Košice will be flooded by all kinds of art in the second week of September. Košice second edition of the International Festival of Arts TRANS/MISIE, which is a joint project of theatres from six countries – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine. The organizer of the festival is the Košice State Theatre with the support of Ministry of Culture. The main theme of the festival this year will be the 30th anniversary of the events of 1989.

The TRANS/MISIE International Festival of Arts project began in the middle of June 2017 in the Polish town of Lancut near Rzeszow, where representatives of theatres from six countries – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Ukraine – signed a memorandum to create it. The signatories to the memorandum were directors of the Teatr im. Wandy Siemaszkowej of the Rzeszow in Poland, Košice State Theatre, Csokonai Theatre Nemzeti Szinház from Debrecen in Hungary. The National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, Czech Republic, The M. Zankovetska Ukrainian National Academic Drama Theatre of Lviv and Lithuania’sPanevėžys Theatre, which was later replaced by the Palace of Culture in the town of Trakai.

The project partners share border locations, aiding mutual exchange of cultures. This aids a non-centrist view of matters. It is based on regional communities and the unique identity of border areas. The basic aim of the festival, which will take place in a different city and country every year, is building a common space for sharing ideas and values, inspiration and motivation, putting forward art events. The main programme focus of TRANS/MISIE is interdisciplinarity in the arts (theatre, opera, music, film, visual arts, photography, performance, new media, etc.). Therefore, the name is TRANS/MISIE. TRANS means “across” and it represents crossing borders and the search for new means of expression and exceeding limits. MISIE, means “mission” and it refers to the role of art in the everyday lives of communities not only local ones but also global ones. Every year, the festival also offers a different basic theme connected with history.

The premiere edition of TRANS/MISIE took place in late August and September 2018 in the Polish town of Rzeszow and its organizer was Teatr im. W. Siemaszkowej. The title of the festival was – “1918, End and Beginning.” It was based on the hundredth anniversary of the events of 1918 that were of great importance for Central and Eastern Europe, bringing new independent states and a new arrangement of borders.

The main topic of the second edition of the festival in Košice is the 30thanniversary of the events of 1989. The events of the festival will focus not only on the fall of communism and the commemoration of this anniversary, they will also reflect on the relationship of democracy versus dictatorship, the fall of any regime and the moment of change that brings such a fall, and how a society comes to terms with such a moment. As with the inaugural year of the festival, in Košice there will be individual days, from Sunday 8 September to Saturday 14 September devoted to different countries and the programme will be prepared by foreign partner theatres together with their partners. The first and last days of the festival will be Slovak. The programme will be the work not only of the Košice State Theatre, but also of other Slovak cultural institutions.

TRANS/MISIE will flood Košice with art not only on both stages of the State Theatre in Košice, but also in the premises of the domestic partners of the festival – in the House of Art, which is the base of Košice State Philharmonic, the Barracks/Kulturpark, at the Tabačka Kulturfabrik, at the East Slovak Museum, at the East Slovak Gallery, at the Vojtech Löffler Museum, or in the Košice Puppet Theatre. In addition to the main programme, the organizers have also prepared a rich “off programme”, which will include for example the festival village in the historic building of the Košice State Theatre.