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  • 2017-06-02

    Human rights activist Rosa Taikon has died

    Yesterday we received the sad news that one of Södertörn University’s honorary doctors had passed away. Rosa Taikon was a figurehead in the struggle for Romani civil rights and a role model who advocated higher education for Romani. She also had a successful career as a silversmith. Rosa Taikon was 90 years old.

    Rosa TaikonAt the age of 33 she started a two-year course at Birkagården folk high school, after which she trained as a silversmith at Konstfack; a profession she chose in order to continue her father’s craftsmanship. She worked with rings, bracelets and pendants in modern interpretations of the Romani tradition. 

    She was awarded the Olof Palme Prize in 2013, with the motivation that she “personifies five decades of struggle for Roma culture and civil rights” and that her art has “enriched our society”. 

    Rosa received an honorary doctorate from Södertörn University in 2014, to honour her commitment to Romani culture and human rights. She was a lifelong advocate for Romani civil rights. Romani issues are an important element of Södertörn University’s activities, both in education and research about and with the Romani, as well as third stream activities. Romani Studies is a field that has increased in importance at the university over the last decade. 

    “We received the news of Rosa Taikon’s death with great sorrow. We remember her work for Romani rights and their access to higher education. Our decision to award her an honorary doctorate at Södertörn University was one way of celebrating her achievements. We wish to express our sincere condolences to her friends and family,” says Peter Dobers, Chair of the Faculty Board.

    Rosa Taikon after her lecture at Södertörn University in 2014