On June 5, the fourth Ethnocafe event took place under the United in Diversity project. In the Central Foyer of the National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” the joint book of Prof. Dr. Hristo Kyuchukov and the writer Maria Kasimova-Moase “The Roma Woman and the Second World War” was presented. Even the title refers to the current topics of the Roma, women, the Holocaust and the Second World War. The small book includes biographical and artistic parts, photographic material and a foreword and conclusion by Hristo Kyuchukov, in which he brings to the exhibition part of his family’s ancestral memory of the Second World War.
Ch. assistant Dr. Plamena Stoyanova presented the book. She shared her observations, emphasizing that among the women included in the book, there is no representative from Bulgaria because of the Law for the Protection of the Nation. She also shared the optics of the texts in the book. They portray women not as victims, but on the contrary.
Marcho Apostolov read an excerpt from “Noncha” – a monologue based on the biography of Alfreda Markowska – Noncha from Poland, written by Maria Kasimova-Moase. Hristo Kyuchukov shared that it was Noncha’s death in 2021 that prompted him to publish this book. He contacted Maria Kasimova-Moase to write artistic texts about some of the women in the book. The author shared her excitement in writing the three monologues included in the publication and the good that taught her the biographies of the three women she wrote about. Hristo Kyuchukov also spoke about the silence of Roma women who were sent to camps because of the humiliation of having their hair cut off, which in the Roma value system is considered an extremely humiliating act.
The publisher – Mr. Zhivko Kushev, owner of Paradigma publishing house – also spoke about the book. The audience also mentioned the performance based on the monologues of Maria Kasimova-Moase in “The Roma Woman and the Second World War”.
During the event, the book The Roma Women and the Second World War was distributed for free. The book was financed by Roma activists Yanko Yankov and Yotko Rangelov.
You can follow the entire conversation on the YouTube channel of the National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. The next “Ethnocafe” event under the “United in Diversity” project is scheduled for October.
Photos: Stefan Rangelov