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Spell 1: Tehno-vrăjitoarea | Texno-drabarni | The TechnoWitch | Mihaela Drăgan

14th April 2021

This work is part of the performingborders 2021 commission Spells for a border town (retrocedare) by Diana Damian Martin.

Audio in Romani and Romanian. Transcript in English and in Romani and Romanian below.

Texno-drabarni (Romani)
Tehno-vrăjitoarea (Romanian)

Spell 1: The TechnoWitch
Mihaela Drăgan

The girl asked me to read her fortune, she wanted to see the future. I saw the memory of her pain, for both of us, the past was flowing through our veins faster than the rivers that used to drown our ancestors, killed by their owners.

I did a Tarot reading and I saw our future. More real than reality itself, I was shown those who came before me. We sought our future deep in our roots to understand our mission. I saw myself in the girl’s eyes reflected like in a mirror. We were one. And then I saw: a heavy rain that shall be cast upon us with drops of fire which will sweep the earth, and nothing will ever be the same. What seems to stand still will be fleeting. What seems strong will be weak. What seems to be a spark will become a great fire. And then ashes. I saw. 

Neither the rivers nor the seas will drown us as they did during slavery.

The power that we have gained in all these years of oppression

Will not let us sink in the depths of the waters

We will create a new world from the dust we carry on our wandering feet after our long journey to freedom.

We are the movement, we are the wave that swallows, the fire that annihilates, the roars of the persecuted whom we never forget.  

We never truly died when they thought they killed us.

We never truly burned when they thought we were ashes. 

The water never truly swallowed us when they thought they had drowned us.  

Chaje, I read your fortune to dispel your worries, the enemy shall not win

When the power of the darkness of your skin defeats him, then you will know that you are not alone.

When his white skin values nothing, you will know you are the Warrior

Tear down the forces that hold you back from your destiny of rebellion. 

You are the Revolution.

You are lit by the thousands of flames kept ablaze for you by those who came before you.  

You are their dream – those buried with those before you, in their earthy graves

Your name is liberation.

Go and show them the way, you are the Leader. Together with our sisters, you shall control our destiny, our story shall not be erased. 

Hide witchcraft in the locks of your braids, and when the wind blows, let it carry the strands of your hair as far as they can go. They will be the seeds that will blossom into the Techno-Witches. We will proliferate through the power of our magic. We will multiply through the means of our technology. Our people will not die.

The time has come to show the world the beauty of Mother Kali’s people

Understand the help of the darkness.. There will be peace

You are never alone, you are part of a greater plan, bigger than all of us. 

The future belongs to you. Use the gifts they left us. We are not a cursed people like the white man lies made us believe.

We are the bringers of change. 

Do not fear the brutal words within your fragile heart, use your rage to create the future. 

I look at you and I see survival. I read of your power in the cards. You are the Liberator 

It is time to let our ancestors rest in peace. I saw baxtale Romas in the future. It is time to reach the next level. We are with you. And we are many. The future is ours.

Texno-drabarni / Tehno-vrăjitoarea 
De Mihaela Drăgan 

scris pentru lucrarea sa video ”O Avutno Vaxt Si Ek Than 3anglo Garabdo Ande Me Ciurienθe”/ ”Future is a safe place hidden in my braids„

Traducere de Steluța Slate

I ćhaj avili te drabarav laqe and-el lila, kamelas te ȝanel pesqo avutno vaxt. 

Fata a venit să îi ghicesc în cărți, voia să știe viitorul.

Diklem laqo dukhavipnaso godisaripen, o nakhlo vaxt thavdelas amenqe 

maśkar o rat e dujenqo,

I-am văzut amintirea durerii, trecutul ne curgea prin vene amândorura,

 maj sigo sar  el paja kaj tasavelas e amare butphuren, mudarde e rajenθar.

mai repede decât râurile care îi înecau pe strămoșii noștri, uciși de proprietarii lor.   

