Praxis Watch

Monday, 21 March 2016

On the Occasion of the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination

We are marking the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination by an interview with Natasa Tasic-Knezevic, the first Roma opera singer in Serbia and human rights defender ranked who OESCE among the most prominent Roma women in the world.

On racism, discrimination and importance of respecting each other’s differences 

- We should fight against discrimination and racism every day and every moment. The problem of discrimination lies in difference. Each nation and each nationality carry within themselves huge wealth and culture, and to accept difference it means to enrich oneself and one’s country in the best possible way. However, usually human vanity, greed and pride make someone feels more valuable than someone else. 

On inhibition, life struggles, lectures and dreams

- Schooling wasn’t easy for me and my sisters. At the entrance exam, I was advised to continue with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, because I had no perspective. There were no Roma in the opera, which is here still considered “elite" art. However, the God's will was obviously different, and later, as a student of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, and thanks to Jovan Cirilov, I met the Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, who helped me and financed my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Department of solo singing. Had it not been for her, I would have never enrolled in the Academy. 

On the status of women and gender equality

- The position of women in our society is disastrous. They are victims of continuous discrimination and domestic violence. It is even more difficult with Roma because of greater poverty. 

On consequences of child, early and forced marriages  

- Child marriages are violation of human rights, especially the rights of a girl to grow up and live normally. This usually happens because there is no choice or children are not given any option. Early marriages are not a tradition, but a consequence of the lack of a better choice. If we were given the choice, everything would work out.  

Read the whole interview: We Should Fight against Racism and Discrimination Every Day and Every Moment

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action