Ludvik Levacic, born in 1951, grew up traveling with his family and a caravan of Gypsies throughout the seven states of former Yugoslavia. To earn money for food and necessities the family played instruments for coins and repaired everything from umbrellas to bikes. According to Levacic’s oral history, the Romani people migrated from northern India during the 9th century and have settled in countries from eastern Europe to the Americas. He recalls that his people have been persecuted in different parts of the world for several hundred years. They have endured slavery, the Holocaust, sterilization, discrimination and much more.
While touring villages on the outskirts of Slovenia, BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE Co-Director Ross Oscar Knight met Ludvik Levacic. He is the Romani chief of the Kamence Village.
Read Knight's complete reflection on his website.
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Emory University Center for Ethics reports on the International growth of BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE with KNIGHT's influence
It began with a black T-shirt and a powerful phrase: “Beautiful in Every Shade”. The shirt is part of a grassroots empowerment campaign and international brand founded by Carlton Mackey, Director of the Ethics and the Arts Program here at the Center for Ethics. Knight has been actively involved in Beautiful in Every Shade since 2012 and works alongside Mackey as the project’s Director of International Initiatives.
His wearing the symbolic shirt while in Rwanda welcomed opportunities for thought-provoking dialogue on color complex discrimination and identity, a topic all too familiar to the African-American artist. Maja Ladić had been taking Knight on a tour of the Nyamirambo Women’s Center when their discussion first began. Ladić is a coordinator of various development projects like this local women’s center in Rwanda for the Mirovni inštitut (or Peace Institute).
by Kimberly Johnson
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