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.
The fifth edition of the festival will take place from May 22 to 31, 2020, and will focus on the importance of self-reflection and self-confidence for a mature and responsible civil society. With the motto Stand Out, we will introduce Brno as a proud European city that values its history and is aware that it has grown from multinational foundations; a city so self-confident that it can acknowledge all the aspects of its history and face the challenges of the present; a city that is able to inspire people and is associated with great figures of science and art, even today.
The festival platform will introduce the public to important projects that are being developed or are under way, and that contribute to preserving the memories of the city and the region. Such projects include the Löw-Beer and Oskar Schindler family memorial at the former factory in Brněnec, where we are preparing a cultural program attended by the protagonists of the film Schindler’s List. Also, in Brno itself there are plans for the former prison in Cejl and the Holocaust Documentation Center in Moravia.
As part of the festival program, we will recall the legacy of outstanding figures such as the “Father of Genetics” and Brno Abbot Gregor Johann Mendel, the nun and martyr Marie Restituta Kafka, the writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, and Albert Einstein’s friend, the logician Kurt Gödel.
Also linked to the theme of self-reflection is the pilgrimage of reconciliation, which we will organize on Saturday 23 May and where we will highlight a cooperation with the partner city of Leipzig this year.
The theme of civil society will be reflected by an exhibition based on Václav Havel’s essay “The Power of the Powerless”.