Alina Serban

Bucharest, Romania
18 months

Alina Serban is producing a revised version of her play The Great Shame, the first play solely focused on the history of Roma slavery, cast with predominantly Roma actors and directed by a Roma woman. She will tour in national theaters and mainstream festivals throughout Romania, engaging with local Roma and non-Roma populations. The play is part of an expansive cultural campaign, initiated by Serban, called Cultural (R)evolution, which aims to create space for Roma stories that problematize and shift discriminatory narratives around Roma while also advocating for the equal rights and treatment of the Roma people.

Serban is a Roma actress and theater director who became widely known through her feminist one-woman show, I Declare at My Own Risk, based on her experience as a Roma girl growing up in a traditional, impoverished Roma community. Since 2010, she has performed in films and plays carrying a social message in Romania and abroad. Winner of the Rich Mix’s Stories of London contest, Serban wrote and directed Home, a play investigating the challenges of being an emigrant in the United Kingdom. Supported by the Arts Council UK, Serban is part of the prestigious Tara Arts platform Black Theatre Live, which supports BAME (black, Asian, or minority ethnic) artists. Serban is also a member of the cast of Written/ Unwritten, a short film nominated for the 2017 European Film Awards.