ABOUT THE FESTIVAL – 3rd edition, 2018

The AMPLIFIER Festival – New Cabaret & Street Art is organised due to the need to support the freedom of artistic expression in the current Slovak society and also because a festival of similar genres in Slovakia is currently absent. We would like to not only enrich Banská Štiavnica with the spirit of fresh and contemporary art, but also to instill the sense of CRITICAL THOUGHT in the visitors of the festival via attractive ACTION ART and the form of live cultural interaction between the artists and the viewers.

Dramaturgically, the festival focuses on the five genres of art, which are often combined – theatre, music, motion, visual art and literature. We are concentrating, first and foremost, for productions which spill over to the civically engaged sphere in an interactive and modern way.

In the first years, we would like to map the current state of the Slovak and Czech cabaret in Central Europe, both in terms of quality and quantity of the genre. The challenge for the following editions is to fuel the creation of new cabaret forms which would be presented at the festival under the moniker of NEW CABARET. This term is understood as a genre, springing from the original cabaret form based on the convergence of spoken word, dance, songs, artistic numbers and other fragments, but also deliberately crosses the borders between genres, combines and enriches them either to form a unified piece of post-dramatic play with a clear dramaturgy, or to form a unique performance. The genre of new cabaret, in this sense, incorporates the open system of the unnamed and undiscovered.

In addition to the cabaret productions in the festival programme, there will be an international parade of street plays, happenings, and art installations with a civic dimension, which all influence the festival programme on the basis of the dynamic principle FROM THE STREET TO THE THEATRE, FROM THE THEATRE TO THE STREET. The programme of the festival is composed along three lines. The first one, NEW CABARET, with a leitmotif of the 100th anniversary of the creation of Czechoslovakia connects the traditions of Czech and Slovak cabaret from V+W, then Semafor and L+S all the way to modern forms of new, international cabaret. The second line, STREET ART, is linked to the legacy of the Prague Spring, the occupation and the victims of the 1968 events in today’s context of freedom being threatened. The two lines are connected by the third one, CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, taking the form of discussions, street happenings (Excursion into Un-Freedom, Movie Exclamation Mark and concert of solidarity Davaj časy!). Both local and foreign artists will perform productions which will talk about the possible and real loss of human rights and liberties in Europe and everywhere in the world. The 2nd edition of the annual Slovak SLAM-POETRY Championship, which motivates young authors into an original, poetic interpretation and includes both Slovak participants and Czech guests in a common evening programme will also take place at the festival.

Our GOAL is to strike an artistic chord between cabaret, street production and engaged art, even in a more remote Slovak region. All together, we will celebrate, learn, create, discuss and also give away the Festival prize – AMPLION ARGENTUM for the programme with the strongest voice that speaks about the improvement of civic society. The goal is to inspire interest in quality art and civic responsibility for one’s country – especially among young people.

Jana Mikitková, Ján Fakla, Dušan Krnáč