Else Baker; Foto: Jarek Praszkiewicz

2. August 2021

Taikon – The Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter

Documentary about the Life of romani writer and activist Katarina Taicon. The documentary tells the story of how Katarina Taicon became a leading voice when the Romani people in Sweden

Katarina Taikon has been compared to Martin  Luther King. She was born in a tent, and came to change the course of  Swedish history. The story about the young girl who was denied  education, learned to read in her late twenties, and later became one of  the most read authors of children’s books in Sweden, is also an account  of the emergence of the modern Swedish welfare society – and the one  group left behind: the Roma minority.

”I don’t know how people will react to my book, all I know is that it’s the  beginning of a long struggle.”

With those words Katarina Taikon stepped into the limelight. The year  was 1963 and her first book, Gypsy Woman, had just been  published. This was also the start of her lifelong struggle for human  rights for the Roma in Sweden, aiming to provide access to education,  long denied, and the closure of the tent and caravan camps where  Swedish citizens of Roma background were forced to live.

Katarina Taikon’s struggle in the 1960’s was hugely successful, but she  also became the target of vicious attacks from politicians as well as  ”ordinary people”.

In the 1970’s Katarina Taikon started writing the autobiographical  series of children’s books about the young Roma girl, Katitzi. The  sequence became a huge success and was the most read children’s  books in Sweden second only to Astrid Lindgren’s international  successes Pippi Longstocking. A whole generation of children in Sweden  grew up reading the books about Katitzi.

The documentary paints a dramatic and vivid portrait of one of the most  important advocates of human rights in 20th century Europe, set  against the backdrop of the developing Swedish welfare state.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

Lawen Mohtadi, co-director, co-writer

Lawen Mohtadi is a documentary film maker, author, journalist and  publisher. She wrote the prizewinning book about Katarina Taikon – ”Den  dag jag blir fri”, which the film Taikon – the Untold Story of a Roma Freedom  Fighter is based on.

Filmography

Taikon – the Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter (2015)

Gellert Tamas, producer, co-director, co-writer

Gellert Tamas is a documentary film maker, author and journalist. Books  like ”The Laserman” and ”De apatiska” has been translated to more than 10  other languages and has been awarded, celebrated and debated. 

His documentary film ”The Laserman” was awarded with the swedish prize  Kristallen in 2005 and recevied an honarary mention at Prix Europa. That  year he also produced the documentary film ”Another Day”, about the  tsunami in Thailand. Tamas’ latest documentary is ” Imprisoned – The  Untold Story of Dawit Isaak” (2011, with Maria Magnusson)

The Laserman (2005)

Another Day (2005)

Imprisoned – the Untold Story of Dawit Isaak (2011)

Taikon – the Untold Story of a Roma Freedom Fighter (2015)

Statements anlässlich des Europäischen Holocaust-Gedenktages für Sinti und Roma

Erich Schneeberger

stellv. Vorsitzender des Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrums Deutscher Sinti und Roma und Vorsitzender des Verbands Deutscher Sinti und Roma – Landesverband Bayern

Timea Junghaus

Executive Director
European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC)

Adam Strauß

Vorsitzender des Landesverbandes Deutscher Sinti und Roma Hessen

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