For the first time, “Society Uncensored” digital debates are held with a physical presence on the small stage of the Onassis Cultural Centre, giving the opportunity to citizens to become an active part of the discussion. In the first live discussion, Roma speak openly about the problems and dynamics, the everyday life and the unknown glorious moments, the frustrations and demands of their community. The debate will be videotaped and shown in spring 2023 on the Onassis channel on YouTube.

What is it like to live outside history? to remain invisible and become visible only at the moment of violent annihilation? to be excluded from Citizenship and to be called upon to apologize for your exclusion? does your life matter if you are a Roma in Greece;

The Onassis Cultural Centre chooses to organize the “Roma without mediation” discussion on the problems and dynamics of the Roma community, giving the speech and space to the people of the community itself on Friday, February 10, 2023.

To tell their story in its own subjects, of their daily lives and their unknown, glorious moments, of Arts and culture, of sorrows and pride, of frustrations and claims.

The Roma community, diverse and multidimensional, with a long presence in Greece and a particular contribution to culture, is ostracized. Ostracized from the fabric of cities, from education, work, health services, the justice system. It is a social group that faces many and multiple forms of discrimination.

The Greek state itself, through actions or omissions, systematically violates the rights of the Roma. For this he has received several criticisms and recommendations from international organizations, and counts several convictions from the European Court of Human Rights. Anti-Gypsyism, which is an expression of racism against the Roma based on the narrative (or dogma) of racial superiority and supported by prejudice, is institutional as well as social. A mutually reinforcing circuit that produces stereotypes, violence and pain.

The recent murders of 18-year-old Roma Nikos Sabanis and 16-year-old Roma Kostas Frangoulis by police officers, the political and social leniency within the limits of the applause with which they were framed, have revealed in the most painful way the statutory obsolescence of Roma life. Similarly, the death of eight-year-old Olga in a factory in Keratsini, in conditions of absolute indifference, demonstrated that the modern strategy of dehumanization of the Roma is corrosive at the level of social consciousness.

Speech is a field where power is exercised. Roma rarely have access to public discourse. They assimilate into hegemonic discourses mediated by devaluations, exoticisms and fictions. But the reason is also a field for the production of cracks and resistors.

The “Roma without mediation” discussion at the OCC is a door of acquaintance. For a perspective of inclusion on the basis of recognition of linguistic and cultural differences, equality, conversation and Justice.

In the “society Uncensored” Series, Active Citizens share their experiences uncensored. Through deep and honest discussions, important aspects of our social life are highlighted, in an open platform for meeting and fruitful dialogue: this is the purpose of the “Society Uncensored” series, created to make a multitude of “voices” heard, aiming at diffusing different –and sometimes marginalized or controversial– views, reflection and awareness towards dominant social issues, as they are highlighted through current news, public debates on social media and in the media, but also in our daily lives.


Paraskevi Vilanaki: Teacher of special education

John Georgiou: Sociologist

Stavros Raphael Yuvannis: student at the University of Macedonia, Human Rights instructor

Alexandra Karagianni: lawyer, Council of Europe expert

Christina Kokkoni: member of the REVMA (“interventions for the Prevention of student leakage”), social caregiver, certified Roma Ombudsman

Vassilios Pantzos: President of the Panhellenic Confederation of Greek Roma “HELLAN passe”.

John Sabanis: father of Nikos Sabanis

Coordinated by Giorgos Vilanakis, research associate of “Ellan passe”, member of the European Youth Network ‘ternYpe’, influencer

The discussion will be held in Greek with simultaneous interpretation in Greek sign language.

Editing By Maria Luca, Pasqua Borgia

Production: Onassis Cultural Centre

Discussion information

Onassis Cultural Centre

Syngrou 107

10 February 2023

Small Stage, 19: 00

Free Entrance

*The photos come from Lucia Alavanos’ virtual reality film” in search of Colonos, ” Venice Biennale

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