An exploration of national identity and belonging / Zkoumání národní identity a pocitu sounáležitosti
21–22/3, Centrum experimentálního divadla (Zelný trh 9, Brno)
Becoming Czech was an exploration of national identity and belonging. A co-created project combining different art forms and exploring the relationship of the first generation of migrants in Brno and the Czech Republic to the themes of national identity, belonging and the broader issues of migration.
Lora Krasteva, Sonya Darrow, Alma Lily Rayner, Maa Ry Nguyen and the team at Teren invited audiences to feel at home; to eat, rest, talk and create whilst building what home means to us: as immigrants, humans and citizens of Brno and beyond.
Broadcast live from Terén, listeners from all over the world could tune in at any point to the 36 hour gathering. Being shared online were a series of interviews which give an insight into what it means to be ‘Becoming Czech’, and interventions from visitors in the space with their reflections, reactions and creative responses.
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In the space, we also listened to the Migrants in Theatre playlist - which you can enjoy on Spotify here.
Becoming Czech Written Commissions
This text was written by Matyáš Dlab, Artistic Director of Teren and has been left unedited here:
We are aware that Becoming Czech is being presented in a situation in which we are facing a huge wave of migration. In addition to the very practical ways in which we can contribute to improving the situation for migrants to the Czech Republic, we are also thinking about the possibilities that we have as a cultural organization at the level of our own artistic activities.
We chose to present texts from authors who have participated in the open call and also come from the countries of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. They were asked to submit written text that would articulate their personal perspective on the themes and topics of the Becoming Czech project, and in particular on this terrible experience of war that affects us all to varying degrees.Our aim is not to make simplistic assessments of a situation in which simply belonging to one nation makes one complicit in the horrors we are now witnessing. We believe that above belonging to a nation and a territory, there is above all the perspective of humanism, the perspective of a human that must reject terror. The situation of the Ukrainian people touches us painfully. With sorrow and great sympathy, we also empathize with the situation of the Russians and Belarusians who are standing in opposition to these criminal regimes and showing great courage in their protests. We see our role as a cultural organization and authors in sensitizing social perceptions and in problematizing seemingly obvious facts. For this reason, we are interested in the perspectives of the people of these three countries.
Writer’s who have contributed include:
Olga Krykun, Georgy Mezhuev, Arseny Aleinik, Nadezda Nazarova, Masha Kovtun, Darja Lukjanenko, Andrei Shulha, Ekaterina Plechkova, Polina Khatsenka, Aliaksandra Yakubouskaya, Viktoriia Tymonova
These writings are being translated to be presented in both English & Czech.
Schedule of events
Monday 21 March 2022
10 - Space opened to the public
12-14 - Communal lunch and sharing circle
15-17 - Space remains open to create, write, draw, speak, rest
18-19:30 - Panel discussion on immigration and asylum seeking in the Czech Republic with Maja Vusilović, Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, Ivana Raposova Božič, Alicia Synek Rétiová and Arghavan Baghernia
20-22 - Communal performative dinner
From 22 - Good night stories and winding down ahead of sleepover.
Tuesday 22 March 2022
8-10 - Gentle waking up. Coffee, breakfast and starting the day together
10-12 - Space re-opens to public for creation, listening and broadcast
12-14 - Lunch and sharing circle
15-18 - Space remains open to create, write, draw, speak, rest
19-20 - Closing event including Q&A with artists & reflections
From 20 - We headed to the Teren bar for an informal drink & goodbye
21–22/3/2022 | Studio CED, Zelný trh 9, Brno| Terén, Centrum experimentálního divadla
Curated by: Lora Krasteva
Producer: Claire Gilbert
In collaboration with: Sonya Darrow, Maa Ry Nguyen, Alma Lily Rayner
Terén: Kristína Čajkovičová, Barbora Doležalová, Matyáš Dlab, Viktória Citráková, Soňa Borodáčová, Jonáš Garaj, Jozef Fertaľ, Lukáš Jiřička
Technical support: Nikol Piškytlová, Jan Bražina, Ondřej Hanslian
Narrative reporter from CEDIT: Jakub Liška
Special thanks: to all the interviewees that wish to remain anonymous, Daisy Grant, Harkiran Kalsi & TIC Gallery.
Becoming Czech was the first in a series of artist gatherings to be followed by Becoming Romanian in Bucharest (April), Becoming Alman in Berlin (May) and Becoming British.
These presentations are happening with the support of Perform Europe as part of the Becoming [...] project.
Perform Europe is an EU-funded project aimed to rethink how performing arts works are presented across borders in a more inclusive, sustainable and balanced way by testing new touring and distribution practices and providing policy recommendations for a future EU support scheme. This 18-month journey includes a research phase, launching a digital platform, testing a support scheme, and designing policy recommendations.
Perform Europe is funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and co-managed by a Consortium of 5 organisations: IETM – International network for contemporary performing arts, the European Festivals Association (EFA), Circostrada, EDN – European Dancehouse Network, and IDEA Consult.
About the Artists