“Foreigners” born in Slovakia show their faces

Otherness can be smaller than we think, the photo project of Tomáš Halász and the Milan Šimečka Foundation shows.

(Source: Radka Minarechová)

“We tend to divide people into ‘us’ and ‘them’, but this is often based on our need to define ourselves in connection to something non-standard rather than our real knowledge of other people.”

This is one of the main messages Samuel Arbe, a Bratislava native with Somali roots, wants to share with others. He is one of six young people, born in Slovakia but with one or both parents coming from another country, featured in the photo project launched during this year’s [fjúžn] festival.

The photos within the exhibition titled Where Are You From? are trying to ask questions like what the background of these people means to them, where their home is, how they perceive themselves and what is their identity.

“As a child of Slovak-Hungarian parents, I’ve always been interested in the topic of identity,” photographer Tomáš Halász, who took the pictures, told The Slovak Spectator. He often asked himself questions like what defines and connects us as a nation and society, he added.

That it why the Milan Šimečka Foundation found a sympathetic ear in Halász with its project for the [fjúžn] festival, whose leitmotif is identity.

Related articleGet to know foreigners. Bratislava's Fjúžn festival has begun Read more 

The photos are installed in the streets of Bratislava’s Old Town during the festival. Arbe’s, for example, can be spotted on a roll-up banner under the pedestrian bridge between the main railway station and the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Hlboká Street, and the other is situated close to the SAV stop.

After the festival, the photos will travel the country, with stops in Trnava, Banská Štiavnica and Košice.

Open a dialogue

The generation of foreigners born in Slovakia, but with parents from another country, can be perceived as an invisible group, but is an integral part of Slovak society, said Anna Jacková of the Milan Šimečka Foundation, when talking about the reasons for starting the project.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: Foreigners in Slovakia


This article is also related to other trending topics: Bratislava, Countrywide events

Top stories

Kuciak’s boss: I'm 100 percent sure Kočner ordered the murder

Kuciak was not doing it for money but for a higher principle, said editor-in-chief of Aktuality.sk.

Ján Kuciak's colleagues

National court drama intensifies as polls raise alarm

The first week of the Kuciak murder trial saw key witnesses take the stand while polls do not rule out a far-right victory in February.

Peter Toth

Haščák said the message he got from Kočner was not about Kuciak

Two people have already been punished in the murder case.

Penta financial group partner Jaroslav Haščák was called forward to the court because of a message Kočner had sent to him prior to the Kuciak murder

President Čaputová: The path of hatred leads to tragedies and crimes

The president and the prime minister commemorated the inhabitants of Ostrý Grúň and Kľak killed during WWII.

The commemorative event in the village of Kľak.