Roxy. Berlin. Revolution (EN)

Article in GERMANArticle in ROMANES

*** GLASO PORTRAIT SERIES | published by Deutsche Welle X***

For Roxanna-Lorainne Witt (27) poverty, terror and Moria are symptoms of capitalistic exploitation and discrimination. We can only heal together, she says, except the climate-change will kill us before.

As a Sinteza and daughter of a single-parent mother it became clear to her quite early, that financial status and her ethnical roots will have a strong influence on her life. In that context her politization startet already at home – with the question why „poor“ and „rich“ exists. When she was 17 she was reading Karl Marx, questioning systems and structures of exploitation. One sentence from the communist manifest shall be her company forever: We have „nothing to loose but our chains.“ 

Its clear to her that civil disobedience has led to important developments and changes in history. A citizens critical attitude towards the ruling authorities is fundamental for a vital democracy – thats why she can´t count the number of demonstrations she saw:„ I demonstrate because I want to change something – and because it feels good to see that there are also other people who are ready to act and go out on the streets.“ 

Roxy is expert for the topic of radicalization – it mainly happens on digital channels. She is convinced that we leave the field of social media to the foes of our common European calues. The impact of social media is stil underestimated: „We need our own, democratic propaganda. Anti-democrats and radicalized groups occupy these rooms.“

Roxy refers to the recent elections in US: “The way Trump used social media (esp. Twitter), for spreading desinformation, will be an example for others in the future. Instead of accepting the electoral result with grandeur, he chooses to damage the trust in the democratic process and the legitimity of elections on the whole.“

This is how democracy is underminded and led to absurdity via desinformation and anti-democratic propaganda. This propaganda is spread by groups who actively lever out our basic democratic values, she analyzes from her perspective as radicalization-expert and states:

“We need a European democracy. Maybe even a global democracy. We should question who makes profit from the system of nations and state-borders.“ 

To her it is obvious that some politicans awarely heat up negative emotions. Even if terror often claims to focus on nationality or religion, it always is „an attack on the whole of society and its values.“ 

Despite of that people who flee and register as refugees carry the stigma of beeing a potencial terrorist since years, allthough they run away from terror and war. Roxy is recalling the stories of her grand-parents, who where chased as „Zigeuner“ during the Holocaust. Something like this doest arise in one day. There are many pre-stages, many borders that have to be enlarged, many taboos that have to broken, many voices silenced, before such a thing can happen

„The first step is when people are deprived of humanity, their rights and dignity is denied. My grandparents thaught me that we have to treat humans with humility.“

When Roxy is looking at Moria she can´t not see any humility. „It seems we havent learned anything from history.“ It makes her sad and angry to see how stranded, fleeing people are framed as a „risk“, while they are starving and freezing.

The way we cope with the past and the presence should transorm just as people, , as society is transforming.“, Roxy is convinced. We still need places serving the suvirvors and desendants as spaces of grief and common remembrance – physical memorials shall be a „historical refence to responsibility of the state in the future.“ Ideology does not matter in that context: Ideology is one of those chains we have break.“, she says. 

These places of encouter in Roxys mind are transcultural end emission-free buildings of empowerment and transdisciplinary education in the future. The fact that these spaces work ecologically self-sustaining is quite important to her as she has a diploma in biotechnology. She knows a lot about urban gardening, water treatment and how to care for our natural ressources – but Roxy only mentions this by the way – just like the fact that she is building up an online-academy for Sinteze and Romnja and that she is also active for the „Black Lives Matter“ Movement. 

Thats also because the originally quite introvert Roxy had to learn slowly how to raise her voice, how to put herself to the center. Today her voice is strong, unmistakeable, demanding and passionate – without the chains she has blown up many years ago. „F*** White Supremacy“ she blars and then clarifiies:“I think that also people who live in priviledged positions are not feeling fine.

We all feel that we live in a world where chances and ressources are not fairly divided. The psychosociological condition of our society is being ignored.“ 

Recently Roxy is founding an organization fighting for intersectionality, empowerment, and digitalization. As the development of society a transgenerational process, Roxy identifies the youth as engine of progressive developments and emancipation – and even it takes a little bit longer – the revolution will come for sure, she is convinced and quotes Pablo Neruda:“ You can cut down all the flowers, but you can not stop spring.“ 

In the far future Roxy sees herself with her own family, children, grand-chilren. Also  then, she will be still art of the revolution: “One day, in a certain age, I will fight less and then I will help others to set theirselves free“.

Info Protagonistin

Roxanna-Lorraine Witt wurde 1993 als Kind einer Sinti-Familie in Minden, Deutschland geboren.Aus dem Biotechnologie-Studium wechselte sie ins Dokumentations-und Kulturzentrum deutscher Sinti und Roma, wo sie bis Januar 2020 das Bildungsreferat leitete. Sie forscht derzeit freiberuflich zu Monitoring und Radikalisierungsprozessen im Netz und arbeitet gemeinsam mit anderen Aktivist;innen an der Vereinsgründung von „save space – Verein für Intersektionalität, Inklusion, Digitalisierung und Jugendkultur“. Sie ist Mitgründerin der Plattform „RomaSintiWireOnline“ und zuletzt Mitorganisatorin der Protestaktion in Berlin zum Schutz des Mahnmals der im Nationalsozilismus ermordeten Sinti und Roma Europas.


Read this article in GERMANarticle in ROMANES

See all Portraits of the GLASO Portrait Series

See futher portraits published by DW x Romblog in cooperation:

Dalibor. Bosnia. Democracy

William. New York. Confidence.

Roxanna Lorraine Witt

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