Culture shorts

Documentary about Kazakh family wins

SLOVAK documentary filmmaker Jaro Vojtek won the main prize for his My Zdes (Here We Are) at the documentary film festival held in Lublin, Poland from March 28 to April 1, the Sme daily reported. In the movie, Vojtek tells the story of the Krnáčs, a family of Kazakh Slovaks, who returned to Slovakia after 40 years in Kazakhstan.

"I thought I was dreaming. My film was screened only at the end of the festival and the next day I already had the prize," said Vojtek.

Jaro Vojtek worked on the film for four years. The inspiration arrived from journalist and documentary photographer Andrej Bán, to whom the Kazakh Slovaks turned when they did not know where else to look for help. The film showed the discouragement and disillusionment common among immigrants, but it helped the subjects of the film, and in the end Dimitrij and his family received Slovak citizenship.

The film was particularly helpful to Dimitrij, the father of the family," said Bán. He was the only one who did not have the documentation of a Slovak living abroad, because he is of Bulgarian nationality. He was just extending his temporary stay here in Slovakia and would have had to wait five years to be eligible for Slovak citizenship. But there are some exceptions in the law. The Culture Ministry regards the movie My zdes to be a considerable contribution to Slovak culture and because Dimitrij is its main character and thus in fact an actor, he was able to get citizenship earlier.

Producer Dávid Čorba hopes that the film will be released on DVD later this year.

Bratislava for All

Bratislava Zoo is the first in Slovakia to have white tigers.
photo: SITA

THE BRATISLAVA municipal government is organizing the fourth annual Bratislava for All event for April 21 and 22. The event is about developing open communication and good relations between the city and its inhabitants. During these days, entrance to the Bratislava Zoo, Botanical Garden, Bratislava City Gallery, City Museum and Devín Castle is free of charge, and visitors can take a ride on a historical tram. Ice rinks in Dúbravka and Nové Mesto, the swimming pool at Pasienky, as well as other sports venues, will also be made available for free, and premises usually closed to the public, such as the St Jacob Chapel at SNP Square will be open.

The event starts the evening of Friday, April 20 with the International Festival of Choirs in the concert hall of the Klarisky Church and Jesuits' Church. The Coronation Festivities in Bratislava exhibition, a selection of graphic works from the collections of the Bratislava City Gallery, will open in Mirbach Palace the same day.

On Saturday, Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský will hold an open house for anyone interested in meeting him or other representatives from the city's municipal government. Visitors can also take a look at their offices, as well as other official spaces in the Primate Palace.

Music is always an inseparable part of the event. The Pressburger Klezmer Band will play on Saturday at 17:00 in the Summer Reading Room at Červený Rak. Marián Varga and the Moyzes Quartet will perform at Devín Castle the same day, at 20:30. On both days, children from artistic elementary schools will perform at Pálffy Palace at Panská 19, at Mirbach Palace at Františkánske Square 11 and in the courtyard of the Old City Hall. On Sunday between 13:00-17:00, concerts by Czech and Slovak world music and folk bands Kamelot, the Czaldy Waldy Quartet, the Pressburger Klezmer Band and Hrdza will take place to mark the beginning of the summer season at the Partizánska Lúka recreation area.

Glass artist receives Bavarian prize

Slovak artist Zora Palová works principally with molten glass.
photo: TASR

ZORA Palová, one of the leading glass artists in Slovakia, received the Bavarian state prize for exceptional creativity in her work with glass at the 59th international fair Internationalen Handwerkmesse, which took place between March 8 and 14 in Munich, the TASR news wire reported.

Apart from glass works, Palová is engaged in architecture and installation art.

Palová, born in 1947, studied at the Academy of Creative Arts in Bratislava under Professor Václav Cigler, in the department of Glass Architecture. Since 1996 she has held the position of research professor in glass at the University of Sunderland in Great Britain.

She works principally in molten glass with kiln moulds, taking full advantage of the large-scale possibilities offered by this technique and her contribution to the contemporary glass movement has been in this context. Her work is included in public collections in Bratislava and Rotterdam and has been shown at numerous exhibitions in Germany, Holland, Italy and the USA.

By Jana Liptáková

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