UM UM #7

This summer UM UM festival will take place already for the seventh time in the border town of Stará Ľubovňa that lies in the northeast of Slovakia. Currently, the dramaturgy of this multi-genre festival is based on exploring possibilities of interconnecting the contemporary art with history and traditions of the multiethnic region of Upper Spiš, foremost Stará Ľubovňa, and its surroundings. After the successful fifth and sixth years which reflected the topic of relationships of Slovaks, Czech and Rusyns, we are opening the seventh year with the topic: Germans, Jews, Slovaks and Stará Ľubovňa. The five year topical loop will be concluded by two upcoming years which will interpret the relationships of Slovaks with Roma people, Hungarians and Poles, in 2019 and 2020.


In recent years, the organizers of the festival have been experiencing a change in the Slovak society leading to the radicalization of opinions and escalation of the negative relationships of different parts of the society on an ethnic basis. That led to the shift of dramaturgical concept of the festival in 2016. After several years devoted to the presentations of art on the periphery of Slovakia, the festival has started to focus on artistic reflection of individual cultures in the region and their mutual intercultural dialogue. The basis of the festival’s 3-day program is built around the artistic outputs of four mutually collaborative multimedia projects – Symposium Theatrum, Symposium Pictum, Symposium Musicum a Observatorium thanks to which a heterogeneous group of twenty-five artists will meet in Stará Ľubovňa for two weeks. The program of the festival will still provide the room for Slovak and international art, namely theatre, dance, literature, film, workshops, musical productions, discussions with invited guests, off-program for children and other accompanying activities dramaturgically linked to the topic of the given year.

The UM UM festival is an independent project, established by a group of young emerging artists, with the aim of bringing contemporary art to their native region, located at the periphery of Europe. UM UM exists thanks to the endeavor, time and volunteer activity of many people; thanks to the essential support of inhabitants and the town of Stará Ľubovňa, the help of a number of many cultural institutions, foundations and funds and foremost thanks to artists, experts and cultural critics themselves who have been participating at the festival, discussing with local community and thus contributing to the development of local culture as well as to the development of contemporary art.