World Artist Institute WAI
How to build an institute of world artists? Every great artist institute has to start somewhere. Maybe I would start by looking at what it is that most of us individual artists have in common. I think the word here might be persecution. If we have not shown ourselves willing to join the side of money and power, we will struggle throughout our lives against a huge wall designed to keep us out. In order to keep fast to our right to express our truth and our art, we face persecution from all sides. We will be persecuted by government and educational and corporate elite and will receive no share of the funding given to compliant art societies who are able to keep their members under control.
Then I think of another group of people who have faced tremendous persecution in this world. Who have been more persecuted in our world than Roma? Just imagine being an artist and Romanian too, I thought to myself. Since I would gladly trade my art for bottles of Romanian wine, why not go to the land of that wine and see what is happening with Romanian artists. I found ERI.
This sounds good, but what about individual artists? Are they able to make a living? Do they work for bottles of wine?
Maybe my use of the word Roma should be Romanian or Romani. Maybe the word Sinti also needs a place. I admit that I am no expert on Romani, Roma, Sinti or the art made to tell us about them. At least one such art-piece exists in Germany
Another term is Gypsy.
I do realize that Gypsy is considered a much frowned upon term these days, Romany or Traveller being more acceptable, but what if Gypsy is the word you grew up with? What if your granny had told you that Gypsies were honourable, hard-working people who cared deeply for their children? Does that make a difference? If persecution in some places offers people no way of feeding their children, does name-cleansing really help them?
And not everyone shuns the word Gypsy, even today. I don’t know whether she was an artist but I found a story about a Queen of the Gypsies in Miridian, Mississippi