Meetings with Norvegiska Romá – Norwegian Gypsies.
The table experience offers a concrete experience of the museum as contact zone between majority society and members of the smallest of Norway’s national minority groups; the Norwegian Romá. Filmed meetings between individual Rom, museum personnel, and others, are projected on the tables. On one table they discuss issues regarding Romás position in the Norwegian society today. The second table is concerned with the specifics of Roma culture, concentrating on the wedding rituals. Here the participants make food and table decorations while they discuss Romá culture.
Two table installations are central in the exhibition Norvegiska Romá – Norwegian Gypsies in Intercultural Museum, Oslo. The exhibition is the result of a project documenting a marginal group with probably only around 500-1000 members. The Norwegian Romá has not previously been given a voice in official museum institutions in Norway, and the knowledge about Romá-culture is generally low and prejudice based.
The filming from above allows the people around the table to be anonymous. Only their hands and the work they practice are attached to film. This was an important consideration, due to widespread prejudice and the vulnerability of belonging to such a small minority group.
The film camera and camera lamp is permanently fixed in the installation so that the museum can film new meetings as new topics and opinions come up.
‘The Ploska’ is the film accompanying this project description. In this film two Romni (women) share the Romá engagement rituals with a museum curator. This is one of many different meetings the visitors may choose between.
The visitor chose what filmed meeting to observe by choosing one of the cubes with an RFID chip, and place it in the reader. The basic shape of a cube was decided on to make the interaction more intuitive
When the exhibition is open for everyone the sound is on headphones. With visitor groups the guide turn on the loudspeaker with a secret button under the table.