Community Grapevine

Autumn is goose season in Slovenský Grob

For a gander at Slovak cuisine, the International Women's Club of Bratislava is sponsoring a "goose party" at the home of Mária Gáliková, in the village of Slovenský Grob near Bratislava. Roast goose, goose liver and lokše (the traditional Slovak pancake) will be salivatingly laid on and washed down with abundant drafts of burčiak at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Nancy Trautman, the event's coordinator, told the Grapevine that seating will be limited to 45 guests, but there may be openings "at the last minute." No goosing the wait staff!

AmCham to host Thanksgiving gala

The American Chamber of Commerce will throw a Thanskgiving feast from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight, on Friday, November 29, at the Reduta Restaurant on Medená ulica. AmCham secretary Martina Jankovská said 200 people are expected to attend the butterball bacchanal, including U.S. Ambassador Ralph Johnson, President Michal Kováč (who sampled the Puritan provender the two previous years), and "perhaps" Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar. Does the head legislator dig gobbler? "I didn't ask him, we shall see!" Jankovská giggled.

Along with the L-triptothane-rich fowl whose classic place in Yankee holiday-making has been so lovingly preserved by Norman Rockwell and the Mayflower Madame, a Dixieland jazz band will be on hand to rouse all present from their post-prandial stupor. Measure the impact of this musical and gastronomic cargo-cult by booking tickets with AmCham at Šafárikovo nám. 4, on sale for 1,000 Sk each November 4. Seating will be assigned, so coordinate well in advance. For further information, call Jankovská at 07/365-191.

VOCA opens office in Banská Bystrica

Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA) has established a regional office in Banská Bystrica with the arrival of the international organization's new regional coordinator for central Slovakia, Kris Wyse. VOCA's country director for Slovakia, Pavel Vajda, says Wyse will launch a new program to remedy economic and social problems in remote rural areas by joining with local institutions to promote "environmentally friendly tourism" and other alternatives to state subsidized aid. The new program will complement VOCA's long-standing mission to assist rural cooperatives and food-processing side-businesses.

Wyse will spend two years at her newly created post. For more information about the program, contact VOCA's Bratislava office at Kladnianska 37, tel. 07/522-2787 or 07/522-4194.

Economic Alamanac now in bookstores, on CD-ROM

Business wonks will be pleased to learn that the new "Economic Almanac of Slovakia," containing reviews of production, trade and service companies in Slovakia for 1996-'97, is now at bookstores in Slovakia. For cyber-economists the book's Austrian publisher, Compass-Verlag, has also produced a CD-ROM edition.

Independent journalism training in Košice

The Independent Journalism Foundation, which opened a Košice branch in January, has a schedule of fall programs to complement that of the Foundation's Bratislava center. At the Bratislava center are internet programs for journalists, a nine-week course on radio reporting, plus more cable TV training and design and layout workshops.

Andrej Zmeček, IJF's program director in Bratislava, said that although Košice has three independent radio stations, Mac TV, two local newspapers and the Syndicate of Eastern Slovak Journalists, Košice's center offers shorter courses than Bratislava's because, "we just don't have the money to pay for a full-time instructor."

Nevertheless, the center is sponsoring courses in editing and reporting, and business journalism. Also planned are radio advertising and cable TV workshops, sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency. For more, contact Gabriela Lacušová in Košice at tel./fax 095/623-2769, or Zmeček in Bratislava at 07/322-708 (fax 07/322-706).

Ceramic and wooden sculptures by the emigre Slovak-Hungarian artist Arthur Fleischmann (1896-1990) will be shown through November 10 at the exhibition hall of the Old City Hall in Bratislava. Fleischmann, who was born in Bratislava, studied in Prague and left Vienna in the late thirties to settle in Bali and later London, earned a unique and major reputation as a sculptor influenced by various cultures who remained faithful to his Slavic and Hungarian roots. The exhibit, which is sponsored in part by the British Council in Bratislava, features work from every period of Fleischmann's wide-ranging career-from terracotta sculptures made in Bali to abstract fountains rendered in plexiglass. For more information contact Katarína Martinková at the British Council at tel. 07/533-1185 or 07/533-1793.

This year's annual exhibition of the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts (SCCA) in Bratislava, "Interior vs. Exterior," or, "On the Border of Possible Worlds," brings together Slovak and Czech scientists, philosophers, and visual artists for an interdisciplinary workshop to explore a theme developed by the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. "This idea is extremely interesting and provocative in the new pluralistic world that we live in today," said the exhibition's curator at SCCA, Mária Hlavajová. Join the brainwork through October 31 at the old factory halls of COSMOS, Inc., at Radlinského 27, Bratislava. For more information contact Hlavajová at tel. 07/531-3316 or 07/531-6662.

On the subject of borders, another exhibition by SCCA at the Žilina Museum of Arts through November 24 explores the idea of "dialogue between east and west" in a work by two acclaimed conceptual artists. Titled, "The Corridor of Two Banalities," the piece, by British artist Joseph Kosuth and the Russian Ilya Kabakov, consists of 120 tables in a row. While Kosuth's half displays quotations of abstract philosophers in ornate Latin, glued by Kabakov to the scarred tops of the other tables are letters about the conditions at Russian housing estates by those who lived in them during communism. "Slovakia has always been on a border between capitalism and communism, [a fact] which brings a special quality of tension" to this exhibit, Hlavajová told the Grapevine. For more contact Iveta Pospisilová, PR manager at SCCA in Bratislava at tel. 07/531-3316

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (better known as UNICEF), is currently showing an exhibition of photos on the theme of children's rights until November 4. The roughly 50 photos of children from Africa and the developing world by UNICEF photographers, along with acryllic and oil paintings of children by Slovak artists, will be displayed with captions in English and Slovak. The annual exhibit has been on the road since 1990, with this year's latest stop in Athens, Greece. From Bratislava's Palffy Palac (at Panská ulica 19, next door to the British Council) the show's next destination will be Prague. For more call Zuzana Alnerová, of UNICEF at tel. 07/365-082.

The sixth annual Christmas Bazaar of the International Women's Club will host a high-rolling raffle at the Hotel Danube and a world-crossing concession of cultural crafts and cuisine in Bratislava from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 17. Slovak clothing from local consignment boutiques, indigenous crafts and gift-items from various embassies, and foods from China, Croatia, and South Africa will be there for the exotically inclined or merely hungry. As if that weren't enough, the winning raffle-ticket will spring for two at the Hotel Danube's Pressburg Restaurant, with the grand prize a pair of free round-trip air-tickets to "any destination in Europe" on the Bulgarian airline, Malev.

Last year's bazaar raised 200,000 Sk for Slovak charities including "Slovak Children's Hope," a civic association for neglected and abandoned children, and "Children at Risk," a foundation centered in Petrzalka to provide counselling for teenagers. Live it up and do the right thing. For more information contact Nancy Trautman at tel. 531-5954 or Gail Klevana at 531-3979.

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