Following the announcement of their partnership earlier this year, the Belgrade Theatre, the Roma Project and Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research are delighted to share an online preview of an exhibition originally scheduled to take place at the theatre this month. 

Titled Generations, the exhibition shines a spotlight on Coventry’s Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community, and will launch online to coincide with International Romani Day on Wednesday 8 April. Featuring images of Roma families captured by local photographer Antony Weir, it is the follow up to a previous exhibition titled Family Matters / Chestiuni de familie.

The online preview will include a selection of Weir’s images, with the full exhibition at the Belgrade now postponed until a later date.

The project has been organised in partnership with Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) as part of the ongoing Roma Project, an initiative founded to tackle the exploitation of the Roma community and to advance their social inclusion in Coventry.

First held in Coventry as part of the university’s Romani Week celebrations in 2015, Weir’s Family Matters exhibition went on to appear at Drom Kotar Mestipen’s Roma Women’s Congress in Barcelona in 2018, and also formed part of a workshop on GRT people in Higher Education which took place at Coventry University’s ICE Building on Thursday 27 February.

Antony Weir is a local photographer with a varied portfolio encompassing landscape, gig and portrait photography. He curates the ‘Weir archive’, the collection of his grandfather John’s life’s work in photos, many of which focus upon Coventry’s post-war transformations. Sixty years later, Antony shares the same impetus to document the city and its people.

Georgia Bond works primarily on collaborative, socially engaged projects, exploring how photography can be used as a tool to represent and give voice to people and enabling those she works with to be part of her creative process. Through her work, she explores the positive impact that art can have on communities, and particularly on young people.

Krysztina Winkel, Embedded Community Producer at the Belgrade Theatre, said: “At the Belgrade Theatre, we’re always excited to be team up with local artists and to find ways of collaborating with our communities both inside and outside the building. We’re delighted to be supporting Rosa and Anthony with their work on the Roma Project, and look forward to welcoming members of the Roma community to the Belgrade, as well as anyone interested in finding out more.”

Rosa Cisneros of the Roma Project and a research artist at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research said: “This is the first time a major cultural heritage organisation like the Belgrade Theatre has opened its doors to the Roma community in Coventry. We are so excited to collaborate and to co-create meaningful work that offers a counter-narrative to common misconceptions.”

Generations will be previewed online from Wednesday 8 April, with the full exhibition postponed until a later date. To view the exhibition online, please visit belgrade.co.uk/stories/generations-online.