New Mural In Prague-Holešovice Portrays The Theme of Leaving Children’s Homes
Since mid-July, Prague’s Holešovice has been decorated with a new mural, entitled MEZIKROK. It was created as part of the international Remix Comix project, which connects four European countries, and aims to draw public attention to marginalised groups and the problems they face through public art projects.
The mural was created in cooperation between the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia and the Netherlands. It aims to make visible the issue of children’s homes and the realities that young adults have to face when they leave. Since 14 July, the art work can be seen on the wall of the popular cultural space Vnitroblock.
The Czech part of the international residency took place from 1-15 July in Prague’s Holešovice. Five artists collaborated on the artwork with a strong social undertone: the Czech illustrator Jakub Bachorík, graphic designer Asja Komadina from Novi sad in Serbia, Slovenian sculptor Neža Jurman, Dutch dramaturge Indi Hoorweg, and Serbian comic book author Jana Adamović, all under the guidance of curator Štěpánka Jislová.
Within the residence there were also educational lectures and workshops led by experts from partnering non-profit organisations, who gave the residents statistical information and advised on the form of children’s homes in the Czech Republic, as well as giving personal accounts of life in this system.
Regarding the choice of topic, Štěpánka Jislová adds: “We chose young adults who leave children’s homes because very few groups start their independent lives at such a disadvantage. While most of us can afford to make mistakes and learn from them, for these people even one misstep can be disastrous. For example, arriving late to work, which results in unemployment, can mean losing housing overnight. They lack the financial cushion and network of loved ones that the rest of us are usually used to supporting. But there is also an emotional deficit. Although the children’s home is for many of them the best thing that could have happened to them, no one can erase the memories of traumatic experiences or removal from the original family. It is no wonder then that statistically half of them end up homeless, in prison or in the depths of drug addiction, which often leads to premature death.”
The Prague residence has two main outputs: the first is the mural painting on the wall of the famous cafe Vnitroblock, the result of the collective work of the resident artists. The second output is the website www.mezikrok.cz, which brings together information about the project. It describes the issue in greater detail, accompanied by statistical data, maps the creation of the mural, introduces the artists themselves and offers the public concrete ways to contribute to improving the situation for those leaving children’s homes. Created in collaboration with a number of non-profit organisations, such as Projekt Patron, Ašta Šmé or Nadání a vyły, the guide consists of simple steps, such as financial support, renting an apartment, or an offer of a job opportunity.
The Czech part of the Remix Comix project takes place under the baton of the LUSTR festival, the largest illustration show in the country, which will celebrate its 10th birthday from 21-26 September. This year, the festival will take place at a new location and will move from the traditional Hybernská to two of the halls of the Holešovice Market Hall, presenting the best of the Czech and Slovak illustration scene, as well as the international.