basis voor
actuele kunst
New Publication - We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art


BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and Valiz are proud to announce the release of We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art on 4 September 2013.

We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, edited by Daniel Baker (artist, curator, and researcher, London) and Maria Hlavajova (artistic director of BAK, Utrecht), inquires into the contemporary moment through the lens of Roma artistic and intellectual practices, gathering knowledge from the Roma way of life. As the so-called West’s misconceptions of itself, inherited from the legacy of the modern, are being unmasked through unprecedented shifts in politics, society, aesthetics, and economics—what can we learn from the commonalities among political struggles of historically marginalized communities such as Roma and in what we know as majority society? With the emblematic claim in the artistic imaginary “we Roma,” including in it wider society—how can we invoke the possibility of a different world and alternative futures? Artists, theorists, writers, and activists—both Roma and non-Roma—speculate on such questions and the possibility of art to imagine the world otherwise.

With contributions by: Albert Atkin (philosopher; Sydney); Huub van Baar (researcher and writer, Amsterdam); Damian James Le Bas (writer, journalist, poet, and filmmaker, Essex) & Delaine Le Bas (artist, various locations across Europe); Zygmunt Bauman (social theorist; Leeds); Ethel Brooks (writer and researcher, New Jersey); Agnes Daróczi (curator and activist, Budapest); Tony Gatlif (film director, actor, composer, and producer; Algiers) & Cécile Kovacshazy (researcher and writer; Limoges) with Alex Lykidis (film theorist, New York); Ian Hancock (Roma linguist, historian, and political advocate, Austin); Sanja Ivekoviæ (artist, Zagreb); Timea Junghaus (curator and cultural activist, Budapest); Regina Römhild (cultural anthropologist and curator, Berlin) & Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (curator and writer, Berlin); Salman Rushdie (novelist and essayist, London and New York); and Mike Sell (theorist, Pittsburgh).

We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art departs from the discussions which unfolded through BAK’s inquiry into Roma knowledges in art, philosophy, politics, activism, and everyday life in the project Call the Witness at the Roma Pavilion, realized in the context of the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011 (the project’s digital venue can be accessed via

It is the fifth publication in BAK’s Critical Reader Series. The series comprise select collections of new and anthologized writings by a rich array of artists, art historians, philosophers, theorists, activists and other thinkers grappling—with, from, and through the prism of contemporary art—with what we believe to be the critical matters of concern of our time. Other publications in the series are On Horizons (2011), The Return of Religion and other Myths (2009), On Knowledge Production (2008), Concerning War (2010 and 2006), and the forthcoming sixth publication From Viewer to Consumer-Spectator to (Insurgent) Citizen (2014). These publications are paralleled by a series of BAK Critical Readers in Artists’s Practice, within which a compendium of writings on artist, actor, director, and playwright Rabih Mroué appeared in 2012.


We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art
Edited by Daniel Baker and Maria Hlavajova
Associate Editor: Janine Armin
Managing Editor & Research: Gwen Parry
Language: English
Pages: 280
Design: Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht
Price: € 24
ISBN: 978-90-77288-16-0 and 978-90-78088-78-3

To order a copy of We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, please send an e-mail to or visit the website of Valiz:


sign up for newsletter