World Artists Initiative "Khetanes" started its website in October 2010. The site was initiated by Els de Groen, writer, poet, journalist and former Member of the European Parliament (2004-2009), where Romani issues were one of her priorities. In less than a month, 100 artists and scholars joined the website. Many more would follow. September 2014, we exceeded 1000 members from over 50 countries.
In Summer 2011, Khetanes became an official foundation. Its statutes had been translated into English by Niko Rergo, writer, lawyer and lecturer from Odessa, Ukraine. Dr. Ian Hancock and Santino Spinelli joined the Main Board. Paul Rafferty became secretary. Els was the only non-Romani Board member.
Also the Daily Board (30 people) mainly consisted of Roma and Sinti.
The logo of the Initiative was designed by artists from the Italian EveryOne Group.
However, the official status of a global foundation did not result in grants. In vain we applied for grants from European and international institutions. The Council of Europe and the European Commission invited us as speakers (2011, 2012) at their conferences, but did not financially support us. After all our new status only implied extra cost.
That is why, in 2013, it was decided to dissolve the structures and to continue as an independent network. This process is described under the Subtab "Khetanes New Style".
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