Bronisława Wajs (born 1908 or 1910, died 1987), better known by her Romani name Papusza (meaning ‘Doll’), was a Polish-Romani poet from the Polska Roma group of Roma people.
Never schooled, she learned reading and writing all by herself, both in Romani and Polish, and became one of the most known, if not THE most known Romani poet. She wrote her poetry in Romani, and the prose in Polish.
Read more about her HERE.
Filming is under way on a biopic of Papusza, the legendary post-war Gypsy poet who was rejected by the Roma community after being lauded by Poland’s literary elite.
Veteran film-maker Krzysztof Krauze, who describes the project as “an epic story,” has cast amateur Roma actors for the film.
“They are fantastic actors,” he told Polish Radio.
“They are very friendly, full of life and open-minded,” he enthused.
“We tried to treat the Gypsies as a nation in this film, and not as just a source of colourful folklore,” he added.
The drama will move between the poet’s birth in 1910 to her husband’s death in 1970.
“We will show pogroms, war, forced settlements, and harassments by the police,” Krauze revealed.
“Such a tale about the Gypsies has never been told before,” he said.
Papusza (Bronislawa Wajs-Papusza) was discovered by writer Jerzy Ficowski, who spent time living among the Roma following World War II.
As a veteran of the official WWII Polish underground army, Ficowski was at risk of arrest by the communist authorities, and between 1948 and 1950 he travelled with the Roma.
Ficowski is being played by Polish actor Antoni Pawlicki in the film, while celebrated poet Julian Tuwim, who helped promote Papusza, is being acted by Andrzej Walden.
(Burry Me Standing-Gypsies and Their Journeys-Isabella Fonseca)
FONSECA; author and journalist. She lived between Gypsies like a Gypsy for 4 years and wrote this book. She tells the story of a forgotten society. She explains how could Gypsies survive despite they face discrimination and oppression for centuries.
The most interesting part of the book for me is about lifestory and struggle of the Gypsy girl, Papusza.
PAPUSZA was a member of a Gypsy family travelling with caravans. She had a strong passion to be educated. She learned reading and writing from someone in exchange of a stolen chicken. She had a secret library in process of time. One day, her family saw her reading a book. They beat her… However she didn’t give up. She continued to read and write. She wrote about places they travelled around; about interesting incidents they lived. (Bloody tears) (Our experiences under German oppression). She told about porrajmos and jews who share a similar destiny with Gypsies. Her poets were published in a newspaper named (Problemy).
FICOWSKI, a polish author. He is author of one of the most important books written about Gypsies. He was one of the supporters of the goverment policy to settle 15000 Gypsies after the war. Ficowski knew Papusza and according to him, she was an ideal for all Gypsies. She was a participant and supporter of changing process of Gypsies according to Ficowski. Polish socialists wanted to creat a nation state ethnically homogeneous. This was the reason why they founded an office to solve “Gypsy” question. The office worked until 1989. They started a program named “Big Stop” which targets to settle down Gypsies. However most of Gypsies were against the program. Because they believed that their trational life will dissappeared with the program. Papusza was one of the people who want to change tradional life of Gypsies according to many conservative ones. This was the reason why she was declared a traitor. However, she targeted happiness of Gypsies. Each sides of the discussion misunderstood her. Papusza burned most of her poets and articles. She sent a letter to Ficowski to stop publishing her writings. However her writings continued to be published.
The highest authority of Polish Gypsies Baro Şero judged her. She was stigmatized as mahrime, unclean. She was expelled from society.
Papusza lived in a bedlam in Silesia for 240 days. Then she lived alone without communicating with people for 34 until she died in 1987.
I closed the book angrily when i read these sentences. I dreamed Papusza. I cried thinking the Gypsy gir alone, with her terrible pains.
My dear brother Ali Mezarcıoğlu. My mind is confusing about the sides of this story. Which Gypsy is right Papusza or Baro Şero as the leader of a society which was planned to be assimilated?
With my best wishes my dear brother.
(source: Çingenelerin Sitesi)