Plan for the workshop

This is a plan for the workshop I conducted with Roma women.



Four activities can be completed in one or more than one sessions.

Roomani Kulkarni MFA Design / Illustration Sheffield Hallam University




-Introducing yourself.
What kind of person are you? Happy, enthusiastic, optimistic, poetic, free, hard working etc.
-Give cutouts from magazines, news papers etc. to use it to make a composition that explains your personality and choose any one word that goes with the composition and your personality.
-Cutouts with different coloured images and words.
Blank A4 sheets
Breaking the ice
Fun activity
Written English practice



-Introducing by showing the girls a drawing (of a family/family tree) asking them to guess what it is.
-Ask them to then draw their family.

A family tree


Blank sheets (A3)
Getting in to expressing thoughts on paper




Telling a story through illustrations (e.g. My happy place) What is happy place, what makes it your happy place (sound/smell/memory etc.)

Blank sheets (A4, A3)
Pencils, pens, eraser
Colours (crayons, water colours, colour pencils) Objective:
Getting more serious with drawing



Drawing a portrait of a friend and creating a conversation (comic strip style) based on any topic of conversation between them using speech bubbles/thought bubbles. (This activity will be done in pairs.) Material:
Blank sheets (A3)
Pencils, Pens
Colours (Crayons, colour pencils, water colours)
Cutouts of speech bubbles and thought bubbles
Developing communication skills
Communicating through drawings
Building conversation skills
Building up confidence


Workshop sessions in the Youth Centre, Page Hall

After discussing the idea of a workshop with A Sheffield city council member, I got an opportunity to work in Youth Centre, Page Hall. I conducted couple of sessions with Roma women.

Although workshop sessions were about drawing, focus of these sessions were to encourage Roma women to talk in English and in general have conversations about their issues, teach them basic rules and regulations in the U.K. in simplified way and provide them solutions on their issues if possible.


Cultural exchange through art.

Letting British people know Roma culture and let Roma people know British culture using drawing as a medium of communication.

Art is a common language between both the cultures

Ask communities to get engaged in showcasing different aspects of their culture.

Conduct a workshop about drawing.

Telling your own story : Encouraging people to narrate story.


Filling the communication gap between Roma community and other communities living in the same or nearby area using art and culture as a bridge.

Since Romani community has a great tradition of art, use Romani art to let other communities know more about Romani community.

Chain of issues

I observed an interconnected chain of problems. It starts with fear about Roma people and Page Hall. Because of fear, there is less interaction and poor communication between Roma and other communities. Limited communication gives birth to assumptions and rumours about Roma people which builds negativity about them in people’s mind. The negativity brings us back to fear.

Problems I thought existed in Page Hall, Sheffield

Working on low daily wages and temporary contracts

Since Roma people have always been travelling, they never paid attention to education. Hence they don’t find jobs and are often working on temporary daily wages jobs which are usually not enough to support their families.

Living in low conditions and poverty

With limited money, Roma people are often unable to find houses that can accommodate their family which results in to them living in very poor conditions.

Overcrowded houses

Since Roma people can not afford big houses and live with extended families, their houses are mostly overcrowded with many people sharing one room.

Health issues because of living situations

Because of overcrowding and lack of education, Roma people tend to ignore the health-care practices and end up with poor health.

Lack of education

This is a starting point of all the problems that Roma people face. Lack of education often causes because of poverty. Hence it is an interconnected, neverending chain of problems

Filthy roads and area around their houses

Most of the Roma people have lived and made their way through horrible conditions of living and made their way to United Kingdom looking for a better life of living. But going through many social and economical changes and trying to adjust themselves to the surroundings, makes them ignore issues like keeping their surroundings clean.


Roma includes wide variety of communities from eastern Europe. For example, Roma, Sinti, Kale, Dom and Lom and wide diversity of tribes who call themselves gypsies. (Alan Anstead)

There is wide range of Romani groups. For example, Bergitka Roma, Polish highlanders, Roma and traditional nomadic groups such as Polska Roma, Lovara, Kelderani etc.

For many years Roma people have lived in different societies with different cultures. Romani have always been living as a minority population and hence their culture is vanishing as a result of cultural separation from majority groups they live in.

A strong internal structure, habit of living in a group and rules create a big boarder between Roma and non-Roma people.

Even though it may look like it, Roma people are not insensible to their surroundings.

Will guy: “Romani culture as such, understood in a broad sense,
is not a unique and isolated entity, in spite of it’s characteristic elements, but rather arises out of and is a response to the nature of the symbolic relationship between Roma and the wider majority communities on which they have always depended for their livelihood” (Guy 2001)


Currently Europe and United Kingdom are going through a problem that is caused because of migrants from east and eastern European poor countries like Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. Major part this migrating population is Romani community. Romani people are travellers. They are believed to be originated in north of india around 700 years ago. Since then they have been travelling. Romani people travel in search of jobs, good place to live in and a better life. Their image in United kingdom has always been negative because of many factors like the way they live, their habits etc. They have always been ignored when it comes to social, political or economical problems. Inspite of all this, they have unique place in United Kingdom because of their defined identity, culture, traditions. (Alan Anstead)