About festival

International Theatre Festival Arteterapia: freeDOM 2012 creates an artistic and communication platform, which points to current social and political issues. The Festival is organized by artists and cultural workers from Garden – Independent Culture Centre in cooperation with Theatre from the Passage in the town of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. A leitmotif freeDOM follows the spirit of the previous four editions.

First year of the festival mapped the context of community-based theatres in Visegrad countries (2002) while the second one focused on the topic of artistic and moral values (Arteterapia: Art on the margins, 2005). The third festival edition attempted to shed new light on the role of community art, which was brought to the centre of attention (Arteterapia: From the margins to the centre, 2007). In 2009, Arteterapia: Protected Territory outreached the borders of geographical and political territory and reflected on historical and personal experience with totalitarian regime, war, conflicts and other forms of violence in an international context.

In the previous years, the Festival dramaturgy managed to cover its scope of issues and interests, and deepen understanding between the majority and marginalized social groups living not only in Slovakia. This year’s festival strives to develop this dramaturgical thread, too.


The main topic of the fifth year is HOME – home as a place of human freedom and safety. The need for free home is a prerequisite for personal growth. We are concerned about the ways how to achieve change leading to functional and open society. The most pressing issue for us is to find a way how we can provide more liberal space for home. We want to explore the limits of democracy in the Slovak republic as we believe in being inspired by international theatre productions, which have already achieved certain merits.

The special feature of Arteterapia: freeDOM 2012 concerns the program dramaturgy. It is not only made up of existing international and domestic artistic productions – but strives to inspire the Slovak artists to take their own stand to the given topic. For this reason, the pilot project of The House of Opposition will be realized. It will promote multi-genre artistic presentation and exhibition of stories experienced by individuals and/or groups, who have recently initiated some kind of revolt against injustice and lack of freedom.

Making up the program, we are deeply convinced that art is the most effective way to awaken the "voice of conscience". Our aim is to promote art as a tool for social change and source of inspiration for non-violent and politically engaged dialogue on human rights and freedom. With you we believe that the festival audience will be encouraged to stand for an active citizenship attitude in order to make some slight but necessary steps for the whole society.