Culture Kiosk

Art - Culture - Contraband from Central and Eastern Europe!

A project by Neviana Dosti, Tamar Gurchiani, Ieva Jēkabsone, Michaela Kováčová, Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Krisztina Molnár, Maxim Neroda, Kateryna Stetsevych, Erika Szabó, Katarina Tojić, Vite Wortmann and Eliza Zakrzewska

Host organizations: Deutsches Filminstitut, Filmhaus Nürnberg, Cultural Department of the City of Hamburg, Evangelische Akademie Sachsen-Anhalt, al globe - Brandenburgisches Haus der Kulturen, Werkleitz - Center for Media Art, Riesa efau Kultur Forum, German Federal Agency for Civic Education, Cultural Capital Office Essen - Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2010, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Kulturbetriebe of the City of Dortmund, and Forum Freies Theater

July 2006, Weimar, Bonn, and Osnabrück (Germany)

Contraband, the; -; [from the Central-Eastern European = smuggling]: 1. Importing or exporting art unbeknownst to outsiders through the evasion of the official cultural policy: music, photography, literature; 2. Secretly transporting art and culture out of Central and Eastern Europe into German cities and minds; 3. Artwork from Central and Eastern Europe that one can only find at the culture kiosk.

Art and culture from Central and Eastern Europe came undiscovered to Weimar, Bonn, and Osnabrück by means of the contraband. At the time of the Iron Curtain people who craved culture smuggled Western art and culture into the Eastern Bloc. In doing so, they made everyday life in the Eastern Bloc more colorful. At the time, the East's old dreams came true. Smuggling continued, but in the reverse direction.

In July of 2006, with the Culture Kiosk, twelve cultural managers "contrabanded" young artists, and contemporaries from the art and culture scene from Central and Eastern Europe countries to Weimar, Bonn, and Osnabrück. Under the motto "Traveling Contraband," the culture kiosk traveled by bus and stayed in the cities for two days, aiming to pique people's interest in Central and Eastern Europe. It was the communication center for an action that included passersby and their perceptions of Central and Eastern Europe.

The action was divided into a day program and an evening one and provided cultural information. During the day, people received information about Central and Eastern Europe at the kiosk and exchanged rumors and half-truths. Those interested could hear the newest hits from Poland and Albania, prepare for their next vacation to Lithuania and Georgia, and browse new selected literary publications from Russia and Serbia. Visitors could learn their first sentences in Hungarian and Ukrainian, listen to different fairy tales from Romania or Slovakia, and learn dances from Latvia and Belarus.

In the evening the "contraband" celebrated a cultural festival with art and culture smugglers, young film producers, authors, and bands from Central and Eastern Europe. They showed the sides of their countries' current art scenes that were not very well known. They danced to Balkan beats and a VJ from Russia till dawn.

With support from: Robert Bosch Stiftung, European Commission - Youth in Action