Field for performing arts

Becoming Czech

An exploration of national identity and belonging. Co-created project combining different art forms and exploring the relationship of the first generation of migrants in Brno and the Czech Republic to the themes of national identity, belonging and the broader issues of migration.

beginning of the project

Studio CED, Brno (Zelný trh 9, 1. patro)

Artists Lora Krasteva, Sonya Darrow, Alma Lily Rayner, Maa Ry Nguyen and the team at Teren invite you to eat, rest, talk and create together. Over 36h, including a sleepover, Teren’s studio is transformed into a cozy space of sanctuary for all.
Starting from 10h on Monday 21st March, join us to build what home means to us: as immigrants, humans and citizens of Brno and beyond. Food will be provided and cooked communally, there will be semi-structured discussions and spaces to react, share or sit together. You are welcome to drop by, come and go or stay for longer. Families and children welcome.

A recording of the radio broadcast that took place during the two-day program can be found at this link. You can listen to interviews with the artists involved & various parts of the program, including a panel discussion.

Monday 21/3
• 10:00 space of CED Studio opens
• from 12 communal lunch & sharing circle
• 15–17 space remains open to create, write, draw, speak, rest
• 18–19:30 Panel discussion on immigration and asylum seeking in the Czech Republic. Guest speakers: Maja Vusilović, Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky, Ivana Raposova Božič, Alicia Synek Rétiová & Arghavan Baghernia
(The discussion will be interpreted into Czech and English.)
• 20–22 communal dinner
• from 22 Good night stories and winding down. If you would like to spend the night sleeping at the Becoming / CED Studio please sign up here. More information about the sleepover will be sent to those who register.

Tuesday 22/3
• 8–10 gentle waking up, coffee, breakfast and starting the day together
• from 12 lunch & sharing circle
• 15–18 space remains open to create, write, draw, speak, rest
• 19–20 closing circle
• from 20h join us in the Terén bar for an informal drink & goodbye

During the two-day programme of the Becoming Czech project, a Ukrainian and Russian speaker will be present on site from 12:00 to 20:00.

Lora Krasteva is a Bulgarian artist based in Sheffield, UK. Her lived experience of migration in 6 different countries and her recent insights from applying for British citizenship, is what led her to this project.
Lora is part of Global Voices Theatre, a theatre company dedicated to introducing international theatre by long-term excluded creatives in the UK. She creates devised, socially engaged theatre with professionals and other community members alike and works with Arts & Homelessness International to advocate for a place for creativity in homelessness provision. Lora is a member of What Next? and a founding member of Migrants in Theatre, the movement advocating for a better representation of 1st generation immigrants both on and off stage.

Alma Lily Rayner is a multidisciplinary artist and a feminist activist born in Israel and based in Prague, Czech Republic. Her work revolves around sociopolitical themes linked to gender, trauma and the culturally invisible. While being highly personal, her projects are conducted through long-term research and aim to question dominant discourses of power. In her practice, Rayner combines various digital media, recycled audiovisual leftovers and pieces of text. Many of her projects have a collaborative character and focus on developing platforms for community gathering and engagement.
You can explore Alma Lily Rayner's work on the web at almalilyrayner.com

Maa Ry Nguyen is part of a changing group of collaborating friends of Glory Affairs, an entity combining various forms of audiovisual production. The collective's desire is to co-create honest connections between individuals through changing interactive genre-free sites for solidarity, self-expression through the intermingling of sound, movement, cooking, painting, sculpture, costume, performance, shifting domestic environments and light-hearted humor. It shares imaginative workshops with participants regardless of previous experiences and experienced categories. Maa Ry is also part of the Planet Za (Ankali) collective, whose space now houses the Glory Affairs studio. She performs as a musician, DJ, and performer under the name Mor Wen. She is a resident of Gravity Network, a network of European music stages. www.gloryaffairs.com & www.gloryaffairs.com/mor-wen

Sonya Darrow is a lecturer at the Moravian Gallery and PhD student in sociology (sociology of art) at MU in Brno. She is a “memory activist” and participatory-based artist working on socially cooperative art practices. She completed her MA in Cultural Sociology with her socially cooperative art project “Stezky/Pathways” — mapping the cultural landscape of Czech settlements in Iowa through objects, sounds and folklore. She continues her work intersecting environmental and cultural sustainability with the folk art movement, “Folklore's not dead”, where she collaborates with the Veronica Foundation and the South Moravian Community Foundation. Folklore’s not dead is about understanding how folk art practices can connect with our daily life, not to be disconnected or used only in moments. You can follow her works at www.instagram.com/sonyadarrow text: instagramu.)

Curated by: Lora Krasteva
In collaboration with: Sonya Darrow, Maa Ry Nguyen, Alma Lily Rayner

This collective project is combining exhibition and performance and explores the relationship of the first generation of migrants in Brno and the Czech Republic to the themes of national identity, belonging and the broader issues of migration. Becoming Czech is the first of a series of three artist residencies, followed by Becoming Romanian in Bucharest and Becoming German in Berlin. For the project, Terén and the author of the concept, Lora Krasteva, launched an open call, based on which three artists were selected to participate in the final output – Alma Lily Rayner, Maa Ry Nguyen, Sonya Darrow.

The project is supported by Perform Europe Creative Europe.

Studio CED (Zelný trh 9)

Curated by: Lora Krasteva
In collaboration with: Sonya Darrow, Maa Ry Nguyen, Alma Lily Rayner

Link to the project open call that took place in January 2022.

Projects archive