Project Košice 2013 – European Capital of Culture – MRC-oriented activities

The SPOTs project includes a definition of a programme and sub-programme structure, based on which various projects are implemented. One of them is the Sub-programme Social Arts supporting activities aimed at sensitising the public, cooperation of artists with people in disadvantaged communities, and developing new approaches in social and community work. The above programme in 2009–2013 included the implementation of several projects directly in Roma communities, or in collaboration with the Roma community and civic associations, which work in Roma communities on a daily basis. Note: “MRC” stands for “marginalised Roma communities”.

 YEAR 2009 / LUNÍK IX 


AVEN ROMALE was a three-week photography workshop led by Dutch photographer Rob Houkes. Photographs of the Luník IX residents provide an insight into the life of Roma living in this housing estate, and also are a testimony of children, youths and adults about life, their feelings of happiness and desires. Twenty-two workshop attendees created breathtaking photographic images of themselves and of their life nowadays. The exhibition opening was held on 13th July 2009, and the general public had the opportunity to visit the exhibition from 21st July 2009 in the streets of Košice as part of the Citylight Gallery project.

The project was a great success in Košice as well as in Bratislava. On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the Rob Houkes’ Aven Romale exhibition was ceremonially opened on Thursday, 10th December, also in Bratislava. The public could see the exhibition on Nový most (the New Bridge) until 7th January 2010.

The project was supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Slovakia, Euforion civic association, Milan Šimečka Foundation and European Capital of Culture 2013, non-profit organisation.


Special elementary school ZŠ Inžinierska organised Workshops under the guidance of visual artist Helmut Bistik. The school is attended by children with mental and physical handicap, and 95 of the pupils are Roma children. During the three days the teachers and their pupils could learn many interesting art techniques. The workshop was attended by 35 pupils every day.


Hlas Luníka IX (The voice of luník ix)                                                                                                                                                                                          Hlas Luníka IX (The Voice of Luník IX) is the name of the project implemented under the guidance of Dutch photographer Rob Houkes in collaboration with the SPOTs project team and MECEM (Roma Media Centre) in the Luník IX housing estate from 8th August to 21st August 2011. Three Roma families, three stories and several hundred photographs depict the life in this housing estate with its everyday affairs. Personal confessions, critical views by the project participants of the difficult living conditions without electricity and gas, and with regulated supply of drinking water. No sentiment, just a realistic opinion of the “lunikári“ (Luník IX residents) regarding the current events in the estate, and their desire and will to change their lives for the better.

One of the project participants was Oľga Ujásová who would like to influence the majority’s view of Roma living in Luník IX through her photographs. “The photos we took in our housing estate are quite different from the pictures we know from newspapers and magazines. A person who does not live in Luník IX fails to capture our real life. I am glad to have participated in this project,“ emphasised Ujásová. Rob Houkes together with the SPOTs project team prepared video presentations and also the 18 best photographs that were exhibited in Košice as part of Citylight Gallery during the autumn.

Link to an article and interview with the project author :

Rob Houkes: Hlasy Luníka IX – August 2011,

videos: ,

YEARS 2010–2013/ Exhibition of fine-art works by children from kindergarten MŠ Hrebendova 5, Luník IX

On Friday 15th April at 14:00, the exhibition opening was held at the heat-exchanger station in the street Obrody, exhibiting paintings and handworks by kindergarten pupils from MŠ Hrebendová 5 in Luník IX. 2011 was already the second year of this exhibition. In both 2010 and 2011, the little artists focused their creations on the spring and Easter season, and entitled their exhibition “Vesna – through the eyes of Luník IX’s nurserymen”. The exhibition is held at the exchanger Výmenník Obrody every year before Easter holidays with participating little nurserymen from Luník IX as well as from other kindergartens in the city.

