The Festival of Light and Shadow 2018, a member of the Germany based international association of festivals ECOMOVE International, since last year, has already seen a significant and growing interest of the broad and professional public in contemporary multi-gen art. Over the first four years of the festival, more than sixty-five thousand inhabitants and visitors of Banská Bystrica have seen and experienced about eighty light projects. Every year the festival offers a unique opportunity to young artists and students of art schools to present their visual works. The organizer of the festival is the TRAKT Civic Association, in cooperation with the City of Banská Bystrica, the Association of Creatives, the Civic Association Zaťiva na amfiteátri and the company Via MRG.
The fourth edition of the two-day multi-genre Festival of Light and Shadow took place on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22, from 7:30pm to 11:00pm, in the central area of Banska Bystrica. The festival, which ranks among the biggest artistic events in Banská Bystrica, presented light stories at more than twenty places in the historic city center. The festival was opened by the Mayor of Banská Bystrica Ján Nosko on Friday, September 21 to a great drum show of the Campana Batucada group at SNP square. The festival offered exceptional projects this year where light and shadow animated restless walls and told stories. There were included light and audio-visual projections, videomappings, interactive lighting installations for children and adults, inspirational and innovative connection of light and fashion design and water wall holography at the river Hron with the theme of the ancient and contemporary world hidden in water. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Hotel Národný dom, moving abstract Art Deco-style lighted figures appeared directly on the facade of the historic building. Videomapping was used to illuminate and brighten journey from darkness to light on the facade of the church of St. Elizabeth. Together with light art, live art was also featured in the city by the dancers of Human Art Space from Bratislava, artists from Sladovne Písek from the Czech Republic, Teatro Komika from Slovakia, L1 Association – Márta Ladjánszki from Hungary and students of the J. Bella secondary art school from Banská Bystrica. All installations of visual works and live art were freely accessible to visitors at many sites, including SNP square, Dolná Street, Národná Street, the bank of the river Hrone, the area of SNP Museum and the square in front of Europa Shopping Centre. This year’s Light Festival was a part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and young creative artists from five countries – Italy, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia participated.
The accompanying program of the festival was also interesting. It offered a moderated discussion on the topic of Is art a bubble or can it also reach a person with mass taste? On Saturday, the festival was revived by a light cycling event organized by the Civil Cycloinitiative in Banská Bystrica. For the first time, the festival also held an After Party – on Friday, September 21, at Urban Spot, the headliner of which was the band Medial Banana. The festival’s main sponsoring partner is the Fair Foundation O2. The festival also received financial support from the Slovak Arts Council, the International Visegrad Fund, the City of Banská Bystrica and the Banská Bystrica self-governing region. The main media partner of the festival was the public Radio and TV of Slovakia and Radio Regina. Overall, the festival utilized 26 media outlets in electronic and print media presenting information about the preparation and course of the Light and Shadow Festival. The Festival of Light and Shadow, especially two of its light installations, was the winner of the original European Mobility Week (EMW) national competition event in Slovakia in 2018. The City Cycle tour and Cyclotriptych, organized by the citizens during the Festival simultaneously with the Dayless Car Activity were original and the form of their design was noteworthy.
Translated: Jana Stupňanová