For the Slovak version click here.
What do we do and why do we do it?
For several years now, we have been inviting guests from the ICORN network to the [fjúžn] festival in cooperation with literárnyklub.sk. These are persecuted artists or journalists who have been given refuge in one of the participating cities. In the past, journalist Nazeeha Saeed, writer Mohammad Habeeb or cartoonist Khalid Albaih have visited Bratislava and introduced their work.
Together with partners from literárnyklub.sk and the Norwegian organisation ICORN, we decided to follow up on this regular and pleasant cooperation with the EMCA project - Empowering migrants through cultural activities. The project will allow us to include Bratislava to this international network of cities and welcome the first person who will be able to create freely and safely here.
In addition, the project will allow us to organise two years of the [fjúžn] festival in Bratislava and other Slovak cities and other interesting events.
More info (in Slovak) is available here.
literárnyklub.sk creates more than one hundred events a year. Their goal is to intensify contacts among all the players of literature life in Slovakia: writers, publishers, booksellers, book editors, translators, literary scholars and, of course, readers. The common theme of all the program cycles is the effort to strengthen the natural links between literature and other artistic genres, but also to connect them to a broader cultural and social context.
We have been cooperating with literárnyklub.sk for several years and we are fans of their many interesting deeds!
More info available here.
The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) is an independent organisation of cities and regions offering shelter to writers and artists at risk, advancing freedom of expression, defending democratic values and promoting international solidarity.
More info available here.
City of Bratislava
We have been in contact with several representatives of the city since before the start of the project, some also received the mentioned guests from the ICORN network during their visits to Bratislava.
With the help of the Department of Culture of the Bratislava City Council, the city's entry into ICORN is currently being prepared, and more detailed plans about the arrival of the first resident are being negotiated.
The project was launched by the festival Cez prah/Přes práh
This online festival took place on 15 November 2020, on the international day of persecuted writers. We have linked the themes of the persecution of authors in the past and today.
The festival was opened by today's dissidents - authors who do not currently have guaranteed freedom of speech and are often forced to flee their home countries. Nina Galanská, director of the Milan Šimečka Foundation, František Malík from literárnyklub.sk and ICORN executive director Helge Lunde, spoke about the international network of ICORN cities and the entry of Bratislava into it. The mayor of the capital, Matúš Vallo, also held a speech. Subsequently, journalist and activist Zamira Abbasova, poet Fatemeh Ekhtesari and cartoonist Mana Neyestani presented their work and experience.
A series of several interviews touched upon the freedom of speech and dissent in Czechoslovakia. Naďa Straková, Jan Novák, Daňa Horáková, Jolana Kusá, Martin Bútora, Jiřina Šiklová and Michal Kaščák accepted the invitation.
In addition to the interviews, a performance of the OLDstars Audience by Václav Havel appeared in the program.
On the occasion of the festival, a short film was created with excerpts from Milan Šimečka's book Light signals, in which he talks to his son Martin M. Šimečka through letters. The quotes were read by Martin Huba and Boris Farkaš and the video was artistically edited by Marek Moučka and Igor Jedinák.
Festival [fjúžn] in Bratislava
Thanks to this project, we were able to organise the 16th annual edition of the [fjúžn] festival in Bratislava. It took place from 16 to 25 September and, as usual, included more than 20 events of various genres.
Festival [fjúžn] on the road
Festivals on the road are smaller in size, but their content is as rich and diverse as [fjúžn] deserves. In the spring of 2021, we prepared a series of online festivals in Banská Štiavnica, Košice, Piešťany and Komárno.
In the autumn, we managed to organise live one-day festivals. We visited Trenčín and Nitra and experienced guided [fjúžn] walks, an interactive performance of Forum Theater and concerts by local bands.
World Refugee Day
One of the events through which we have for years been bringing migration and diversity closer to people is the World Refugee Day. In 2021, it took place at Tyršák in Bratislava.
“Empowering Migrants through Cultural Activities” (EMCA) is a project we have been working on since 2020 thank to the support of EEA Grants 2014-2021 and the state budget of the Slovak Republic.