25. 11. 2023

We Know the Roma Spirit 2023 Laureates!

Hope was given out in the Slovak National Theatre Košice. For the fifteenth time, Roma Spirit awards were given to those who improve the lives of the Roma and our coexistence in Slovakia.

The award in category Non Governmental Organisation went to Šukar Dživipen from Banská Bystrica for their unyielding community work. The award in category Company and Employer went to the Healthy Regions (Zdravé regióny p.o.) who work in health mediation and improvement of health in the segregated communities. 

The award in category Municipality and Town was given to Lunik IX, a Košice district, whose results help gradually overcome the stereotypically unflattering image of the neighbourhood. In the category Personality, Paulína Slepčíková, an organic biology scientist, garnered the most interest. 

Barbora Botošová was awarded in the category Culture for her long-term artistic contribution, but also for her broad scope in terms of youth education. Stories Without Borders – Media Incubator (Príbehy bez hraníc – Mediálny inkubátor) received an award in category Media for their development of media literacy and education of young media creators.

The Act of the Year Jury decided to give the award to the young Natália Gažiová from Košice, who was at the right place at the right time to help a young man in need at a bus stop.

Special Jury Award went in memoriam to Daniela Hivešová Šilanová  who was a Slovak writer, dramaturg, playwright, and cofounder of the Roma theatre Romathan. She was awarded for her lifelong and admirable work against discrimination, and for the advancement of culture, writing and dramatic arts.

Laureats took home a new award named “Hope” created by the artist and sculptor Miloš Rác, historically the first Roma Spirit laureate in category Culture. The statuette was created in cooperation with a sculptor of rutherian background, Stanislav Kiča.

The laureates were decided upon by an international Expert Jury consisting of the Plenipotentiary of  the Czech Republic for the Roma Minorities Lucie Fuková, psychologist and researcher Sonia Styrkacz, member of the Supervisory Board of Allianz Bank Bulgaria and the member of the advisory board of ACEC Rainer Franz, Dentons Europe Director for Positive Impact and Pro Bono Atanas Politov and the director of the Office for National Minorities of the Slovenian Republic Stane Baluh.

“Roma Spirit provides new motivation for self improvement, to improve the life of the Roma as well as the majority population,” said the chairman of the expert jury Lucie Fuková.

The Act of the Year Jury consisted of previous Roma Spirit finalists and laureates. The winner was chosen by the translator and journalist Erika Godlová, Pasell Slovakia s.r.o. proxy Zuzana Rošková, mayor of Toporec Gustáv Pompa, a specialist for social inclusion and a member of the Roma Spirit Preparatory Committee Stanislav Daniel and a field work monitoring worker from the Advice Centre for Civic and Human Rights Nasťa Čonková.

The gala evening was hosted by Lujza Garajová Schrámeková and František Balog. The programme included performances by Celeste Buckingham, Drahoslav Bango, the Sendreiovci gypsy band, Matěj Vávra, the Bugalov brothers band, ERØ, the children’s choir Ďevjatkakere čhave, as well as the soloists of the National Theatre Košice Ballet. The director of the gala was Viktor Csudai and musical dramaturg Marco Pillo.

The recording of the 15th Roma Spirit award will be broadcast by RTVS on the eve of the International Human Rights Day, i.e. on 9 December at 8:35 PM on Dvojka (channel two).