Council of Europe honors director
Director Elmas Arus was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Prize.The jury of the Council of Europe Raoul Wallenberg Prize awarded its first-ever prize to Elmas Arus, a young Roma film director from Turkey. The 2014 prize recognizes Arus’ outstanding contributions to raising awareness about the conditions of the Roma people in Turkey and elsewhere.
“The hard work carried out by Arus, with courage and perseverance, is a truly impressive contribution to the fight against deep-rooted prejudice and discrimination suffered by Roma populeated an hour-long documentary on the challenges of the different Roma groups in Turkey. Subsequently, Arus established the Zero Discrimination Organization, which has paved the way for other similar groups: there are now over 200 Roma associations in Turkey. Her work has played a crucial role in the elaboration of the Turkish government’s “Roma opening” policy of 2009.
The award ceremony of the prize, which is 10.000 euros, will take place on Jan 17, 2014 at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg.
Between 2001 and 2010, Arus and a group of volunteers from her university visited more than 400 Roma neighborhoods in 38 cities in Turkey. They produced 360 hours of documentation.