The covid-19 related events of this year unfortunately made in most of the countries around the world any big processions or gatherings impossible. With limited social contact some new ways of thinking and new forms of social and cultural aspects of life started to emerge. The Velvet Carnival procession went through transformation as well and adapted itself to the pandemic situation: this years was significantly smaller in numbers and thematically focused around one word: mutation.
The creative process behind: what does mutation mean and why it was chosen?
The first and main inspiration for this theme was of course the pandemic situation, but the creative process eventually started growing into much bigger and complex picture: the virus pervades the whole world and affects everything in it, it mutates and the society, our working habits and political scene do so with it.
This years motto “towards new mutations” should therefore evoke not only the virus, its mutations and negative feelings connected to it, but also the “positive” side of mutation, which is everlasting change of us and the world around us. To accept the process of mutation means that we are willing to change instead of lingering in the illusion that everything is constant, permanent and will stay the same.
What changed in the procession this year?
The “typical” shape of Velvet Carnival is usually about roughly 12 cliques/groups developing various themes and expressing them with masks, music and performance (read the main post about Velvet Carnival). Since the cliques can be non-profit organizations, school or civic groups etc. the themes are usually diverse: from sustainable development and nature preservation to social topics and political affairs. There is always one over-all topic connecting all the groups together, but it is up to each group how they want to connect to it and in what extent they do so.
The transformed form of Velvet Carnival this year did not include cliques or groups with different themes, but only few performers with masks, that were all related to the main theme of mutation. Just as it was earlier described that the mutation can have negative as well as positive side, the masks were directed in two distinctive directions: one was focused on grotesque proportions and sizes of organic mutations (made by artist Jitka Petrášková), the other was inspired by gloomy social mutations of the present days (made by artist Kristýna Kužvartová). There was also the main and central object of the procession called “discovid” ball, that attracted eyes of passers-by and drew attention with its glow like the lamp attracts a moth (made by artists Josef Koblic and Aleš Hvízdal).
In conlusion its necessary to add, that the procession was by no means breaking any pandemic-related regulations and that all the essential precautions were taken: there were only few performers, all of them wore masks, took social distance in the procession and followed the hygienic rules (3R).