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Oltre i confini - ebrei e zingari - Author's notes

Jews and the "People of Men" have for centuries shared the same destiny.

The trait they share and which has left its mark on their often tragic history – the fault of nations which tollerated them or persecuted them, a tragic history but, for merits of their own, still sublime - is the condition of being "other". The Jews and the "Men", for reasons both similar and specific to each, have for centuries incarnated a radical "otherness" with respect to the dominant cultures of the Christian West. The Jews because they refused the absolute truth of the Christ which was imposed by ecclesiastical powers. The "Men" because, although they had accepted Christ, they would not accept the life models and dominant conformism which were extraneous to their spirit of freedom. Nomadism was not always their vocation, but a response of dignity and independance to persecution. Both peoples were banned, with the exception of brief periods and with the consent of the powers erected by the majorities. Why? Their example might have become dangerous to tyrannical, verticistic, self-referential systems of power and control. But they were peoples in every way, by culture, tradition, spirituality, by deep structures of feeling, by inmediate emotional recognizability; peoples in every way, but with no borders, no bureaucracy, no army, no police, no patriotic rhetoric. Peoples, suspended between heaven and earth, overlapping borders and for this reason feared to the point of becoming phantoms capable of all iniquity, stigmatized as the essence of evil, then to be easily eliminated. From this perspective, it's not difficult to understand why this annihilation took place in the almost total indifference of the surrounding world.

These two fraternal peoples shared a destiny for the longest time, but ever since the "Porraimos-Shoah" marked the culmination of their common tragedy, the People of Men has walked a path of solitary suffering. The Jewish people changed their history, conquered a homeland, and their status as victims of Nazi-fascism, their inmense ordeal, has been fully recognized and a testimonial and memorial edifice of great importance has been built on the Shoah; so, although the Jewish condition is still difficult or dangerous, we may say that the Jews have now entered society through the front door. Even the heirs of those who once persecuted them, now declare their friendship. But the People of Men often continue to suffer the ordeal of prejudice and marginalisation. Even today, it is a popular custom to discriminate, marginalise, persecute and beat the "Men", we can still burn their poor posessions, the police can still harrass and restrict them. The "Porraimos" has never been recognized, thanks to infamous bureaucratic quibbles, and the People of Men is still awaiting justice and respect. We Jews must be the first to raise our voice against the persecution of the Sinto and Romany, we must denounce the exhibition of frienship towards the Jews as wicked and perverse when it is used to legitimize the use of violence against our brothers the "Men" and any other minority, or any "other" people.

"Jews and Gypsies" is our small but passionate contribution to the war against all racisms.

"Beyond the borders- Jews and Gypsies" is a recital of songs, music and Romany, Sinto and Jewish stories, which resonate together with the shared vocation of the people of exile. A vocation born in remote times and which now, in times closer to us, becomes solitude and absence and requests a return, an acceptance, a passion which are an urgent and impossible to delay responsability. "Senza confini" (No borders) is our assumption of responsibility, its form being inscribed in music and the Civil theatre, representative and communicative forms of art which can and must unhinge all conformisms, petty reasonings and conveniences born from a logic of priviledge, so that the non-negotiability of liberty and dignity for every single human being and every people may be proclaimed.

Moni Ovadia

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