Children of the Wind
In the performance the circus artist, performer and teacher Sebastiano Spinella talks about his own life. His own identity is still uncertain as the presumably Roma origin of his grandmother was concealed by the family. At the age of 17, the protagonist, the black sheep of the family, ran away and travelled all over Europe as a musician and as a circus artist. He worked with Antonioni. In 2000, he went to Norway where he learnt that Roma people were tortured in the country during the 20th century, because as they people thought that sterilisation and lobotomy are useful. Afterwards After, the artist returned to Italy to work with Roma children. Almost nobody believed in these kids except for from him, he founded a musical band with the stateless youngsters living in segregated ghettos.
"When the Blue Car arrived with a tail of dozens of journalists, Svonko was the first to shake hands with the Minister under the flashes of the photographs.
“Hello Minister! My name is Svonko Djordjevic, and I’m born in Italy. I'm Italian but I have no citizenship, soon I’ll be 18 and I will be expelled to Serbia, I’ve never been there, I don’t know nobody, I’ve never been out of Italy!"
Sebastian Spinella was born in Italy in 1965, at the age of 8, together with his family they moved to Denmark. and then moved to Denmark with his family at the age of 8. He is fluent in Italian and Danish, he and also speaks French, Spanish and English. During his lifetime, He he travelled throughout the world, learning about a wide variety of cultures, languages, and branches of art, and to play on playing countless instruments. He is a versatile, self-taught artist: a musician, a mime and circus artist. As an educator, he fights for social equality with the means of art education. He began working with children, mostly stateless ones, living in the Gordian camp in Rome in 2002, and soon after that he founded a musical formation called ‘Sarábanda’ with the young people.
Ghettos in Rome
There are about 7,000 Roma people in Rome, of whom almost 4,000 live in state-established legal camps, segregated from the majority of the population.
There are 8 state-maintained camps in the Italian capital since the early 1990s., and s Similar ghettos exist in other major cities, too. The goal of state-maintained segregates, according to the official position, is to preserve nomadic culture., but the reality is far from this cultural policy intent. In most cases, the Roma settlements are in hard-to-reach places areas, near agricultural areas, highways, or landfills, making it difficult for the residents of the settlement to access education (primary school students are still provided with a school bus but secondary school students are no longer), work and health care. The camps mostly consist of apartments made of metal stalls or mobile homes.
Although the colonies are often surrounded by a fence and guarded by video cameras and security guards, there are sites where there is no public lighting and public safety is poor. Hygienic conditions are also often inadequate in the camps.
The health of the inhabitants of the overcrowded settlements is poor, and many are struggling with alcohol, drug and psychological problems. The Roma are often discriminated against in the health care system, those who immigrated to the country without official documents are not entitled to health care services. This problem affects about 15,000 people.
The residents of legal or illegal settlements are often forced into these ghettos after being evicted, but they cannot feel safe here either: they receive housing under strict conditions (e.g. only if their children attend school). Very often, they are not given prior notice of eviction, so they do not have a chance to apply for social rental housing on time., This way thus they often don't have a registered address or five years of registered employment, (which is also a condition for granting social benefits). The unemployment rate among the Roma is 4-5 times higher than in the case of the non-Roma. Living in camps is a disadvantage when looking for a job since they have to provide 17 an address when applying and the only one they have is the address of the settlement. Thus, the Roma support themselves mainly from casual works.
‘The performer uses the elements of theater and circus art, talks about his social community work with the genre of storytelling: artistic education of young people living in the gypsy settlement, talent management, theater as a social, political act, statal promises, regulations that want to assimilate instead of integration, altogether, his own journey from theater to community work.’