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, Ukraine – signed a memorandum for its creation. 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 signatories to the memorandum were directors of theatres from Rzeszow in Poland, Košice in Slovakia, Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Debrecen in Hungary, Lviv in Ukraine, and Panevėžys in Lithuania, which was later replaced by the town of Trakai.
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 100thanniversary 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.