The Director of «Carmen y Lola» vetoes the presence of Gitanas Feministas


Translated by William Bila (La Voix des Rroms)

Arantxa Echevarría blackmails the feminist film festival in Pamplona to turning it into an accomplice in the propagation of racist, macho and oppressive stereotypes of Roma women.

Once again we attend (AGFD) and we watch the masks fall.

After being invited and confirmed by the organization to participate in the 32nd Pamplona International Film and Women’s Show (organized by the Women and Feminisms Area of the Institute for the Promotion of Social Studies (IPES) and composed entirely of women self-appointed as feminists) to comment on the film Carmen y Lola with its director Arantxa Echevarría…

What happened?

Well, one of the women responsible for the organization of the festival, called us to give us the latest news. The director of the film Carmen y Lola and her producer have banned us from the festival and have threatened to ban the projection of the film if Gitanas Feministas por la Diversidad participates in this table.

That is, the director refuses to contrast her work, her script recited by indigenous people to whom she says she gives a voice, with the Romani people themselves. She refuses to let the public see that our reality is much richer than her commercial caricature. What’s worse, she makes us up, she makes us bend our voice to her will, by “directing” us in her film and shouts “cut!” without leaving us any other recourse than silence. If at least we were talking about silent movies here! On the other hand, we have another production of superheroes, only this time the “super white woman” is behind the camera and we are the exotic, the sensual, the oppressed and the manipulated who comes to rescue our people from savages and villains, without letting us alter even a comma of her script. We are the latest model the inflatable doll to her.

Let me be clear, we had not imposed our presence in any way. We had been approached directly and insistently by the organization because we -as Gitanas Feminsitas por la Diversidad, were the ideal interlocutors in this conversation. And here we are, overnight and out of the blue, from indispensable to untouchable. All so a feminist film festival may share the spotlight with a Cannes’s selected film –even if it had been slated by the critics for its flat stereotypes. See for instance this Variety review.

Again, but without letting the stab hurt, the visible, racist and patriarchal threads articulated that systematically and historically seek to “take away” our voice, our body and tries to steal the show away from us is the object of our eternal resistance. The director of this film whose protagonists are Romani women and lesbians, prohibits the participation of the one and only Romani feminist organization in Spain and because of the diversity that exists in Spain, the feminists are defeated, betray their own and settle, as docile and complacent maids … it’s worse than a horror film! Can you imagine the screening a movie starring black women where they prohibit the participation of black women’s organizations? Of course, they are always on time to make themselves up like Gypsies to justify their choices while kissing up to the enemy.

After fitting the brutal blow of Eurocentric white feminism in these parts, our organization has decided unanimously to attend this prestigious feminist film festival, being very aware of the unfair position in which they place us. But we will also occupy that space reserved for us as uninvited secondary actresses. Back to “the Indian reservation.” In this scenario we will expose, without permission, our analysis of the film and it will have to be listened to, yes, we will do it from the stalls and with background noise.

We would greatly appreciate, very much, your echo of our voice in networks of social media and mass media in the denunciation and questioning of this fact. We ask this from those who do not have production companies or commercial outlets, nor the ability to blackmail or impose their script. Only the power of the word and the echo of your good words. We need the true feminist sisterhood of all those who believe and live a true feminism, which must necessarily be anti-racist.

See you next June 13 at the Pamplona Film Festival. To be continued!

Health, Freedom and Resistance!

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