For the next 24 hours, you can catch the premiere of a theatre performance tackling Roma discrimination in Romania, that weaves timely political discourse with moving personal anecdotes, bittersweet humour, and percussion.
Percussion is actor and musician Zsolt Fekete-Lovas’s one-man show inspired by his own experiences growing up in Székely Land in western Romania. In the 25-minute play, the artist shares his story on how he came to be seen as Roma, and how he discovered he had Roma heritage.
He kicks off with a painful observation: “We trust everyone. If they’re white. If their skin’s a bit darker, then we assume they’re lying.”
Taking us through key autobiographical moments of social rejection and resilience, Fekete-Lovas focuses on one running theme: how identity gets imposed onto others.
“Maybe I chose this profession because when I’m on stage, it isn’t the society that decides who I am: Hungarian, Romanian, Gypsy or Székely… Instead, people in the audience just believe, for that evening, that I am who I claim to be,” Fekete-Lovas says, just before the end of the show.
The play is part of the fourth edition of the international Roma Heroes Festival in Hungary. Running between 21 October — 9 December, the festival includes seven weekly online performances by teams from Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Austria, and Germany.