by Anna Kellar:
“Oh, no! We’re in *gasp* *shudder * Eastern Europe.”
In the film Eurotrip, the heroes arrive, accidentally, in Bratislava. As the quote above indicates, the city is depicted as a dystopian wasteland of cement-block Soviet apartment buildings, a place so empoverished that the American tourists’ left-over chang can buy a 5-star dinner and a night of absinthe-fueled revelry. For many Americans, these stereotypes is all that they know about Slovakia, and Eastern Europe beyond Prague remains a blank.
I am interning for the summer for Transparency International Slovakia, an NGO that fights corruption in politics, business and the media. While I am living in Slovakia, I am trying to capture the real images of Bratislava and Eastern Europe – the communist kitch and the capitalist excesses, the traditional beauty and the Euro-hipster new arrivals.