”They wanted to bury us, but they did not know that we were seeds”, is the strong message of a young Roma activist from Spain who made possible the appearance of an artistic image that portrays a Roma woman in a mural art project in Madrid.
Who is Estefanía Ruiz Molina?
Estefanía Ruiz Molina is a Roma young feminist and artist from Murcia, Spain. She studied Social Integration, specializing in social intervention and mediation. She later moved to Madrid where she began studying psychology while working for the Municipal Housing Company as a social integration technician and mediator. She continued to expand her knowledge and specialize as a technician in gender violence, which led her to work in different resources for women and single-mother families who had suffered GV. What led her to currently work as a designer in a renowned protest brand in Madrid and to be able to have invested that experience in creating her own protest brand.
The artist had founded in 2020 the first Roma antiracist brand that has a role of reclaiming the Roma proudness and human rights. Her brand, called Mil duquelas, appeared in less than a year its products in more than 20 countries. Due to Mil duquelas’s support, she carried out an artistic project emphasising the struggle and resistance of the Roma women in a historic area of Madrid. The goal of this project was to empower Roma women and shed light on the huge importance of Roma women representation in urban art. This work made history as it was for the first-time exhibiting Roma art by a Roma artist in Spain.
The creation of the mural had met lots of challenges, mainly from authorities. However, after huge efforts, Estefanía manged to create a design of a Roma woman and the Roma wheel in the heart of Madrid, which later was painted by professional muralists. Her work was appreciated all around art galleries including in a symposium of art and human rights organised by the University of Washington in 2021.
The mural message is a strong message for the Roma people to value their resistance and power to continue. “They wanted to bury us, but they did not know that we were seeds”.
Estefanía said that:
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