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Restoration of Redoubt Skalka to Multicultural Space


The project

Jelšava municipality in the Revúca District of Banská Bystrica Region is one of the least developed districts in Slovakia and the EU. It is a town with a rich mining and iron tradition as well as craft production. With this project, we have worked with the local city leadership to engage citizens, young people, and marginalized groups with our creative toolbox of methods. With our non-formal learning activities, we have used art to engage people and life within social, economic, and environmental issues.

How to combine art, environmental education and social work? 

This question has been at the core of what we, in Acting for Climate, have been doing in the town of Jelšava over the last 2 years, from 2022 to 2024. 

We have in this period worked with the young lively Roma youth, together with our amazing partners YMCA Revuca, who for years have been working on building a culture center for the youth in Jelšava. 

We have done street circus parades and shows, taught dance, circus and theater, created site-specific performances, started a community garden, done workshops and a collaborative performance in the local school, and opened the new cultural house of the town.

The progress



 August 2022

Preparation visit

We met the partners, the people of Jelsava, and explored the local natural surroundings.


August 2022
Main visit

  • We engaged the kids in the street with parades and circus .

  • We created two site specific performances. One in the tunnel at Magnizit town, and one in the old castle of the Coburg family in Jelsava. The first performance “Toto Meisto” in nature for the local people and especially kids. The second performance in the town, together with some of the local dancers and actors. 

  • We created video material for social media, a video with the local dancers, and numerous small workshops for the people in the town.


March 2024
Final visit

  • We engaged 300 kids over one week in the local school. With workshops in theater, dance and circus, that culminate in a grand caperet, where the kids perform for each other. 

  • We established a community garden in the cultural center called Jordan. 

  • We helped YMCA Revuca open a new culture house together with the municipality of Jelsava. 



The Tunnel Performance

Twenty minutes by car from Jelšava, there's an old, abandoned railway tunnel that stretches several kilometers through the mountain. This unique location became the ideal setting for our site-specific performance, "Toto Miesto" ("This Place"), designed to highlight the rich history surrounding Jelšava. This region has experienced a variety of changes—from being a forestry hub during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to a center for magnesite mining in the past century. It's a place that has seen the boons of industrial development and the burdens of environmental degradation, with dust and pollution making life in the city increasingly challenging. As development slowed, houses decayed, and people left the area. Though mining pollution has since decreased, a sense of decline still haunts the local community.

As outsiders, we aimed to tell a story that encapsulates these complex dynamics, while also suggesting that change is possible, that places can transform, and that despite the shifts in population and perceptions, the enduring beauty of people and nature persists.

To explore this theme of locality and time, we took our audience on a sensory journey along a stream leading into the darkness of the tunnel. In this dim environment, they encountered musical sounds, saw miners walking on each other's shoulders, glimpsed animal silhouettes, and witnessed light sculptures reminiscent of ancient times. They also encountered a dancer performing in the shadows. The audience then turned around and walked toward the light at the end of the tunnel, symbolizing both a return to the present and a step into the emerging future. As they exited the tunnel, they were greeted by a performer suspended in the air, dancing—a final image suggesting the possibility of hope and renewal.


Circus Do Parku

During our time there, we established a routine where local kids could join us at the park most evenings. It became a social safe space where they could explore various circus skills and simply enjoy themselves. This interaction with the kids became incredibly meaningful to us, as it was here that we truly formed friendships with them.

Thank you to all our partners and supporters

Thank you to EEA Norway grants for this opportunity, and to YMCA Revuca, the Municipality of Jelsava, Banská Bystrica Region Youth Council, and the Municipality of Magnizit, for the collaboration.

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