Raising the Velvet Curtain starts to promote Slovak art in Britain

A series of events will be running for a month in four UK cities.

Slovak director Tereza Nvotová at a press conference in Bratislava, talking about her movie Mečiar, on October 11, 2017Slovak director Tereza Nvotová at a press conference in Bratislava, talking about her movie Mečiar, on October 11, 2017 (Source: TASR)

Tens of thousands of Slovaks have moved to the United Kingdom since November 1989, when the Velvet Revolution occurred and communism fell. Yet, Slovak culture does not seem to be well-known to the British public to date.

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Translator Julia Sherwood decided to introduce a new generation of Slovak writers and artists to audiences in the UK, in cooperation with the Slovak Embassy in London and the Slovak Arts Council (FPU), as reported in the press release.

The “Raising the Velvet Curtain” cycle offers presentations, performances, and discussions with renowned writers and filmmakers from Slovakia to Brits and international communities living in Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

The events will be held from October 22 until November 29.

Slovak writers in English

Slovak literature will be represented by four authors: Balla, Ivana Dobrakovová, Uršuľa Kovalyk, and Zuzana Kepplová.

Balla will be promoting his latest book, Big Love, which comes out on October 22. His debut, In the Name of the Father, was published in 2017. Balla is one of the most translated Slovak writers and is a triple finalist of the Anasoft Litera Prize.

Dobrakovová will be talking about her book Bellevue, which also drops on October 22. It is her very first book translated into English. She also earned the European Union Prize for Literature laureate in 2018.

The Night Circus and other stories, published in April 2019, will be promoted by Kovalyk, also a playwright. The book itself is her second piece translated into English. Apart from writing, she founded a theatre and directs plays in which the disabled and homeless people perform.

Zuzana Kepplová, a writer and journalist, will take part in the November 27 discussion at Dash Café, in the Rix Mix arts hub in London. She often writes about the young generation of Slovaks living abroad.

Performances by Slovaks

Slovak culture will also be presented by actor and director Tereza Nvotová, who will take part in the discussion at Rich Mix on November 27. She debuted with her film Špina (Dirt). Nvotová recently premiered her documentary Mečiar, about Slovakia’s controversial former prime minister. She is now working on a TV miniseries based on the Convictions. My Life with a Good Communist book.

Sláva Daubnerová, actor and director, will perform on November 4 at Rich Mix with her Solo Lamentoso performance. She often uses new media and body movements in her performances. Her London act will be based on a singing house from the town of Štúrovo in the south of Slovakia.

The Slovak dance performance will be represented by Soňa Ferienčíková, who will present her Everywhen act on November 28 at Rich Mix. The performance will bring music, dance and 3D animation together.

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