Honza Tomšů: The interest in regions has increased

Zvěřinec is an association of the Zlín region natives who want to actively participate in the current form and development of local alternative and non-mainstream culture. The association seeks to create a creative environment that will group together active individuals from the cultural and creative sectors, will be a refuge for the new artistic and cultural projects, and all this with the active participation of the Zlín citizens.

Zvěřinec associates young active people from many different disciplines, among others filmmakers, theater personnel, stage designers, technicians, producers and musicians. Is everyone involved in all activities? How do you organize yourselves?

The core of Zvěřinec consists of a team of five people involved in the creation of all events who ensure the running of the association as such. Magdaléna Petráková is our grant guru, Vendula Bělochová and Lenka Trantírková take care of the visual aspects and workshops. Jakub Janča, as an undestroyable producer, has responsibility over PR and (hand in hand with me) takes care of the technical support of events. To sum it up, as far as the professional aspects are concerned, fortunately some differentiation has spontaneously taken place. But actually, we all do a little bit of everything. However, we invite colleagues and friends to be actively involved in the preparation and realization of the events themselves. We strive to take advantage of the diversity of the people around us. However, this refers not only to the people from the art sphere, but also to the local craftsmen and volunteers.

What type of events do you focus on?

We are interested in the events that connect culture and local people. We want to provide the community with insight into current cultural events and at the same time activate the participants, for example through workshops, discussions or direct participation on the cultural program. In our projects we try to work with the topics that seem to be important in relation to a particular event. In general, these are the issues of ecology, DIY approach or accentuation of a site history.

What are your activities and plans as far as the theater field is concerned?

The theater is almost always represented at our events in some way, be it a small performance or ready-made theatrical productions. This is because many of us are active outside Zvěřinec in this area. As for the future, we would like to create a space in Zlín that would function as a community center for alternative culture. This would allow Zlín to be open up to non-mainstream culture. And Moravia could boast of another spot where interesting, not just theatrical projects could be presented.

You have been operating in the Zlín region for a little bit of time so far. However, what are the reactions in the region?

So far, we have received rather positive feedback. We are supported by municipalities and participants. Several volunteers have joined us. We have also established cooperation with some associations that already operate in Zlín and we support each other. At the same time, there is still a lot of work to do so that the community grows and espouses the Zvěřinec's actions. We would like the community to be actively involved in our activities. Our projects should become a natural part of a social life in the Zlín region.

What has pleased you recently in the field culture?

In Zlín, much more cultural events have taken place that have been dampened for some time. Small galleries have been open, concerts are performed… In general, we are also pleased by the growing interest of artists in the regions related to the development of the audience. Through our activities we also get to other projects that have a similar intention. We are pleased that we are not alone in such activities. Sharing experiences with other associations throughout the country is very rewarding.

On the contrary, what has disappointed you?

Absence of adequate space in Zlín and how difficult is to find such a space. We are not the only subject in Zlin that has the will to do something like that, but for some reason it still does not work.

What are your wishes?

We would like to meet more and more open people who have a desire to work together on a better life in the region.