world?

Author:

Maciej Witkowski

Paper short abstract:

Many Roma leaders look for democratic legitimization merging Romanipen with "radical democracy" discourse. Accounting complex involvement of anthropologist in personal interdependence to all parties, I will examine moral multiplicity of perspectives from which one can evaluate the situation.

Paper long abstract:

In Central and Eastern Europe we observe new local tensions, the source of which is the concept of Roma integration to "democratic" and "inclusive" mainstream society adopted in the European discourse, and the means of its implementation. Numerous funds are granted on the basis of competition procedures and, thus, create a ground for rivalry between Roma and non-Roma, as well as among Roma themselves. The traditional taboos of Roma and the old cultural divisions acquire new meanings. Roma environments and its non-Roma surroundings are often driven by a ruthless struggle between various parties protecting their interests, with both lawsuits and threats of violence used as arguments. Many Roma leaders adapting to new conditions look for democratic legitimization merging secret traditions of Romanipen with transparency and "radical democracy" discourse. This applies to both large-scale political projects designed as schemes of global reach, such as the project aimed at creating a Pan-Roma identity, as well as local actions meant to strengthen the Roma's ties with local communities. The paper is based on the results of ethnographic fieldworks in local Roma settlements in Poland, their social environment, Roma elites, authorities and professionals who work in "Roma projects" conducted over the past two years. In this context, complex involvement of anthropologist in mutual interdependence to all entities will be presented. In particular, I will examine moral multiplicity of perspectives from which one can evaluate the changes.

panel P109
Collaborating in the field: participatory forms of anthropological research (re)examined