The Future is a Safe Place Hidden in My Braids, a series of three videos with a political take on traditional Roma rituals, is streaming this Sunday 16 May.
Written by Roma Romanian artist Mihaela Drăgan together with witch Mihaela Mincă, the videos include the incantations Enchantment for Historical Trauma, Anger that Will Heal Me, and The Seed of the Witch.
“Identifying with Mincă, a Roma witch, was a political, feminist act for me,” Drăgan told The Calvert Journal. “I wanted to work with Roma witches to develop these spells that can help us heal the traumas we’ve faced in our lives.”
The video kicks off with the legend of how Roma witches embraced white magic, blessed by God. Dressed in white and golden robes, four witches — Mincă and her daughters — dance on a seashore mixing symbolic substances above a cauldron, and sing and make braids surrounded by greenery.
The traditional incantations are mixed with political anti-racist and anti-discrimination chants, continuing Drăgan’s own line of Roma futurist art, which she launched with her play Romacen.
The date of the performance coincides with Roma Resistance Day. It marks the day in 1944 when 600 Roma captives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau armed themselves with hammers and shovels and barricaded themselves in buildings in a bid to fight back against a planned Nazi execution of 6,000 Roma prisoners.
Watch the film here, on 16 May, between 12:00 and 22:00.