“I picked up a pen because I had to open myself, to scream.”

Ceija Stojka, 1933-2013

Ceija Stojka is born in 1933 in Kraubath, Styria (Austria). She is the fifth child of Karl Wackar Horvath and Maria Sidonie Rigo Stojka. In accordance with Romani law, the children take their mother’s family name. The Stojkas are from a line of horse traders, the Lovara, who came to Austria in two main waves of migration : from Hungary and Slovakia in the second part of the 19th century and, from Hungary again in 1956. Deported in March 1943 with her mother and her siblings at the age of nine, Ceija Stojka survives three concentration camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbrück, Bergen-Belsen. She is liberated on the 15th of April 1945.
At the age of fifty-five she breaks her silence and undertakes an extraordinary journey back into her memories. The result are several books of testimony and over a thousand works in ink, gouache and acrylic, on canvas and on paper : the remarkable achievements of an autodidact.
Stojka was the first Romani woman in Austria to bear witness of the camps and to speak out against denial and forgetting, against the anti-Romani racism pervasive in Austria and Europe.
The ensemble she left at her death in 2013 is like a giant journal in which paintings and writings combine to evoke the nightmarish experience of a child who lived through the Porajmos/Samudaripen, the Romani genocide.


Ceija Stojka International Fund

Purpose and goals

The Ceija Stojka International Fund was created in 2018 to contribute to the knowledge and international influence of the work of Ceija Stojka (1933-2013). Initiated by Lanicolacheur, the exhibitions in France (Marseille, Paris) “Ceija Stojka, a Roma artist in the century” produced by La maison rouge with the support of Antoine de Galbert Foundation and the Austrian Cultural Forum inspired and launched the creation of the Fund.
The Fund gathers personalities who since the essential encounter between Ceija Stojka and Karin Berger (author and film maker)in 1986 contribute to international recognition and promotion of her work. Ceija Stojka’s commitment as an activist, artist and spokesperson, has led to the study and the exhibition of her works in Europe, Japan and the USA. This was made possible thanks to a number of dedicated curators, experts, scientists and friends.

The main goals of the Fund are to:

  • Assist and advise rights holders in the artwork management
  • Reference and protect the artwork and the archives of Ceija Stojka
  • Have the art work discovered through exhibitions, publications, lectures, documentaries
  • Share and facilitate the research on Ceija Stojka and her work
  • Communicate on the international events and publications related to Ceija Stojka artwork

For information about exhibitions, lectures, donations or press inquiries, please contact us at info@ceijastojka.org
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Members

The Fund members are Austrian, German and French. Around Hojda and Nuna Stojka, son and daughter-in-law of Ceija Stojka, the Fund brings together personalities from the world of art and culture including collectors, filmmakers, journalists, exhibition curators, directors, photographers and academics. Members >


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