Artist as a facilitator.

“Lupta Femeilor – Women’s Fight” is a project that originated from the wish of the Roma women who have migrated to Finland from Romania. The starting point for artistic cooperation was to build a multidimensional image of Roma women, who are often subjected to prejudice, racism and xenophobia, together with women. Roma women stand out of the crowd which makes them vulnerable and easy targets of public hatred. Romanian Roma women face discrimination, inequality and extreme poverty both in their home country and in Finland. That’s why for example begging has become a way of survival.

My way of working with a 7-person group of women was inclusive and guided by women’s own hopes, needs and skills. During the first workshop it became clear that the women want to tell their stories and become seen in a new light in Finnish society. In respect of this wish I facilitated the process and created short documentary (10 minutes) and series of portraits. The women photographed their everyday life for a week and these photographs will be seen in the upcoming exhibitions as well.

The name of the project, “Lupta Femeilor”, which is Romanian and stands for women’s struggle, was born as a result of women’s own ideation process. We listened to the stories of women about having to sacrifice for the sake of children, to build a better life for the next generation, the discrimination experienced at home, the subordinate position of women in Roma culture and the violence perceived in everyday life. The process has been based on facilitation and art-based methods.

“Lupta Femeilor – Women’s Fight” will be exhibited in Cultural Centre Caisa, Helsinki, Finland in October 2019.

This project was executed together with Producer Anna Miettinen and The Hirundo Centre which is a day centre for the traveller population in Helsinki, Finland.

Teaser: Love, Hate, Life – Her Perception

Copyright Katriina Haikala 2019

Women’s photographs


Elena Dima, Maria Caldarar, Iona Silion, Gina Stanescu, Mariana Dinu, Rodica Isabella Avram, Gabriela Bancuta