Born to Wander: English-speaking theatre in Budapest

For years, the journey from Novi Sad to Berlin was the only way out of poverty and discrimination for the Roma of the Balkans. The play Born to Wander (The Journey / DROM) reveals the poetry and politics of ‘being on the road’ in the form of a sensationalist tv show with lots of humour, live music and film. The English-speaking international performance can be seen on 12  April in Átrium Film-Theatre in the programme of Budapest Spring Festival with the support of Budapest Goethe Institute.

Born To Wander (THE JOURNEY / DROM) is a collaborative theatre project with Roma and non-Roma artists and communities, in which an artistic platform to tell the stories of Roma, who went from the north of Serbia, through Hungary to Germany, is provided. What circumstances did they try to escape? Which difficulties did they face on their journey? What dreams did they have – and what happened in the end? Is there an end?

For Roma coming from the Balkans, the route from Novi Sad via Budapest to Berlin is often the only gateway to seek asylum in Germany. Over 1050km are passed in overcrowded, broken cars – or even on foot; leaving behind their homes and familiar roots, hoping for a better life. Through artistic residencies in the three cities, real stories of those who have attempted this Journey have been collected to become the basis of a stage production in cooperation of Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian and German artists.

The artistic result is THE JOURNEY / DROM, a show which destroys your expectations of what a Roma performance should be – full of humour, just the right amount of chaos, and some hard-hitting moments which touch the nerve of what it is like to be Roma in Europe today. Originally initiated by Per Aspera (Berlin), the project is developed together with RomaTrial (Berlin), Pro Progressione (Budapest) and Kulturanova (Novi Sad). The multicultural ensemble with artists from Serbia, Hungary and Germany will explore the poetics and politics of “being on the road” (Ando Drom), and examine how Roma identity and culture is performed today – including the on-going struggle against stereotypes and racism, which create social, political, and economic obstructions for them in every corner of Europe. Through this project, the artists act and advocate for a better representation and understanding of Europe’s largest minority.

Born to Wander (The JOURNEY / DROM) in Budapest can only be seen on 12  April 2017  at 7 pm in Átrium Film-Theatre ( 55 Margit körút, Budapest 1024) in the programme of Budapest Spring Festival with the support of Budapest Goethe Institute. It’s an event jointly organized with Pro Progressione Nonprofit Ltd. The project’s first work-in-progress performance was on the 8th of April – the International Roma Day – in Gorki Studio Я, Berlin with a more than sold out house (over 110 people showed up to a 75 seat theatre) and rave reviews from both the Berlin artistic community as well as some prestigious guests from the Roma political and activist prominence.

Theatre performance in English with Hungarian subtitles. Click HERE for details and booking!


Created and performed by: Hamze Bytyci, Mihaela Drăgan, Kristóf Horváth, Branislav Mitrović, Péter Zoltán Ónodi, Brina Stinehelfer, Liou Van De Havel

Music: M & M

Dramaturgy: Dina Dooreman, Veronika Patočková

Photography: Nihad Nino Pušija

Video: Zack Helwa, Tal Siano

Technical director: Tilman Agueras

Artistic director: Brina Stinehelfer