POKE Festival – 25th June 2011

POKE is a festival of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, and films presenting organisations, associations and clubs from the two metropolises of the East on 7 stages on 25th June 2011 from 13:00 in the historical premises ​​of the old brickworks in Drienovská Nová Ves near Prešov. The festival is organised by Tabačka Kulturfabrik (Košice) and Wave Club (Prešov). Its aim is to combine Košice and Prešov art scenes and organisations that operate in both regions. The SPOTs project together with the Prešov and Košice NGOs will present projects and activities that took place within the sub-programme Social Art focused on the presentation of work in Roma communities and showing the problems of refugees living in Slovakia. Visitors saw presentations of films, an exhibition of photographs by Viktor Breiner depicting life in refugee accommodation centres in Slovakia and Italy, and an exhibition of photographs by young Roma photographers capturing moments of everyday life in Roma settlements in Eastern Slovakia. The SPOTs section was variegated by a musical performance of the Sabrosa girls´ trio from Raslavice.

YEAR 2011/ Journey into the Unknown: The Story of the Roma in Slovakia

8th – 9th June, Kasárne/Kulturpark (Barracks), Kukučínova 2 Street

“Journey into the Unknown – the story of the Roma in Slovakia” is another project by the SPOTs project team as part of the Social Art sub-programme. Its objective is to promote activities aimed at sensitising the public, collaboration of artists with people in disadvantaged communities, and developing new approaches in social and community work. The project was implemented under the auspices of the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government for Roma Communities. During the two days we dealt with the Roma community in a panel discussion, films section, living library, concert and theatrical dance performance. A detailed program is given below.




9:00 – I was born in Luník IX / 26 min, Etela Matová, Miroslav Tirda

Roma Press Agency has produced the So vakeres? journal for public service television for over four years in their own production, in the “from Roma to Roma” manner. Daily news and reports still have a unique character. I was born in Lunik IX is a story about growing up and the lives of young Roma in the problematic housing estate. Through the views of young people it captures the life at the most horrific housing estate in Slovakia, where everybody is a victim and everybody is a culprit. The film was shot thanks to the financial support from the Ministry of Culture of the SR under the ECOC grant scheme, and won a prestigious award in a documentary film competition.

150 high school students saw the film and participated in the discussion after the film.


10:15 – Panel discussion  

The panel discussion introduced the representatives of institutions and NGOs who have worked for many years in the Roma communities in Slovakia. The public learned about how the Office of the Plenipotentiary of the Government for Roma Communities operates, about the importance and activities of the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno, as well as about the activities of the Roma Press Agency MECEM from Košice. The activities in Roma communities were presented by the Pre lepší život o.z. (civic association “For Better Life”) from Rankovce, ETP Slovakia, and OZ CESPOM (civic association “Centre of Social Assistance to Young”) from Lučenec.

Panel discussion was attended by 200 students of secondary schools and universities, specialisation social work.


13:00 – Living Library

Living Library is a specific discussion format, which allowed us to tell the stories of Roma. Through them students learnt about their work and moments of everyday life. The discussion included presentation of Roma personalities: Denisa Havrľová – journalist who worked for many years for Roma newspaper Romano Nevo Ľil, Július Pecha – field social worker from Kecerovce and Rankovce, Eva Demeová from Lučenec, Ivan Akimov – a successful leader of a Roma youth ensemble in Rožňava, Vlado Sendrei – musician and field social worker from Kokava nad Romavicou, Michal Horváth – deacon in Hanušovce nad Topl’ou.


12:00 – Film screening  

Ghetto No. 1, Ivan Pokorný / ČR / 2007 / 91 min.

Ghetto No. 1 is Chanov, Chanov is a Roma ghetto – a synonym for helplessness, powerlessness, a mixture of hypocrisy and well-intentioned efforts to solve the so-called Roma issue. Chanov is our nightmare, reproach, bad conscience, but also our scarcity, aggression, deadlock, and point of no return. If someone says they live in Chanov, they are automatically included in the lowest imaginable social rank – and it is an indelible stigma. Chanov is a place with unusually high crime rates, ninety-five percent unemployment, and a huge debt on rent. Chanov offers images that speak for themselves. “In the film I do not want to sue (honestly, I do not know whom to sue), I do not present enlightened recipes (I doubt there are any). The purpose of the document is to have a look, and to let have a look, beyond a single invisible, but painfully perceivable, border in the heart of borderless Europe.“


13:40 – Black Word / Kálo Láv, Róbert Kirchhoff / SR / 1999 / 37 min.

