SPECTACULAR SLOVAKIA WEEKLY

Slovak Billie Eilish supports LGBTI people on live Polish TV

Sports, travel and culture stories about Slovakia in one place.

Wrapped up in a rainbow flag, Slovak singer Karin Ann performs "babyboy" on a national TV broadcaster in Poland.Wrapped up in a rainbow flag, Slovak singer Karin Ann performs "babyboy" on a national TV broadcaster in Poland. (Source: Twitter)

Hello. This week, we are covering a Slovak singer's rainbow flag scandal in Poland and Slovakia's version of Stonehenge in the Tatras region.



Slovak Billie Eilish's rainbow flag scandal in Poland

She did not stick to the plan of "just" singing her latest single babyboy and went on to make a gesture in support of the LGBTI community during a live TV broadcast in Poland, not realising how big a scandal she was about to cause.

The 19-year-old Slovak singer Karin Ann, who has been compared to Billie Eilish on several occasions, made a splash in Poland two weeks ago for her controversial performance on the breakfast programme "Pytanie na śniadanie", broadcast by the Polish national TV station TVP 2, when she dedicated the song to the LGBTI community and wrapped herself up in a rainbow flag.

"I want to dedicate the song to the LGBTI community in Poland…You deserve love, you deserve to be safe. I am with you…," she had said before she started singing.

The conservative Polish government has long been criticised for its anti-LGBTI policies, including the controversial establishment of LGBTI-free zones in Polish municipalities.

A week after Karin Ann's performance, Telewizja Polska (TVP) sacked the editor of the programme Radosław Bielawski, calling the singer's action a "planned occurrence."

"Karin Ann used her performance as an opportunity for her own campaign, causing discomfort to many viewers and at the same time drawing the programme into an ideological dispute," the channel told Wirtualnemedia.pl.

The singer said she did not mean to cause trouble for the editor and hoped other stations would soon offer Bielawski a job.

"I do not think it is okay to fire someone just because I exercised my fundamental right to freedom of speech," Karin Ann, who ended her tour around Poland on July 28, told Onet.pl.

OTHER NEWS FROM THIS WEEK:

  • Eighty paintings by Slovak artist Edmund Gwerk are being exhibited in a Banská Bystrica gallery until early October.
  • A new automaton clock celebrates the mining history of Banská Bystrica.

  • The new Na dreve maľované (Painted on Wood) museum has been opened in the village of Čičmany. Decorated folk chests from Slovakia and the Czech Republic are among the items on display.

  • The western part of the Danube Limes is now listed on the World Heritage List.

  • Five beech forests in eastern Slovakia have been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.


Stonehenge of the Tatras

It took three men 10 years to confirm the existence of a megalithic construction serving as a "calendar" near the town of Kežmarok in the Tatras region, which has already been dubbed "Stonehenge of the Tatras."

As the TASR newswire writes, the adventure of the men from the Nezdolný Vrch organisation began soon after they came across a photograph featured in a book written by local historian Nora Barátová, in which five large boulders are depicted.

"We managed to find the place near Kežmarok where five boulders originally stood," said surveyor and cartographer Rastislav Ferulík.

The first mention of boulders on the Michalské pole field near Kežmarok dates to 1725. Similar boulders are believed to have been located on Jerusalem Hill near the town as well.

Ferulík added that they gradually clarified the function of the construction, which ancestors used for time orientation. The trio also created a functional "Tatra calendar", which should be valid for a thousand years.

The organisation's findings are on display at Kežmarok Castle until late November.

TRAVEL IDEAS

  • Castle: Explore unseen castle ruins across the Prešov Region and win travel shoes.
  • Hiking: From the village of Červený Kláštor in northeast Slovakia, tourists can set out on a trip to the Haligovské skaly rocks.
  • Swimming: Slovakia offers plenty of wild swimming spots.

WEEKEND READ

In Slovakia, the British Council is 75 years old

The British Council, which spreads awareness of British culture and education, opened its doors in Bratislava 75 years ago for the first time.

The institution started operating in post-war Czechoslovakia in 1946. It opened its Bratislava office on June 20, 1946, just one week after its office opened in Prague. But after communists usurped the power, the Council had to shut down its offices for many years.

The mission of the British Council has not changed much over the decades, director of the British Council in Slovakia Alastair Bassett said, even though the digital era continues to impact the Council’s operations.

"We will continue with in-person activities as well because we know that people appreciate them," Bassett said. "The future is not just digital."


BRATISLAVA

The 1976 plane crash in Bratislava

Held in the Slovak Technical Museum – Museum of Transport in Bratislava, a new display remembers the July 28, 1976 crash of the Ilyushin Il-18 aircraft into Zlaté Piesky lake.

Of the 79 people on board, 76 were killed.

The exhibition presents the personal stories of victims, rescuers and three survivors. Of them, only one is alive today: French citizen Gérard Menárd.

The exhibition is held under the auspices of the Czech Ambassador to Slovakia Tomáš Tuhý and will run until May 31, 2022.

In short:

  • The Slavín monument remembers the lives of the 6,845 Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of Bratislava in April 1945.
  • The festival of classical music Viva Musica! takes place in the capital city until August 14. See a list of concerts and where to buy tickets.

OLYMPICS

On the way to her first Olympic gold

Sports shooter Zuzana Rehák Štefečeková is the first Slovak athlete to win a medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

"I am full of immense joy. I am very happy about my gold, but also about having proved to myself that I can shoot a final," she said after the final for the public-service broadcaster RTVS.

She has won Olympic medals before - silver at the 2008 Beijing games and the 2012 London games. Tokyo is her third Olympics, but are these games the last for her?

In brief:

  • Slovakia's slalom paddler Jakub Grigar won a silver medal at the Olympics on July 30.
  • Golfer Rory Sabbatini's silver medal came as a surprise to many in Slovakia. The country has never won an Olympic medal in golf.

That is it for now. Thanks for joining me. Have a great weekend. - Peter

Do you have any tips? You can reach Peter at peter.dlhopolec@spectator.sk.

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