Patrin is the old word for the signposts travelling Romany Gypsies left for their travelling fellows – a bunch of twigs tied to a tree etc. These signposts were the language of travellers, maps and stories shared by a European ethnic community. The recent emergence of GPS technology and websites such as GoogleMaps and flikr now enable people across the globe to share photos on maps, thereby helping us see how we are part of the global community.
The aim of this project is to work with Romany communities in the East Midlands to create a contemporary form of patrin. Photography, sound art and these new mapping technologies will be used to develop signposts showing Romany life over a year, highlighting how it is a living culture, an ethnic culture embedded in the fabric of the nation state. The project is about preserving the heritage of gypsy communities in the East Midlands, at this pivotal moment in time.
The Patrin Project will be working in partnership with local Gypsy group from Lincolnshire and Derbyshire to
1. To bring the many positive aspects of cultural history of the Gypsy community in the East Midlands to a wide audience
2. To enable members of the East Midlands Gypsy community to create a lasting heritage for their traditional
way of life that is rapidly disappearing, in order to inform and be enjoyed by future generations
3. To impart digital media skills to participants in order to allow them to take control of their own representation
4. To train participants to research archive, museum and library collections and to make relevant material
accessible to a greater audience
5. To create a web-hub where members of the Gypsy community can create an on-line meeting point that
includes images, sounds and maps of their lives at the present time, as well as archival material
For more information about the project please visit the Patrin site at http://www.patrin.org.uk