Festival Meeting Brno
Offering a platform for encounters between different opinions, cultures and religions, Meeting Brno is a festival encompassing a multitude of genres. Each year, our programme presents a number of stimulating discussions with inspiring guests, augmented by a variety of artistic performances that develop the festival’s main theme. Our now-traditional Pilgrimage of Reconciliation forms an important part of the proceedings. The festival takes place at the turn of May and June. First held in 2016 under the heading Homes Lost and Found, our inaugural Meeting Brno focused on the topic of the German and Jewish minorities living in the city before World War II. In 2017, our theme was Unity in Diversity, and we were delighted to invite some 120 descendants of the major Brno Jewish families to join our commemorations. In 2018, under the heading Time for Re/vision, our festival took as its task to review one hundred years of history of a common Czech/Slovak state. Now, with those previous themes as context, our topic for 2019 was Now that we have what we wanted. Last year, Meeting Brno once again was enriched by the work of artists from abroad who spent several weeks in the city, who tooke part in the work of its various institutions. As we mark thirty years since the fall of the communist regimes in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, we are particularly pleased to be joined by artists from Poland and Hungary. We prepared a series of discussions, movie screenings, theatrical and dance performances, an audio-visual exhibition, the Pilgrimage of Reconciliation and many other compelling events. In this year 2020, the motto is Stand Out.
Due to the pandemic, the fifth year of the festival is split into two parts: it starts in the week of 20 to 25 July and will culminate in the days from 4 to 14 September. The programme includes about thirty discussions and cultural events focusing on how important it is for our society to deal with our own past, to know our own roots, and, firmly grounded, to be able to take on the challenges of the present. The motto of this year is Stand out.
Five years ago, the city of Brno made a major gesture of reconciliation by expressing regret about the events of summer 1945, including the “wild expulsion” of its German-speaking populace. Brno stood out for its desire to establish itself as a self-confident European city, one that appreciates its multinational past. This year’s festival will allow its audiences to acquaint themselves with significant emerging or ongoing projects that contribute towards preserving the memory of the city and its region. The festival will climax in a trip to Brněnec, linked with the screening of the film Schindler’s List at the site of the former factory, where the story of saving 1,200 Jews took place, and where Daniel Low-Beer now plans to construct memorial to Schindler’s Ark, Shoah and the Löw-Beer factory.
The festival’s programme will also commemorate the legacies of exceptional figures of our history, including the “father of genetics” and Brno abbot Gregor Johann Mendel, the nun and martyr Maria Restituta, the logician and friend of Albert Einstein Kurt Gödel, and the noted European writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.
Reflecting upon the most recent experiences, together with Petr Ludwig we present the story of how Czechs put a mask on the world. We also report about good practice in interfaith dialogue: this year we welcome the Egyptian ambassador to the Czech Republic. We will follow up on last year’s ecumenical meeting and show the results it has achieved during the year, which happens to be the 400th anniversary of the Battle of the White Mountain.
We are looking forward to spending inspiring festival days with you!
The Meeting Brno Festival is held under the auspices of the Governor of the South Moravian Region, Mr. Bohumil Šimek, and the Mayor of Brno, Ms. Markéta Vaňková.
The project is financially supported by the City of Brno, the South Moravian Region, the European Regional Development Fund, the Czech-German Future Fund and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague.
All Meeting Brno programmes are free of charge, unless stated otherwise.