The glory of the Czechoslovak workers' state - Spartakiáda.
Long live and flourish the eternal and unbreakable friendship between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union! Long live Marxism/Leninism, the unconquerable weapon of workers worldwide! Stalin, Gottwald and Mao-Tse-Tung - our guarantors of peace! Full steam ahead with the new five-year plan!
Such ponderous slogans, once hung from buildings throughout the Eastern Bloc, will make a one-day comeback next Saturday at the Big October Socialist Revolution (VOSR) party at Bratislava's underground Duna pub. Those words (and many more) will emblazon the club's walls, framing Soviet flags and the stoney countenances of Lenin, Stalin and Gottwald, and setting the chic proletariat stage for an all-night party.
"The VOSR party is a chance for Slovaks to relive their memories and for foreigners to learn about our history," said Andrej Nikodem, Duna dramatic advisor
The decor will stretch back to October 1917, the date the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar, thrusting a new system of goverment onto the global stage. From there communism spread rapidly, as far west as Czechoslovakia following the second world war, only to be defeated here in 1989. Defeated but not forgotten.
For what Slovak could forget pioneer children (scouts) and blue-collar workers shouting Long live Marxism! while marching before tribunes of grinning government officials? Or the ominous and ubiquitous sickle and hammer hanging from walls, statues and roof tops. Or endless reports of labourers gladly toiling from dawn to dusk to do their part in the latest five-year plan.
A looped video projection will show the most famous of the communist pomp: happy comrades posing for the camera at May 1st parades, stoic top-ranking comrades getting down to work at official party meetings, the incomparably grandiose 'spartakiáda', the annual goverment gymnastics competition in giant stadiums.
At the the same time, an old gramophone will play a mixture of communist-era Soviet and Czechoslovak rock favourites, labour anthems and pioneer ditties.
The kicker will come shortly before midnight, when a woman dressed as Anna Kareninova, the title character of Nicolayevich Tolstoy's book, a compulsory read under communism, will perform a strip tease. The embalmed body of Lenin will be rolling in its glass case.
Tickets: Sk60 (including refreshment). Starts at 19:00. Galéria Duna (Duna Gallery), Radlinského 11. Tel: 02/5249-7006. www.duna.sk
By Zuzana Habšudová
5. Nov 2001 at 0:00