Festival aims to build trust between foreigners and natives

After having shifted the attention to new minorities appearing in Slovakia, the 13th year of the “multicultural festival focusing on minorities”, fjúžn, aims to boost mutual trust.

The Superar choirThe Superar choir (Source: TASR)

The 2018 edition of the [fjúžn] festival will present foreigners and new minorities living in Bratislava between April 20 and 27. In a week full of concerts, exhibitions, discussions and community events, as well as activities for children at various locations, it will open to the “Slovak majority” the lives, culture, stories and traditions of people who are part of Slovak society despite coming from different backgrounds.

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Stand-up comedy, discussion, and more

Part of the English-speaking programme will be the stand-up comedy show Joke’s On You and discussion Apples&Hrušky, where LGBT+ identifying foreigners will share their experiences from Slovakia. Guests of the festival include Bahraini journalist Nazeeha Saeed – focused on human rights and freedom of the press – as well as Polish reporter Wojciech Górecki. Migration will be shown from different angles at the exhibition Women Who Stay, in which Noel Rojo and Magdaléna Vaculčiaková show stories of women from Mexico, Ethiopia and Senegal whose partners leave their country for work. A new artistic project by photographer Aleš Vojtášek will also be shown as an exhibition in public space.

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Fjúžn’s cooperation with foreign communities and community centres – revolving around the Day of Open Communities on Sunday, April 22 – has resulted in discussions, film screenings, workshops and traditional cuisine presented in KC Dunaj at Nedbalova 3 and several community centres.

In music we trust

This year, the festival is targeting the topic of trust – trust in institutions, in other people, and especially in people with different backgrounds and origins. Its stated goal, according to the organisers, is to combat fear and foster a feeling of safety and mutual trust.

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This can be achieved, among other means, through musical education and experience. Live concerts and club nights will introduce various genres, including a performance by children’s choir Superar and a special edition of an Internationals Bratislava party. Spanish-Argentinian band Colectivo Panamera will provide a warm-up for the festival on April 19, offering a journey along Latin America. They will be supported by Slovak dream-pop band Bad Karma Boy with a special guest.

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A special guest will also join the Slovak reggae band Medial Banana: rapper U-Cee, who is of Egyptian and Tunisian origin and grew up in Bavaria.

The concert [fjúžn] sounds will also bring a performance by an international band from the Czech Republic, TiNG. Their own eclectic style called “Praggamuffin” is inspired by reggae, ska, dancehall, drum’n’bass, swing, rock and hip hop.

For fans of innovative approaches to traditional music, cooperation with the World Music Festival Bratislava will bring a concert by Wilds Strings Trio and Dinovski&Schuberth.

[fjúžn] will host a special club event too, headlined by DJ Kutmah. The perceived father of the L.A. beat movement was born in the UK and raised in Los Angeles. Beside local DJs, he will be joined by Sofie, eclectic DJ of Austrian-Iranian origin.

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Another club night, on April 27, will be a collaboration with the Mäss project. The line-up includes DJ set by Lotic from Berlin-based collective Janus, and a live act by Soda Plains, an electronic producer from Hong Kong who grew up in the UK and now lives in Berlin.

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