Festival [fjúžn], organised by the Milan Šimečka Foundation, has been held annually since 2006. It has gradually become the largest multi-genre, multicultural event focused on migration and foreigners in Slovakia, and has achieved both national and international significance.
The bracketed title, [fjúžn], is a phonetic translation of ‘fusion’, as in a mix of different music styles or meals in which Asian spices are added to European cuisine. It goes beyond one kind of art and offers a rich programme of concerts, exhibitions, literature, theatre, film, workshops, lectures/presentations, discussions, community events, a children’s programme, school events, and other activities.
The festival aims to raise the voices of foreigners, migrants and refugees, presenting the native culture and life of new minorities. Here, opportunities for encounters are created, demonstrating the diversity of the population in Slovakia, sensitising the wider public, and fighting prejudices.
This is important, especially during hard times and with the rise of nationalist groups across Europe. Festival [fjúžn] communicates important ideas in a creative and sophisticated way. The author of its visual identity is Matúš Hnát. Hnát operates as a designer, but also has a background in cultural studies. He takes on the topics of integration, movement, home, mix, identity, etc., providing interesting insights that enrich the visual landscape in Bratislava. His use of exotic imagery is not a form of mockery — Hnát’s visuals make the viewer think and ponder the possibilities of the unknown.
Matúš Hnát was shortlisted multiple times for the Slovak Design Award. His domain is poster design, though he used to be active as a visual artist, combining various techniques and approaches, such as street art, collage, typography... His work contains an exciting [fjúžn] of ideas, shapes and colours!