The film Black Word is an attempt to inspect the unknown world of Slovak Roma, about whom we know almost nothing, or we do not want to know, even though they live among us and yet on the margins of society. Artist Fero Guldan comes to the Hermanovce Roma settlement in eastern Slovakia to spend several days with the hamlet inhabitants, trying to bring to the light of day the fragments of their lives. In their home environment, the Roma talk about their refused nation and try to name the most urgent problems that may be causing the joyless state in which the Slovak Roma find themselves today. A teacher, a painter, a journalist, a musician and an unemployed expressed their willingness to become full members of society. They talk about romipen – the essence of being Roma, “Romaness”. Despite a different cultural model that they respect, they have been able to maintain the original cultural and existential paradigm based on their roots. Their views and opinions are confronted with the life of the residents in one of the poorest Roma settlements in this country. So they do not talk only about themselves, but especially about their nation of which they are proud and which they represent. An extraordinary expedition into our own country thus becomes an intimate journey into the Roma world, and a testimony about the identity and sense of isolation. Images from the settlement are interspersed with portraits of Roma living among the majority population.

14:20 – Žít! Ceija Stojka /documentary film, CZ, 2009/ 37 min

Ceija Stojka (*1933) is a recognized visual artist and writer from Austria. She was forced to spend her childhood in several concentration camps, where her nearly whole family died. This terrible period of human history is the focus and leitmotif of her art work and books. Her first book Living in obscurity (Argo 2009) was published in the Czech Republic. Her traumatic experiences of the World War II period are the subject of the documentary film, created on the occasion of the exhibition Žít! Ceija Stojka (“Live! Ceija Stojka”). The film uses a recording of the interview with the painter from the archives of the museum, and photographs of exhibited paintings.


Screenplay: Anna Juránková, Camera: Magda Kucharičová, Directed by: Anna Juránková, Edit: Anna Juránková, Sound: Tomáš Šenkyřík, Translation from German: Jan Švimberský, Graphics: Martin Poláček, Produced by: Museum of Roma Culture in Brno.


15:00 – Crafts of our Ancestors / documentary film, CZ, 2007/25 min

The original exhibition of the same name introduces traditional Roma crafts in an unconventional way. Tools and products are juxtaposed with the current commercial concept of crafts. The art style of the exhibition reflects the strong hypermarket culture, the installation reminds retail shelving, descriptions of objects, price tags and the exhibits are placed in shopping carts. The accompanying film is trying to adhere to this concept, presenting Roma crafts in form of TV-shopping. It also uses comparison and the tool of modern DIYs – and Roma craftsmen come victorious from this contrast. The film presents such crafts as: manger-making, basketry, blacksmithing, campanology, and manufacture of clay bricks. The film uses materials from the Video Documentation Fund of the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno, recorded during research trips in the CzechRepublic and abroad (Slovakia, Bulgaria).

Each film was seen by a group of about 50 students


18:30 – Opening of the exhibition of photographs by young photographers from excluded Roma communities

Photographs were taken during the project “Bridging Communities in Central and Eastern Slovakia”, which is implemented by ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development, in the environment of the towns and villages of: Stará Ľubovňa, Hodejov, Moldava nad Bodvou, Ostrovany, Veľký Blh. The exhibition shows 24 photographs capturing moments of everyday life of young people. The photographs are by Eva Porčogošová, Róbert Oláh, Angela Dunková, Nikola Horváthová, Karol Horváth, Gustáv Dunka, Dávid Korčokovský, Milan Hudák, and Lucia Pompová.

The exhibition opening was attended by about 150 people.


19:30 – Gipsy CZ – Concert

In three years of activity the band Gipsy CZ has become one of the most famous representatives of Czech music in the world, standing on the prestigious festival and club stages in 17 countries around the world, from Glastonbury to Ljubljana, from Lisbon and Kiev to Seoul. The band is led by Roma rapper, musician and singer Radoslav “Gipsy” Banga, who has been on the music scene from the age of 13. Co-creator of the project Gipsy CZ Vojto Lavička plays the violin and sings. The unmistakable sound and image of the band are significantly contributed by traditionally trained young Roma musicians – siblings Peter (guitar, accordion, vocals) and Ján (double bass, vocals) Surmaj. The band excels in its energetic concert performance, which is spiced with just the right amount of specific humour and self irony.

The concert was attended by about 250 people mostly from Luník IX.



9:30 – Čarovná sukňa (Magical Skirt) /50 min, Theatre Romathan

Fairytale Čarovná sukňa (Magical Skirt) is intended for the youngest audience. A young Roma girl believes she can dance and sing only due to the magical skirt, but this is not true, because she eventually discovers that she can do it all herself. Director Žaneta Štipáková and the fairytale screenwriter Milan Godla treated the story trying to break down prejudices and stereotypes against Roma. The musical accompaniment was provided by the Romathan Theatre Orchestra under its principal conductor Karel Adam.

The performance was attended by about 250 children from kindergartens in Luník IX and the City of Košice.


10:00 – How does the Museum of Roma Culture work? /CZ

A roundtable discussion with representatives of the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno. Attendees learnt more about the Museum’s history, functioning and various community activities through which Roma fairytales and literature come to life in the museum premises, and discussions are held on various topics related to social discrimination, the use of the Roma language and so on.

The discussions was attended by 35 secondary school students.            


10:00 – Film screening

Children of the Wind I – Embarked on a Journey, documentary film/ STV 1990-1991/ 27 min

Genesis of the arrival of first Gypsy groups to Europe. Roma folk music, nomads, carts. Roma settlement, life in it, cameramen. Roma conflicts with the police, contemporary written documents. Little Egypt near the Peloponnesus. Monasteries on Mount Athos, valuable historical reports on Roma. Ruins in medieval European cities. Finding Roma origin in written and architectural monuments, various types of the Roma, anthropological diversity, geographical division. Archival footage from the life of nomadic Roma. Roma nomads in luxury cars. Romanian and Greek Roma, settlement, tents, camp fire. Reserved camping site near the city of Thessalonica in Greece.


10: 30 – Children of the Wind II – …have not found home, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27 min.

Documentary film about the Roma of Europe. Roma string orchestra. Roma settlement. Cave, dwellings of the Spanish Roma near Granada, white facades and chimneys. Roma settlements in various European countries, poverty in rural colonies, clay and reed slums, open earthen ovens. Blacksmith workshop, manufacture of bricks, tools. Urban colonies. City of Skopje, Roma colony Šuto, kindergarten, bank, dentist, footballers. Collecting scrap. Marketplace, Roma traders. Food preparation on an open fire. Preparation of jež – favourite food in the Balkans. Richly laid table. Roma entertainment and much more…


11:00 – Children of the Wind III – Kindred with metals, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:32 min.

The most important craft they mastered is work with metals. Nomadic Gypsies, Roma colony. Roma seasonal work, picking cotton, sorting potatoes and plucking geese. Blacksmith, working in the workshop. Tinkers, patching metal utensils. Division of crafts by gender traditions. Knife sharpening, repairing umbrellas, casting pewter, repairing metal objects, galvanising vessels, and tin casting. Boilermakers, making dishes. Jewellers in Romania, rings made ​​of brass, metalworkers, manufacture of artefacts from artillery shells. Blacksmithing. Charcoal production. Using car scrap metal to manufacture bells. Roma blacksmith cooperatives. Handicrafts, iron ornaments on buildings, gates, fences.


11:30 – Children of the Wind IV. – Creating with nature, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 28:22 min

An important craft is also wood working. From this raw material Roma can make a simple tool, but also a musical instrument. Roma folklore violin orchestra. Traditional Roma crafts – textile fibre processing, blacksmithing, manufacture of ropes, horse halters, saddle straps, mats, baskets, shingles, rakes, buckets, mangers, kitchen utensils, spindles, sieves, tambourines and drums, manger violins, guitars. Playing the guitar, harp and cimbalom. Manufacture of cimbalom and violin. Playing the “Zurna” flute, manufacture thereof. Traditional dance to the sounds of flutes.


