The project “MEMORS. The first virtual museum of Porrajmos in Italy. Persecution of Roma and Sinti during the Fascist era” (Grant Decision nr. 2011-3516 / 001 - 001) is funded by EACEA’s Europe for citizens programme 2012-2013. Its aim is to revive the history of the memory and deportation of the Roma and the Sinti during the period of concentration camps in Italy. The project focuses on the difference between the Roma and the Sinti linguistic minorities, which are often unrecognised in the public debate. It begins by recovering the memory of the Porrajmos, thus indirectly allowing deconstructing the current stereotypes against Roma and Sinti and enriching the view that citizens have of this ethnic group.
The “MEMORS” project focuses on the aims of action 4, thus trying to preserve or recover the memory of the mass deportation of Sinti and Roma, as well as their presence in the Italian concentration camps. In order to do so, besides holding commemorative events, it begins by publishing all the existing documents online so that they can be accessed by a larger number of people. This way, it intends to spread the information both in the “new places of memory” and among the Roma and Sinti population, making them an active part of its initiatives. Furthermore, the project allows the creation of a network among the various actors of the civil society that deal with this issue in different ways: private research institutes, associations of victims of persecution, associations that promote memory. For the first time, all the actors taking part in the project are directly involved with the other parties, thus leading to a mutual enrichment and sharing of working methods and information. The project reached the following objectives:
- obtaining personal accounts from the last survivors of Porrajmos and indirect statements through interviews;
- collecting all the information available on the Porrajmos in the “Virtual museum”, the first virtual space hosting the “Centre for gypsy studies” of Rome, most of the existing documents on Porrajmos in Italy, a map of the concentration camps and a section on didactics;
- categorizing the municipalities where the concentration camps were located as “places of memory” through three public events and the award of three commemorative plaques in Agnone (IS), Tossicia (TE) and Prignano sulla Secchia (MO);
- organizing a theatre play, and its adaptation by Pino Petruzzelli, on Porrajmos titled “Shadows, nothing but shadows”- written by and starring Dijana Pavlovic – to be used as an alternative awareness tool for non experts;
- producing the "Porrajmos" documentary, mainly featuring the personal accounts, to be used as a training and teaching tool on Porrajmos for institutes and schools;
- publishing the book named Porrajmos. Persecution of Roma and Sinti in Fascist Italy by Luca Bravi;
- organization of national and international events and meetings aimed at spreading knowledge on Porrajmos (Milan, Mantova, Ferrara, Bucharest and Granada).