New book by school honorary scholars
11 November 2014
The past decade has seen increased interest in, and attention to, the place of Gypsies, Roma, and Travellers (GRT) in both political and media circles, but the problems they face nonetheless remain relatively unknown.
Hearing the Voices of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities - Inclusive Community Development is edited by University of Bristol Fellows Dr Andrew Ryder and Dr Sarah Cemlyn alongside Professor Thomas Acton OBE of Buckinghamshire New University. All are longstanding scholar/activists.
Underpinned by radical community development and equality theories, This book—much of it written by GRT activists—is the first to chart the history of and contemporary developments in GRT community activism, describing this community’s struggle for rights against a backdrop of intense discrimination throughout Europe.
Speaking about the book and its background Ryder states:
“GRT communities despite their extreme marginalisation have at times been able to mobilise, organise and challenge. The book captures some of the unique struggles of these communities.”
“One of the most rewarding experiences in my life, which has greatly shaped my attitude towards research and activism, was to become involved with GRT community organisations. In these community forums I met a wide range of strong, wonderful and spirited characters some of whom were involved in the book, some are no longer with us but the book records for posterity the courage and resilience they demonstrated in fighting for a good cause. Some of these people could not read and write, some lived on the side of the road or faced frequent eviction, but when pushed into a corner they fought with courage and determination.”
Sarah Cemlyn said:
“In documenting the community and political activity of GRT communities from the 1960s to the present day, the book opens a new window on Gypsies, Travellers and Roma as active and empowered citizens in the face of massive obstacles and political opposition or inertia, designing new ways of organising and reflecting on successes and difficulties to create further innovation in community and political development. The role of women activists emerges with increasing power through the book, which explores the dynamic interaction of minority cultural identity, resistance, activism and gender.”