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You Didn’t See Anything! - Alex FIFEA

You Didn’t See Anything!

Voi n-ați văzut nimic!

On March the 4th, 2014, Daniel-Gabriel Dumitrache, a young Roma man, age 26, was beaten to death at the police station in downtown Bucharest. He was a young unemployed man who lived in poverty and discrimination,  he was an illegal parking man so that he could  support his old and sick single mother. His murder is part of a long series of abuse perpetrated by law enforcement against the most defenceless persons: illegal parking attendants, homeless people, sex workers. The play shares the aspects of Daniel’s relatives  and of the people who knew him. It also presents an excerpt of the trial against the policemen, who participated in his murder.
"Dani left home at about 7 in the evening. He gave me a bath, fed me and said he was going out. I told him to get back home soon. He never came back."


Writer, Performer:Alex Fifea
Director:David Schwartz
Music:Cătălin Rulea
Translator (Hungarian):Beáta Adorján
Translator (English):Alex Fifea
Premiered:2015, Macaz Theatre, Bucharest, Romania


Director David Schwartz and actor Alex Fifea read about the death case in a newspaper article which  sparked their interest. It was clear that it did not happen as it was written in the first police statement: Dani’s death was not an accident. Thus, the local NGOs began to investigate the crime. The members of the artistic troupe followed Dani’s case for a whole year, they sat throughout the negotiations, they read every testimony. They also got acquainted with the illegal parkers lifestyle and made interviews with the victim’s family and acquaintances. 

The play  was written based on  these notes and sound recordings.

Police wanted to cover up the case: about 30 police officers confessed to “seeing nothing”, to knowing nothing about what had happened.  According to their narrative Dani died because he was ill. But police brutality has a long history in this area.

Focus scene


‘Being a chameleon has two conflicting meanings: on the one hand, by changing colour, it indicates a complete blending, the loss of Roma identity. However, the protagonist tries to interpret her own chameleon image differently when it becomes a metaphor for empathy for her: she develops the ability of compassion and empathy into a superpower.’


'In Tamás András Szegedi's directing, Emília Lovas plays the Gypsy girl in a sovereignly convincing, yet ethereally charming manner throughout the play and embraces youth as superpower as if everything was happening in a fairy tale.'


‘This could be the survival story of an average adolescent, but problems that seriously affect the social status of the Roma are discussed, such as early school leaving and child-bearing. The performance almost turns into a tale from the story so far depicted so nicely and wittily.’ And we wish it to happen so. May the power of tales and personal hero stories prevail over systems.’

Magyar Narancs

materials to download

excerpts from the play
In case you would like to request availability to the full play and/or the full video about the performance, write an email to info@romaheroes.org and describe the aim of your request!

photo credits

All rights reserved

 1: ©Alina Vincze_Alex Fifea

2: ©Alina Vincze_Alex Fifea

3: ©Alina Vincze_Alex Fifea