In such an environment, Bona Fide association of citizens was established in 1995 under the leadership of Peter Radkoff. Through its activities, it continuously followed several important local cultural movements from the period of the 1990s, which presented contemporary art in our country and abroad. It was also behind the creation of three independent cultural centers in Kosice.
In almost 20 years of activity, various creative teams connected with Bona Fide association of citizens and carried out many cultural events such as various festivals, works of art, or international cooperations. Thanks to these long-term activities of the association, the residents of Kosice and its visitors had a unique opportunity to meet a high-quality alternative to mass pop-cultural production in the field of music, theatre, film, or fine art. At the same time, the local art scene could confront colleagues from abroad.
The first independent cultural center in Kosice was IC Culture Train (2005 – 2008, Kosice, Vysne Opatske, Nizna uvrat 25). Inter City Culture Train brought an alternative, open space for authors and the general public, focusing on the creation and presentation of contemporary art. The former cultural house in Vysny Opatske made it possible to create new projects, organize music, dance and theatre productions, exhibitions, film productions
and workshops – presenting the culture and art from all over the world. This cultural house helped to increase practical knowledge and understanding of contemporary art issues. Many creative people worked there. The space was visited by thousands of spectators.
The second place was a prospective project of the independent cultural center- Kasárne (Barracks) Kulturpark. This project aimed to use the entire area of the former military barracks, including the park (Kasárne (Barracks) Kulturpark, June – September 2008, Kosice, Kukucinova 2). When Kosice was seeking the title of European Capital of Culture in 2013, Peter Radkoff was asked to lead an expert group on contemporary art and independent culture. The plan was to create an independent cultural center by revitalizing an abandoned military building in the city center. Therefore, in a good faith that OZ Bona Fide carries in its own name, Radkoff and the team moved all their activities to the barracks. It was a big challenge and a big step ahead – independent culture and contemporary art became the main foundation of the Kosice the European Capital of Culture 2013 project. After winning the title, however, there was a sharp turning point. From an independent cultural center, the barracks area has been transformed into a cultural center directly led and regulated by the municipal government. OZ Bona Fide was fired a month after winning the title from City’s management and had to leave them.
Tabacka Kulturfabrik – the only non-state cultural centre operating in Eastern Slovakia (2009 – until now, