Draft Resarch Plan

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The main focus of my research project is experimenting with animation, and narrative techniques to create a series of animated shorts addressing the effects that stereotyping, and prejudice has on the Romani of New Zealand. This focus intends to generate discussion and add a unique New Zealand Romani perspective to scholarship, alongside the more accessible medium of animated film.

Research background and questions

An academic text which is of import to the shaping of my approach is the Journal Article ‘Challenging Anti-gypsyism in Academia’[1], in which author Mirga-Kruszelnicka discusses the importance of adding Roma

ni voices to scholarship to create a more balanced discourse surrounding the Romani Ethnicity. Alongside the Journal Article, ‘Maybe it is prejudice … but it is NOT racism’: Negotiating racism in discussion forums about Gypsies.’[2] By Goodman, and Rowe, which supports my thinking that the many stereotypes and prejudice mentalities affect all Romani, including those of us who live in New Zealand.

During my preliminary investigations, I have viewed several Romani inspired animations, with offer a rich insight into the Rom, and basic overviews of our history. However, there are none with a New Zealand perspective. Below is a screenshot of the animated short, ‘Gypsies, Roma, Travellers: An Animated History’ made by the Open Society Foundation. This film offers a quick, but informative overview of where the Romani people first originated and touches on some of the racism and prejudice the Romani people are still subjected too                                              

Fig 1Fig 2

In conjunction with the main research questions, there are several other paths of research that I will follow to support my thinking and enrich my practice. I will explore the ways Gypsies are portrayed in Media and film, to discover how these beliefs are received by the general public, looking at the ownership of the word Gypsy, if it’s a derogatory word, and if it should be allowed to be used in business names in New Zealand. How can I use animation to challenge the marginalised and romanticised idealisation of the Romani people? How can I create an open dialogue that educates people about Romani’s place in society? And how can I use my Romani voice to add to the production of knowledge in a way that will be beneficial to all my people?  Answering these questions will lead me closer to crafting a narrative, and an animation technique that will best convey my message regarding the Romani ethnicity.

Research methods

To approach my research, I am using several different methodological frameworks: Ethnographic Research, Hermeneutics, and Phenomenology. These methodologies work well together to achieve successful analysis of the Romani Ethnicity as an Ethnographic approach will aid me collecting data regarding the Romani of New Zealand as an Ethnic group, allowing me to draw connections between social interactions, beliefs, motivations, and perceptions. Hermeneutics encompasses linguistic and semiotic interpretation and symbolic communication about culture. Phenomenology, similar to ethnography covers a more in-depth method of inquiry at an individual level.[3]

The methods I will be using are relating to these methodologies and include Visual and Qualitative Research. For Visual I will be assessing visual culture around media and film, and the importance this plays in the lives of both Romani, and non-Romani. Visual connoisseurship to source the influences of existing media. Material Cultural Study, to provide insight into the relationship the viewer has with the medium of animation, and the Romani Ethnicity, and semiotics, studying the connection between the narrative, and the meaning. For Qualitative I will be reading Case Studies such as looking at the academic text and autobiographical books. As part of a comprehensive study of the Romani Ethnicity, I will be conducting both semi-structured and in-depth interview with Romani living in New Zealand, this will require me to seek approval from the Ethics committee, as I will also be observing how the fit within New Zealand’s wider society. I will also be consulting Oral history, along with my tacit knowledge from being of Romani decent myself.


I am spending time considering the best way to create a narrative in a way that communicates to everyone the Romani perspective. Part of this is considering what the word ‘Gypsy’ really means, to others and also to myself. I have been working on the storyboard for a way I can visualise the word as an actual thing, and how different people might interact with it, changing the significance and meaning as it changes context. Below is an example of how I am framing my idea for this.

                              Fig 3                                                   Fig 4

Schedule of work

My Research plan allows for the creating for not only my physical product of animation but the writing of significance that can be added to aid in the furtherance of knowledge production in scholarship. As I am completing my Master Part time I expect my research to be conducted over the next three years. However I am to have the Ethnographic, and Phenomenology approaches completed in the next 18 months, so I have enough time to focus on the creation of an Animation of high quality so that I can do my research subject matter justice.


‘(1) New Zealand Skeptics’. Accessed 24 March 2019. https://www.facebook.com/groups/nzskeptics/permalink/10155901718157761/.

‘(1) Our Place Aotearoa New Zealand – Posts’. Accessed 24 March 2019. https://www.facebook.com/MomentsinAotearoaNewZealandOurHome/posts/2324885044414792?__tn__=-R.

‘9781902806303: Stopping Places: A Gypsy History of South London and Kent – AbeBooks – Simon Evans: 1902806301’. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.abebooks.co.uk/9781902806303/Stopping-Places-Gypsy-History-South-1902806301/plp.

‘A Socio-Linguistic, Phonologic, and Pragmatic Analysis of Irish Traveller Linguistics in Guy Richie s Snatch 12/14/ PDF’. Accessed 3 April 2019. https://docplayer.net/70407322-A-socio-linguistic-phonologic-and-pragmatic-analysis-of-irish-traveller-linguistics-in-guy-richie-s-snatch-12-14-2015.html.

Bay_Times, Annemarie Quill Annemarie is the magazine’s editor at the Bay of Plenty Times annemarie quill@nzme co nz @. ‘Unruly Tourists Fallout: Move to Ban Word “gypsy” from Kiwi Business Names’, 7 February 2019, sec. Business, Bay of Plenty Times, The Aucklander. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12201841.

Design, AUT Digital. Words Are Things (2017) Emily Ramsay, 2018. https://vimeo.com/264921961.

Fonseca, Isabel. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. New Ed edition. Vintage Digital, 2011.

Goodman, Simon, and Lottie Rowe. ‘“Maybe It Is Prejudice … but It Is NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Discussion Forums about Gypsies.’ Discourse & Society 25, no. 1 (January 2014): 32.

‘How Offensive Is the Word “Pikey”?’, 11 June 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7446274.stm.

‘Is-England-Fairer-2016-Most-Disadvantaged-Groups-Gypsies-Travellers-Roma.Pdf’. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/is-england-fairer-2016-most-disadvantaged-groups-gypsies-travellers-roma.pdf.

Matthews, Jodie. The Gypsy Woman: Representations in Literature and Visual Culture. I.B. Tauris, 2018. https://pure.hud.ac.uk/en/publications/the-gypsy-woman-representations-in-literature-and-visual-culture.

‘Member of “rude” Travelling Family Pleads Guilty to Theft’. Stuff. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109952990/member-of-rude-travelling-family-to-appear-in-court-on-theft-charges.

Mirga-Kruszelnicka, Anna. ‘Challenging Anti-Gypsyism in Academia’. Critical Romani Studies 1, no. 1 (13 April 2018): 8–28. https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v1i1.5.

Moger, Laine. ‘Facebook Cracks the Whip on Kiwis Using the Term “Gypsy”’. Stuff, 3 February 2019. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/110310307/facebook-cracks-the-whip-on-kiwis-using-the-term-gypsy.

Muratovski, Gjoko. Research for Designers : A Guide to Methods and Practice. Sage Publications, 2016.

Nyika, Ruby. ‘How a Burger King Outing Ended in Deportation for “unruly” Tourist Family’. Stuff, 28 March 2019. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/111579758/how-a-burger-king-outing-ended-in-deportation-for-unruly-tourist-family.

pushapencil. ‘The Problem with “The Original Gypsy Fair” and Mr Jim Banks’. True Romany Blog (blog), 2 March 2019. https://trueromany.blog/2019/03/02/the-problem-with-the-original-gypsy-fair-and-mr-jim-banks/.

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‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – IMDb’. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116583/.

‘Theorising Social Exclusion’. Accessed 8 April 2019. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/eds/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzI4OTk1Ml9fQU41?sid=c34d4f3e-eef3-40ee-9e39-9e35c93f2e7b@sessionmgr4009&vid=1&format=EK.

‘Unruly Tourists: How New Zealand Visitors Became the Enemy of a Nation’. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/pacific/how-one-family-became-the-national-enemy-of-new-zealand/news-story/04efedf917418beea9e560ce2aa621de.

Usti, Ecole. Blog: Lety u Pisku. 2016. Photograph. https://ecoleusti.wordpress.com/.

‘“We’Re Not Gypsies, We’re Not Irish” – Family at Centre of New Zealand Beach Video Issued Deportation Notices’. Independent.ie. Accessed 8 April 2019. https://www.independent.ie/world-news/australasia/were-not-gypsies-were-not-irish-family-at-centre-of-new-zealand-beach-video-issued-deportation-notices-37717454.html.

Wetherell, Margaret, and Jonathan Potter. Mapping the Language of Racism : Discourse and the Legitimation of Exploitation. Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992. http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05020a&AN=aut.b10750162&site=eds-live.

[1] Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, ‘Challenging Anti-Gypsyism in Academia’, Critical Romani Studies 1, no. 1 (13 April 2018): 8–28, https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v1i1.5.

[2] Simon Goodman and Lottie Rowe, ‘“Maybe It Is Prejudice … but It Is NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Discussion Forums about Gypsies.’, Discourse & Society 25, no. 1 (January 2014): 32.

Fig 1 screenshoot Simon Goodman and Lottie Rowe, ‘“Maybe It Is Prejudice … but It Is NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Discussion Forums about Gypsies.’, Discourse & Society 25, no. 1 (January 2014): 32.

Fig 2 Screenshot Simon Goodman and Lottie Rowe, ‘“Maybe It Is Prejudice … but It Is NOT Racism”: Negotiating Racism in Discussion Forums about Gypsies.’, Discourse & Society 25, no. 1 (January 2014): 32.

[3] Gjoko Muratovski, Research for Designers : A Guide to Methods and Practice (Sage Publications, 2016).

Fig 3 Thumbnails by Emily Ramsay

Fig 4 3D model by Emily Ramsay