January 27, 2022

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In a Colorful World: We Found a Great Place at the Mentally Handicapped Center… | Petržalka neighborhoods of the city

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I didn’t expect the world behind the door of a day center for the mentally disabled to be as colorful as I found it in Petržalka’s Impulse on Turnianská. Clean renovated spaces, walls play with colour, paintings, photos, flowers thrive here. It is light, warm, clean and lively. Customers are preparing to celebrate one of their own.

I’ll peek into one of the rooms. It is a protected workshop. Four of the fourteen community members work here. Someone showed me how they make wax and pour it into moulds, I smell cinnamon and coffee candles, and I admire their colorful mosaics. “If we had a regular client, we would be able to hire more of our clients here,” says Director Jana Marikova. He hopes that they will break out the candles once and be able to add soap production for those not so skilled.

Their clients are adults, mostly 30-40 years old, having cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism… It depends on the degree of mental disability they can handle. “We have a wonderfully talented autistic woman who weaves so much on a loom that you can’t even follow her. However, it communicates so little. Her mother says she looks up the language she once spoke. When watching TV, she splits the screen into 10-12 parts. , and watch all the programs at the same time. And then she will write you something in German, even though no one taught it.”

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Janka with her drawings.

Impulse customers are not completely dependent on the help of another person. Some can go to the facility on their own, although they have their assistants, cell phones and email addresses, they can give a powerpoint presentation about things that interest them, and some sell products from a sheltered workshop at Christmas markets. Their progress often depends on the attitude of their parents. Many would like to become independent and can do so. “They just need to be prepared for it. Most of them trust people without restrictions. They are loyal, honest and open. Lucky people who do not deal with the value of money. It would not have occurred to them that someone might think badly of them,” says Jana Marikova, and of Surprisingly, a customer who desires a world full of love did not welcome me, so he embraces everyone.

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Creativity knows no closure

In our conversation, it is impossible to skip a topic that is literally every day today. pandemic. How do they test it in the center? “Maybe better than the others,” the manager surprised me, explaining that in the twelve years she’s been working, they’ve had transfers, burns, and reconstructions… “Everyone is aware of Covid.” We just learned about it at the time. They are not afraid. The only problem for them was the shutdown.”
Their inability to go to the center, where they spend time from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon, and the loss of contacts and activities to which they were accustomed, was a powerful interference with Homeland Security. “We were simply taught at the time. They didn’t understand that this situation is not limited in time. One of our clients went to her mother every day with a calendar in her hand to show her when she was going to Impulse. She refused to accept that her mother didn’t know.”

They canceled the opening, the reason is the aggression against people without curtains

Today (November 18) the exhibition Creativity Does Not Know Lockdown opens at Zichy’s Palace in Ventúrská in Bratislava’s Old Town. However, the organizer preferred it – the Association for the Assistance of Persons with Mental Disabilities of Petralca. a reason?

To help them cope with the new situation, they decided to work with them more intensively. This led to the creation of the works they presented in the exhibition Creativity Does Not Know Lockdown. How do they see themselves? How do they see others? How do they see the world? Mud selfies, beautiful petro color photos that they made with each other. Kika shows me her own clone of Paul Klee’s Still Life. At first glance, the same thing but different. “I love everything that flies,” he said, referring to the dragonfly.

Kika and Its Breed Still Life for Paul Klee.

Personally, I’ve strayed too far from playful color photos. “Drawing batik,” explains the director who specializes in art therapy at the center. “I suggested they put things in the background that he likes to photograph.” Michel Janka turned her into a peeler because she knows she loves 8-way puzzles. Another is captive paraffin and candles. Drawing of Kika Tomas who loves sweets. Therefore, the fan and the covola should not be missing. “Show me how you see yourself,” Kike says, and shows me a willing kiss.

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This is how you see Michel Janka.

With the story, their works became more interesting. I’d like to let them introduce themselves in Petržalka after the fair, which was in early November and December in the old town. Space will definitely be found.

I walk from room to room on Impulse, and notice that I don’t feel like leaving. On the contrary, if you look at the entire program on the notice board from Monday to Friday – exercises, communities, ceramics, bibliotherapy, dance, computers and cooking … – I will stay all week. She told director Jane Maric. She just laughs and says, “You’re not the first.”

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