12:00 – Children of the Wind V. – Seeking subsistence, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:32 min

Gypsy groups were not attracted by agriculture. They provide food by harvesting crops, breeding and selling domestic livestock. Thus they provided subsistence for their group. Blacksmithing, knitting baskets, picking cotton. Plucking geese, cock fights. Street performance with a monkey. Bear-owner hamlet near a Turkish town, training and dressage of bears. Bear-trainers travelling for earnings. Nomadic family by a brook, its life. Fair, bear performances. Bullfights, toreador – a Spanish Roma. Horses and nomadic Roma. The Spanish city of Salamanca, University. Roma colony in the city quarter, horse dressage. Breeders of horses in Romania, collecting hay. French Roma’s horses and trafficking with horses at fairs. Horses as a tourist attraction, nomads with horse-drawn vehicles.


12:30 – Children of the Wind VI. – Seeking God, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:35 min

Spiritual culture of Gypsies has its origin and existence (magic). On European continent Gypsies adopted the religion of the country where they settled permanently. Nevertheless, they retain some elements of the original religious ideas. Roma folklore violin orchestra, images from the life of the Roma of Europe. Roma settlement, healing magic of Roma to protect the mother and child. Magical rituals of different groups of Roma across Europe. Circumcision of boys, Bivi holiday – spring festival, Bajram holiday – end of fasting, Muslim-Christian holiday, Jurajov deň (George’s day) – festival of spring, buying sheep and lambs. Fun after the ceremony.


13:00 – Children of the Wind VII. – Preserving traditions, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 28:31 min

The most important pilgrimage sites where the Roma gather from different locations, but also different countries. Roma cimbalom music, religious customs, ceremonies, rituals. The island of Tinos in Greece, pilgrimage site. Roma at the entrance to the island and on the way to the temple /kneeling/. Religious traditions of pilgrims and Roma religious sects. FirstLutheranChurch of Roma in the world. Roma Lutheran mass in Valencia with Roma folklore. Amsterdam, meeting of evangelicals, ceremony of consecrating children to God. Baptism, a symbolic immersion in water. Ritual cleansing with water of Mohammedans before entering the mosque, preparing for worship. Roma dervishes in Yugoslavia, believers in a trance. Catholic Gypsies. Sen Mari, Temple of the Three Marys, statue of Black Sarah, pilgrim camps. The procession with the statue of Sarah to the coast, where the Three Marys landed, a sacred place.


13:30 – Children of the Wind VIII. – Celebrating a wedding, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 28:00 min

Depiction of several Gypsy weddings from different countries of Europe. Life in the Roma settlement. Acquisition of the bride, preparing feasts, sausage making, fish roasting, goulash cooking… The bride’s outfit. Interview with Roma. Dressing up and showing off the bride. Wedding carriage pulled by horses. Marriage in the church. Wedding fun, bride’s bonnet ceremony and giving gifts.

14.00 – Children of the Wind IX. – Beautifying the world, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:46 min

The most significant artistic expression of Gypsies is artistically decorated carts. Many of them are small art galleries on wheels.

14:30 – Children of the Wind X. – Singing and playing, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:46 min

Songs accompany Gypsies from cradle to grave; the whole storyline is accompanied by songs and instrumental music.

15:00 – Children of the Wind XI. – Dancing, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 28:24 min

This part is dedicated to the specificities of Gypsy dance.

15:30 – Children of the Wind XII. – Being unwanted, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 27:28 min

Gypsies have not found their home in Europe. They have been discriminated for seven centuries…

16:00 – Children of the Wind XIII. – What’s next?, Martin Slivka / SR / 1990 / 28:06 min

This part is dedicated to the issue of Roma integration in Europe today.

35 to 90 students of elementary and secondary schools and universities saw each film.





DogDocs a SPOTs  jointly prepared and organised a project called An Eastern Minute, which included a series of 5-day workshops of one-minute films in eastern Slovakia, where participants could try working with a script, with a video camera, with editing software, and shoot their own one-minute film. The topic of the Film Workshop was: “Centre Versus Periphery”.
One of the workshops was conducted with students of Private Roma Grammar School in Galaktická Street. Its aim was to show how people with different cultural backgrounds communicate, exchange information, what they feel, what they are interested in… The participants were given a chance to express their opinions publicly, using partner media and websites. The project brought an opportunity for audio-visual, intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, demonstrated the creative potential of selected groups, and pointed to the generational and cultural differences and similarities. And last but not least, it helped to build the emotion for coexistence through personal dreams and interests.





