Romania’s ‘Roma palaces’, a status symbol for poor minority | AFP

With their soaring marble columns, turrets and pagoda-style roofs, elaborate mansions built by affluent Roma dot Romania’s countryside in their thousands. Amid modest surroundings of fields or small towns, the so-called Roma palaces seem improbable, even outlandish, but reveal a quest for status within a marginalised and mostly poor minority.

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Amid violence and discrimination, Moscow’s Roma theatre plays on | AFP

With passionate songs, flowing dresses and wildly strumming guitars, a theatre in Moscow has staged colourful evocations of Roma culture since the early Soviet era.

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Former Kosovo PM Haradinaj arrives at special war crimes court | AFP

Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo’s Prime Minister, arrives at the Kosovo special court in The Hague to be questioned on suspicions of war crimes. Jakup Krasniqi, former president of Parliament and former spokesman for the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), is also appearing at the tribunal. The EU-backed special war crimes court for Kosovo was established in 2015 to try war crimes allegedly committed by ethnic Albanian guerrillas against minority Serbs and Roma and local Albanian political opponents during and immediately after the 1998-1999 independence war against Serbia. IMAGES

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Roma community in Romania prepares for Pope Francis’ visit | AFP

A Roma community in the Romanian town of Blaj have mixed feelings ahead of a visit by Pope Francis on Sunday.

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Hungary far-right protest stokes fears of anti-Roma violence

The Hungarian far-right party Our Homeland Movement (OHM) gathered in the provincial town of Torokszentmiklos, sparking fears among the country’s ethnic Roma minority of racially-motivated violence.

‘Out, out!’ Protesters make Nazi salute, rally against relocation of Roma families in Italy

Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside a government-run reception centre in Rome’s Torre Maura district on Wednesday, protesting against the arrival of Roma families to the neighbourhood.

Apart from locals, the crowd included supporters of far-right political parties Casa Pound & Forza Nuova. The protesters were seen burning flares, giving Nazi salutes & chanting slogans such as: ‘Italy, fascism and revolution.’



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Basketball beats ethnic divisions in Serbia’s Presevo Valley

On the court, they are not Serb, Albanian or Roma. The lanky teenage boys are all members of ‘Play 017’, a basketball team that is bridging ethnic divides in southern Serbia. The team is based in Bujanovac, an Albanian-majority town near the border with Kosovo where different communities live side-by-side but lead largely segregated lives.

Romani designer in Hungary fights prejudice with fashion

On the outskirts of Budapest, the world’s only Romani fashion studio designs clothes with traditional Romani motifs. The brand’s founder Erika Varga hopes the clothes can help blaze a trail for Roma traditions and integration as well as encourage women in business.

Directors weigh in on streaming vs cinema

Filmmakers including Pawel Pawlikowski, Boots Riley, John Waters and “Roma” producer Nicolas Celis discuss whether films need to have a theatrical release to be eligible for Oscar nominations. (March 6)

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‘Roma’ neigbourhood in Mexico City celebrates Oscar wins

Hundreds of neighbours, gathered in a square in the Roma district of Mexico city which inspired the celebrated film by Alfonso Cuarón, jump from their seats, applaud and shout to celebrate each of the three Oscars clinched by Alfonso Cuaron’s love letter to his 1970s childhood, including that of the best director.