Aréna mimes play for refugees refrefugeescamps

Mime actors from the International Institute for Movement in Bratislava, also known as the Aréna Theatre, recently returned from a 10-day visit to the Kosovar Albanian refugee camps in Macedonia, where they held performances for the refugees.
The trip, which lasted from May 21 to May 31, was called "We play for Kosovo Children" and was sponsored by the theatre company as well as by UNICEF. Twelve international mime artists from Slovakia, France, Germany and Austria travelled to the camps, along with two Slovak students from Trnava's University of Saint Cyril and Methodus, who prepared a documentary about the experience.


Milan Sládek, director of Aréna Theatre in Petržalka.
photo: Courtesy of Aréna

Mime actors from the International Institute for Movement in Bratislava, also known as the Aréna Theatre, recently returned from a 10-day visit to the Kosovar Albanian refugee camps in Macedonia, where they held performances for the refugees.

The trip, which lasted from May 21 to May 31, was called "We play for Kosovo Children" and was sponsored by the theatre company as well as by UNICEF. Twelve international mime artists from Slovakia, France, Germany and Austria travelled to the camps, along with two Slovak students from Trnava's University of Saint Cyril and Methodus, who prepared a documentary about the experience.

The actors said they found the experience both moving and disturbing. "The children and adults in camps were like paralysed people, who can spend their whole days sitting in front of their tents. Especially the children tried all the time to touch us, they so needed physical contact," said Milan Sládek, the director of the Arena Theatre, in the Slovak daily Národná Obroda. Simona Lovasová, a mime actress from Aréna Theatre, added that she didn't expect such a reaction from the refugees. "It was beautiful as well as painful," she said.

The tour will return on June 12 to play more performances.

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