blogEast is a project of goEast - Festival of Central and Eastern European Film. The blog was created during the first Corona wave in Europe as a solidary mouthpiece for film (culture) creators from all over Europe. In the coming weeks, blog posts will be published that highlight cinematic as well as political and social facets of today's situation, but also offer a way to distract from the omnipresent discussion about infection figures and vaccination progress. blogEast is supervised and edited by the goEast team and accompanies the digital festival in Wiesbaden.

A piece of the East deep in the West

Stylish, functional and modular. As places for daily needs, which include everything from a daily newspaper to a pack of cigarettes, kiosks in all shapes and colours lined the streets of large Central and Eastern European cities in the past and even today. The small pavilion-like, free-standing buildings are very modular and, given a forklift, can quickly change street corners. The kiosk culture is said to date back to ancient Egypt, where the small buildings served as abodes for the gods. Some of them still survive the age of online shopping and become a cultural meeting point in passing. It is not just a matter of buying the latest glossy magazine. Old acquaintances are quickly met, glasses are raised and an Eastern European hit song is already playing in the background from the radio. The kiosk as such is a meeting place, a stop in the hustle and bustle of big city life. It is always on the way from A to B and is the filling station for all kinds of human needs.

One kiosk in particular embodies the design culture of the 1960s: the K67. Designed by the Slovenian architect Saša J. Mächtig, it is already a legend among kiosk models and is exhibited at MoMa in New York, among other places. goEast curator Anastasiia Melai found the 700-kilogram model in Serbia and had it transported to Wiesbaden without further ado.

The journey from the city of Kikinda via Bratislava, Prague and Nuremberg to Wiesbaden, turned out to be anything but a coffee ride. Already on leaving Serbia, the transport had to stop because none of the customs officials wanted to believe that "someone in Germany would actually buy such a kiosk in this condition", according to the truck driver's report. Rather, the customs officials suspected that the driver had packed the kiosk full of drugs to be smuggled across the border. Serbia is not part of the European Union, so naturally the German customs officials also noticed that something might be wrong. New import papers were needed and, above all, the officials demanded an assurance that the kiosk would not be used for "torture purposes". In the end, however, the transport made it to its interim destination, the Museum Wiesbaden. The object, which is actually quite and common and nothing out of the ordinary, already has many bizarre stories to tell, which can be exchanged during the festival. Before it can be used, the kiosk will be thoroughly cleaned and given a new coat of paint. Who knows what will be discovered inside.

The Ost-Kiosk after its arrival at the Museum Wiesbaden from the outside and inside.

In the context of the Pan-European Picnic funded by the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the goEast Ost-Kiosk becomes a meeting place even under pandemic conditions. Festival visitors will be able to meet at a distance and discuss their viewing experiences of the festival's On Demand programme. In addition, the kiosk offers a place to go for coffee specialities, snacks to-go and maybe even cocktail specials. A kiosk radio lets strollers passing by taste a little of Central and Eastern European sound impressions. In this way, the Ost-Kiosk becomes a kaleidoscope of Central and Eastern European encounters, to which goEast has always dedicated itself as a bridge builder between East and West.

// The goEast Ost-Kiosk opens daily starting 23 April from 10:00 to 22:00 in front of the Nassauischer Kunstverein at Wilhelmstraße 15. //

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