Katarina Taikon (Katharina Maria Taikon, Katarina Taikon-Langhammer, 1932–1995), Kaldarash Romni and the sister of the jeweller Rosa Taikon, was a prominent activist and leader of Romani civil rights movement in Sweden. She was also an actress and writer known mainly for the ‘Katitzi’ book series.

Taikon’s main activities were aimed at securing the civil rights of Roma in Sweden. Through political activism, media campaigning and writing, she raised the issue of the conditions in which Roma were living and their lack of access to education and housing, among other issues.
Taikon‘s first book, Zigenerska, describes her own life and provides an insight into the life of the Swedish Roma and their position in society. Realising that stereotypes among the majority population could hardly change without addressing younger audiences, Taikon decided to write children’s books based to a great extent on her own experience as Romani child who spend some time in orphanage. The very popular and successful ‘Katitzi’ series was the result of that decision.

Katarina Taikon is often called the ‘Martin Luther King of Sweden’. In 2015 a documentary about her life was released.

Selected bibliography (first editions)

Taikon, Katarina. 1969. Katitzi. Tyresö: Zigenaren.

Taikon, Katarina. 1963. Zigenerska. Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand.

Taikon, Katarina. 1967. Zigenare är vi. Stockholm: Tiden.

Taikon, Katarina. 1969. Katitzi. Tyresö: Zigenaren.

Taikon, Katarina. 1970. Katitzi och Swing. Stockholm: Gidlund.

Taikon, Katarina. 1971. Katitzi i ormgropen. Stockholm: Gidlund.

Taikon, Katarina. 1971. Katitzi rymmer. Stockholm: Gidlund.

Taikon, Katarina. 1972. Katitzi, Rosa och Paul. Stockholm: Zigenaren.

Taikon, Katarina. 1973. Katitzi i Stockholm.. Stockholm: Zigenaren/Grafisk konsult.

Taikon, Katarina. 1974. Katitzi och Lump-Nicke. Stockholm: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1975. Katitzi i skolan. Stockholm: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1976. Katitzi Z-1234. Nacka: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1977. Katitzi barnbruden. Nacka: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1978. Katitzi på flykt. Nacka: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1979. Katitzi i Gamla sta’n. Nacka: Tai-Lang.

Taikon, Katarina. 1980. Uppbrott. Nacka: Tai-Lang.

Picture book editions twith illustrations by Lisbeth Holmberg-Thor

Taikon, Katarina. 1981. Katitzi, det brinner. Stockholm: Bonniers juniorförl.

Taikon, Katarina. 1981. Katitzi kommer hem. Stockholm: Bonniers juniorförl.