‘It is hard to separate activism from art. These two activities merge, permeating and affecting each other… I can’t shout. I thought that what I can do is talk about my community, show how we see ourselves. And the tool I use is art.’

The work of Romani artist, educator, and activist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (b. 1978, Zakopane) addresses anti-Roma stereotypes and engages in building an affirmative iconography of Roma communities. Her work depicts everyday life: relationships, alliances and shared activities. Mirga-Tas’s vibrant textile collages are created from materials and fabrics collected from family and friends, which imbues them with a life of their own and a corresponding immediacy. Patchworks made of curtains, jewellery, shirts, and sheets, are sewn together to form so-called 'microcarriers' of history, just as resulting images revise macro perspectives.


Mirga-Tas’s portrayals take the perspective of 'minority feminism', which consciously advocates for women's strength while acknowledging the artist's cultural roots. Mirga-Tas was the official Polish representative at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 – the first Roma artist to represent any country. Her vibrant works offer a rare opportunity to see the Roma on their own terms, both as a contemporary community and as a people with a rich heritage.


Małgorzata Mirga-Tas’s first UK exhibition will take place at Frith Street Gallery in September 2023.

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Video: Culture.pl