“Creating a New Roma Identity”: TV Production as an Alternative Site for Identification and Identity Negotiation
Romani people are often portrayed through long-enduring cultural stereotypes in media, perpetuating myths of criminality, nomadism, and deviance. Such representations have received extensive analysis; however, additional work is needed on the responses by communities to these portrayals, including developing more diverse representations for Roma. Using a political economic analysis that considers the structures and practices contributing to the exclusion of Romani voice within media in the Czech Republic, this article examines the production of media by Roma, for Roma, as a critical intervention into an exclusive media environment through interviews with key community organizers and observations of various gatherings. This article emphasizes the tensions and opportunities of minority media production, paying close attention to how organizers identify media as a critical site to articulate belonging, which works in tandem alongside other activist efforts. At the same time, this article addresses the challenges of the media production including resistance by mainstream media, financial barriers, and the possible reification of marginality by a production that exists outside of the mainstream purview.