The Two Faces of Condition
Part of “Resistance is a Girl who Changes the World” series
Performed by Raisa Mihai
Resistance is a Girl who Changes the World - a video monologue series, as part of the cultural international project Stories of Girls’ Resistance. The series showcases the inspirational, complex, and unfiltered stories of the girls that fight back and imagine better worlds for them and the societies in which they live. These stories are brought to life through video art, music, theatre, poetry, and other forms of creative documentation. These 3 (of 11 in total) video monologues are produced by the Giuvlipen theatre and performed by Roma artists.
This is the fifth episode of the video monologues series "Resistance is a Girl Who Changes the World", based on the story of Yumzhana from Buryatia. Yumzhana is a student at the International University of Mongolia, studying fashion design.She paints, she launched her brand of clothing 2 years ago and she is an eco-activist. Her story is one where feminism, spirituality, buryatian culture, art and ecology intertwine and take the shape of a fabric ready to be painted as a sign of cultural resistance.
“The tourists that come to Buryatia see only a small part of our culture and they fetishize it. Everyone who travels here wants to sleep in the yurt, the tents where Mongolian nomads used to sleep. For us, this is something common, but for tourists, this is something exotic. It’s the same with art. Subjects related to ethnicity are very popular. Foreigners usually buy these paintings not because they’re interested in the culture, but because they look exotic. And that’s not okay.
Our culture means much more than these things and I want my art to have access to public institutions in order to destabilize the domination. For me, my art and feminism are, to a certain extent, one and the same.”
She was finalist for the 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award from New York, and in 2020 she was 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. Her performance “Roma Futurism” has been showcased in multiple art spaces such as: the Museum of Contemporary Art from Belgrade; FutuRoma – the collateral exhibition at Venice Biennale; the Critical Romani Studies conference at Central European University in Budapest and the Romanian Cultural Institute in London. In the same year she was acknowledged by PEN World Voices International Play Festival 2018 in New York as one of the ten most respected dramatists of the world.
In 2021 she exhibited her first video installation “Future is a safe place hidden in my braids” divided into 3 short films that depict futuristic rituals for healing transgenerational trauma of Roma people and project a safe future for the community.