title: 'Romanian immigrants Crime Artists' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    After London's Met Police released crime figures showing that one in three Romanians has been arrested, VoR's Juliet Spare talks to artists who are challenging today's stereotypes about the Romanian community in the UK. The arrival of immigrants from the Caribbean in 1950s Britain was met in some quarters with hostility. Violence erupted in some cities, stoked by fear and prejudice among white communities. Today these migrants are part of British life but a new scapegoat has emerged in the shape of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria Some politicians have expressed concerns about the impacts of opening up the labour market to Bulgarian and Romanian migrants in 2014. In a party political broadcast for Labour, Ed Miliband admitted the Government had made mistakes. But two Romanian artists – married couple Lia and Dan Perjovschi are in London to tell Britain that Romanians are nothing to be scared of. Dan Perjovschi says,“There will be no invasion, our lifestyles are very different, people are not happy to leave and I think the negative campaign is too much for what it will be, it will be small scale.” As artists they reflect on social and political issues and are examining the negative messages in some British media about Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants flooding the country in 2014. Dan Perjovschi says,“We are also artists and already international and we share so much of our art that I don’t feel just Romanian, I approach this subject as a citizen of Europe.” For the last 25 years the artist husband and wife team have displayed their work in galleries from New York to Berlin to London and Reykjavik and recently received the Princess Margriet of Netherlands award at a ceremony in Brussels. Lia and Dan hope their latest project will play a role in challenging stereotypical views of their community and while Dan Perjovschi paints a practical picture of Romanian cultural life, Lia offers solutions to the perception. Dan Perjovschi says,“Romanian society is very traditional; the goal is to have a home, have a family and live near your grandparents. 40% of Romanians still live in the countryside, so the concept when you move somewhere else is that you go out and work and return with money to build your home, people will not decide to leave Romania lightly.” “Individuals need to find solutions and not wait for politicians to solve everything. The planet is big enough for everybody.” Dan jokingly adds that “if the planet isn’t big enough, we have Mars…or the moon”,says Lia. According to the Institute for Research into Superdiversityat the University of Birmingham, the culture shock following the 2004 accession of immigrants is unlikely to happen again in 2014. And if Lia and Dan Perjovschi are successful in changing attitudes in Britain it will be less of a shock and more culture.

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