The SPOTs project team, Eugen Botoš Project and Finally jointly organised the second musical workshop on 17th February 2012 aimed at exchanging practical and theoretical experience between residents and professional musicians. Participants could enjoy jazz standards, funky, fusion music with elements of jazz, ethno and world music.
Eugen Botoš is a young Gypsy musician playing the first violin in the State Theatre in Bratislava, his Roma colleague Robert Vizvári plays the double-bass in the same orchestra. They co-founded Finally, a band that successfully performs not only at home but also abroad, and breaks down the prejudices that Roma musicians play only folklore music.

The workshop was attended by about 65 people.„hudba-ma-svoje-pravidla/




The multi-genre POKE festival presented for the second time the SPOTs project with its own programme. The festival took place on 15th and 16th June at the historical site of the old brickworks in Drienovská Nová Ves, and the SPOTs project team also had the opportunity to show the unusual Roma culture and heritage in the form of concert band Bohémiens with gifted musician and bandleader Barbora Botošová.
Bohémiens music ensemble, composed of young Roma musicians, was founded in late 2008 at the initiative of Ján Berky Mrenica, senior. He taught his granddaughter and the only Slovak female bandleader the mysteries of music, and love of music and the violin since her childhood. Young musicians are joined by the idea to spread quality art, create a rich and tasteful blend of varied musical genres based on Gypsy music, which is enriched with ethno elements, Latin and soft jazz, and in particular with inspiration from classical music, which is reflected in the performances of the Bohémiens ensemble.




Festival of new and traditional minorities living in Košice. The aim is to present these minorities from another perspective, to create a space for a reflection on our tolerance and coexistence. The festival is a series of concerts, lectures, living libraries, discussions. It includes a media campaign of Citylight, interviews, purchased media space, organising public debates with invited guests in cooperation with the Milan Šimečka Foundation, IOM (International Organisation for Migration), and MECEM. The festival program was prepared specially for Luník IX, with a series of concerts of national bands and an international guest – Serbian Roma band Kal, which gave an one-hour concert during the Soup Festival and a three-hour music workshop for 50 Roma students of the Private Conservatory of Music and Drama in Požiarnicka 1 street.

Information on the programme in Luník IX:

THURSDAY – 11th October – 14:00 – Luník IX (Local Authority, and Pastoral Centre) – VOICES OF LUNÍK IX. The event was organised in cooperation with the Roma Media Centre, and started with concerts on the square in front of the Local Authority. Roma bands Sabrosa, Dina, L9, and Kesaj tchave delivered their performances together with Serbian KAL Band that was the headliner at the Saturday’s Soup Festival. The musical programme was followed by a moderated discussion with the topic “A guide to coexistence”. The discussion was opened by moderator Jarmila Bath at 18:30 in the Pastoral Centre of Salesians of Don Bosco. Participants to the discussion included Dragan Ristić (KAL Band), Ivan Akimov (Kesaj tchave), Peter Besenyei (Salesians from Luník IX) and Kristína Magdolenová (MECEM). The discussion was followed by a screening of the film Cigáň (Gypsy) by Martin Šulík. Approximately 106 000 citizens of Slovakia stated “Roma nationality” in the 2011 census, although there are certainly a bit more Roma in Slovakia. Roma are a numerous minority in Košice, some of them, from socially disadvantaged groups, live in Luník IX, where they have a minimum access to cultural events and to self-development opportunities. This was one of the reasons why we decided to bring an interesting cultural event to Luník IX. We believe that culture can be helpful in building a functional community and creating understanding. However, it was (and is) important for us, even outside of this event, to perceive the Roma culture within the broader context of cultural diversity of our city and beyond the social context of poverty.

YEAR 2013 / PREPARED PROJECTS               

DIVERSITY FESTIVAL – with a programme again organised in Luník IX as well.

JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN FESTIVAL – the festival programme includes ROMA FASHION SHOW – a fashion show of clothes designed and fabricated by Roma women from the town of Tornaľa in collaboration with the Art EKO civic association. 


PARTNER PROJECTS – supported by the grant scheme from the Ministry of Culture of the SR – the ECOC grant scheme, implemented also in cooperation with the SPOTs project team.


YEAR 2010 / ROmA film festival of Martin SlivkA KALO ČANGALO 2010

 Theatre Romathan Košice – 17th – 18th September 2010

This multicultural international Roma festival was held in Spišská Nová Ves, Nitra, Košice, Liptovský Mikuláš, Rimavská Sobota and other towns and villages in Slovakia. The idea of organising a Roma film festival was developed by its author, PhDr. Pavol Sika, at the Department of Roma Culture at the UKF University in Nitra. In collaboration with his students, Sika prepared a cultural program, as part of the International Roma Day celebrations, in the form of a three-day screening of documentaries with Roma issues, and in the following years he added screenings of feature films as part of the Film Club UKF in Nitra. This event, combined with discussions on Roma issues and efforts for targeted multicultural education, on the grounds of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, received positive public response and thus formed the basis for its further development. Košice, in the premises of Theatre Romathan, held a separate part of the film festival including the Kalo Čangalo award. The award is given to significant personalities of social, cultural and scientific life, who significantly contributed to the artistic or scientific presentation of Roma culture in the form of mass media, especially film, photography, radio, drama or other forms of media works.

YEAR 2012 / CONCERT OF TOLERANCE – organised by the Roma Media Centre as part of the grant scheme by the  Ministry of Culture of the SR from the ECOC programme

The Concert of Tolerance in the House of Art was organised by the Roma Media Centre (MECEM) and attended by around 700 spectators. The concert presented significant and acclaimed Gypsy artists from Slovakia and abroad. Performers included the Chamber Orchestra of the Theatre Romathan, and Bohémiens band lead by Barbara Botošová. There was also Latin-jazz performed by the Slovak-Hungarian Gypsy Latino Jazz Band lead by Mário Richter. The concert recording was broadcast by the Slovak Television. More information:

Roma Voices for Tomorrow 2012

The Roma Voices for Tomorrow 2012 project was implemented by non-profit organization ETP Slovakia – Centre for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the following partners: International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, Czech singer Ida Kellarová and her musical group, and the Conservatory in Exnarová Street in Košice. Since the beginning of July 2012, 30 talented girls and boys collaborated with the guest artists. After only three days of drills of different genres (theatre, singing, dancing) the home and foreign artists performed jointly to the packed Cultural Centre in Šaca on 5th July 2012. The finale of the project featured a gala concert on 16th September and a conference presenting examples of good practice on 17th September 2012.


YEAR 2013 / REAL PEOPLE – exhibition

The purpose of the Real People project is to present Roma communities living in and around Košice as an integral part of social life through interviews and photos with its prominent figures, and background information on the history of Roma. The aim is to gradually prepare and issue “History of Roma in and around Košice”, which has not been written yet. Opening was held in the premises of the project SPOTs´ Exchanger in Brigádnická Street on 5th April, and the exhibition was open to the public from 9th to 23rd April. The exhibition was held on the occasion of the International Roma Day (8th April) as part of the ECOC project. The author of the photo is photographer Miroslav Majorošová from Košice.

 YEAR 2013/ Charity Roma Ball

The Charity Roma Ball was held on 7th April on the occasion of the forthcoming International Roma Day (8th April). It was organised by the Roma Media Centre in collaboration with the City of Košice and the SPOTs project team from the non-profit organization “Košice 2013”. The Ball was organised under the auspices of the Plenipotentiary of the Government for Roma Communities and MP Peter Pollák, Mayor of Košice and MP Richard Raši, and representative of the Wallachian Roma community in Slovakia Karol Rafael. The Ball took place at the HistoricTown Hall and included an auction of paintings by children from the kindergarten in Luník IX made during the one-week art workshop led by Helmut Bistik. The workshop was funded and implemented under the SPOTs project. The nine paintings were auctioned for a respectable amount of 5,200 euros. The funds thus obtained were sent to the kindergarten children in Luník IX.

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