Amateur Art Festival in the Pandemic: Festival TVOR•BA 2½

Festival of Creativity 2½

Národné osvetové centrum (NOC) / National center for culture and further education (NOC), Slovakia

Festival TVOR•BA was established in 2018. Name “Tvorba” means creation, but also, it’s a word game, mix of words “Tvor” for human creature and “BA” is abbreviation of Bratislava – the capital city. We have been dealing with the idea of ​​joining the Amateur arts week for a long time, but thanks to the long tradition´s structure of our artistic festivals, competitions and the goal of education, Festival Tvorba was established as its result.

All artistic genres (scenic folklore, theatre, artistic recitation, fine art, photography, film, music) could meet in one place to perform, exhibit, inspire and become inspiring. Non-professional artists meet in Bratislava to take part in seminars, discussions and workshops.

The other goal was to bring regional non-professional art to the capital and give these artists the opportunity to perform in Bratislava as well as showing locals the regional art which usually cannot be seen in the capital.

We had great plans for the 3rd edition in 2020. We wanted to take our festival closer to the people, more to the public space, the streets, squares and also make it more international. 

Unfortunately, there was a pandemic and with strict restrictions we had to come up with a plan B. Anti-pandemic measures have also caused the season of non-professional art competitions to take place in some half-way. So we named last year´s edition of the festival TVOR•BA 2½ and it took place in December, online. 

During six days we had several online sections e.g. film screenings, virtual exhibitions, but our main focus was on the educational section. There were few private Zoom workshops but mainly livestreams opened for everyone. We had 15 webinars, workshops and discussions with 22 lecturers.

It was a big challenge for all of us. But we were very pleased with the number of people who joined us from their homes. We could say it was a successful edition in very strange times. 

We hope that this year´s TVOR•BA will take place as it should; that we will be able to meet again live, artists will be able to perform, exhibitions will be hung, screens for films will be stretched and workshops filled with people. After this new unusual experience, we will definitely broadcast a certain part of the program online. And we plan not only to broadcast educational streams but also part of the program for the wide audience at home and abroad.

We believe that in the next edition we will be able to welcome artists again in Bratislava and to celebrate ‘Week of art’ all together even with guests from abroad.

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Amateo Award Winner 2018

Op Roet (Netherlands): EdvanHoornFucktheSystem 

Around the Dutch city of Hoorn in 2018, refugees united with more than 40 amateur actors, singers and musicians to create a very special musical.

The script was based on the real story of EdvanHoorn who was born in Hoorn and worked for 25 years with refugees, mostly in Syria. He’s credited with building camps, roads and hospitals. The play is the story of Ed, a loner, who wants to help the refugees fight against the systems that prevent them from improving their conditions.

20 refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Iraq staying in the region took part and joined the performance in Phylipsfactory, where the rough walls of the great old factory were filled with projected images as the backdrop to the play. 2000 people came to watch the performance. 

Every refugee buddied-up with a Dutch member of the cast, learning the language and making friends. The play and performance of EdvanHoorn – with food and drink circulated afterwards – became a special moment where cultures were shared.