Drabardem laqe and-el lila thaj dikhlem amaro avutnes vaxt.

I-am dat în cărți și am văzut viitorul nostru.

 Mai ćaco sar o aka-nutno vaxt, kerdias manqe dikhle kodola anglal manθar.

Mai real decât realitatea, mi s-au arătat cei de dinaintea mea.

O nakhlo vaxt thabde-las and-o amaro korpo kaś te kerel than andar so avela te avel. 

Trecutul galopa în corpul nostru ca să facă loc pentru ce va urma.

Rodăm amaro avutnes vaxt and-el phuvale rizá kaś te arakas amari mísia.

Ne-am căutat viitorul în rădăcinile adânci ca să ne aflăm misiunea. 

Dikle man and-el jakha e ćhajaqi sar and-I jekh dikhlin, semas jekh.

M-am văzut în ochii fetei ca într-o oglindă, eram una.

 Thaj kerdias pes dikhlo: ke avela jekh baro briśind e jagale suslença kaj dela jag e phuváqe thaj kanći na maj avela sar anglal. 

Și mi s-a arătat: va veni o ploaie mare cu stropi de foc care o să mistuie pământul și nimic nu va mai fi ca înainte.

This commission is a part of the performingborders 2021 programme. The full commission by Diana Damian Martin can be seen here: Spells for a border town (retrocedare).

Mihaela Drăgan is a multidisciplinary artist with an education in theatre who lives in Bucharest and works in several other countries. In 2014, she founds Giuvlipen Theatre Company,  for which she is an actress and playwright, together with other Roma actresses. She also works in Berlin as an actress for Maxim Gorki Theatre, Heimathafen Neukölln, Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg. She is also a trainer at Theatre of the Oppressed, working with Roma women in Romania and has also worked with refugee girls in Germany.

She was one of the six finalists for The 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award from New York, an award which acknowledges the exceptional work of 20 theatre women around the world. In 2020 she is nominated again and she is the recipient of the Special Award of the League. In 2018,  Drăgan was a resident artist in Hong Kong at Para Site Contemporary Art Centre where she was developing Roma Futurism – that lies at the intersection of Roma culture with technology and witchcraft. Her performance “Roma Futurism” has been showcased in art spaces as the Museum of Contemporary Art from Belgrade; at FutuRoma – collateral exhibition at Venice Biennale; at Critical Romani Studies conference at Central European University in Budapest and Romanian Cultural Institute in London. In the same year is acknowledged by PEN World Voices International Play Festival 2018 in New York as one of the ten most respected dramatists of the world.In 2019 is one of the playwrights selected for the acclaimed Royal Court Theatre International Summer Residency in London where she wrote a science fictional play about a future utopian society of Roma witches who control technology and fight neo-fascist politics in Europe. In 2021 she exhibits her first video installation ”Future is a safe place hidden in my braids” divided into 3 short films that depicts futuristic rituals for healing transgenerational trauma of Roma people and are projecting a safe future for the community.

Diana Damian Martin is an artist and researcher, working at the intersection between writing, politics and performance. Her work concerns alternative critical epistemologies and feminist modes of exchange, interventionist and political performance and the ecological and representational poetics of migration, with a distinct focus on Eastern Europe.Recent collaborations include performing borders, The Albany, Dansehallerne, The Wellcome Collection and Tate Modern. She co-hosts The Department of Feminist Conversations and Something Other, and co-runs the Serbo-Romanian critical cooperative Critical Interruptions, artistic research committee Generative Constraints and is a core member of Migrants in Culture. Her recent publications include (states of)wake: Dedicating Performance and Critical Interruptions Vol 1: Steakhouse LIVE. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Performance Arts at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and once appeared in an issue of Private Eye, where her work was described as obscure, impenetrable and unclear. Twitter: @DianaADamian

Featured image credits: Diana Damian Martin

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