A video as part of the Call the Witness Roma Pavillion.
01.-03.06.2011, Palazzo Zorzi UNESCO Venice Office Castello 4930, Venice.
In this film, the simple and poetic gesture of Roma children starting small fires in which to burn mounds of white poplar fluff implies a promise—the promise of renewal. Some are street kids, some have a family and some do not, some have a home, some are nomadic, and some just squat a derelict house without a roof. Occasionally the mesmerising play of the children leads the fire to consume a tree, and then fire fighters rush to extinguish it, leaving the burned trunk as a black drawing on the sky. This yearly ritual performed by kids is a metaphor for the spark that sets the existing order on “fire,” and leads to a change. The sparks and small fires in the film symbolically suggest associations with many things—they could be the fires in the French banlieues in recent years, the perpetually deported and repatriated Roma people through out Europe, anti-war protesters against the invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan around the globe, or this year’s uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East—all of which point to the hope of a more equal world. (Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor)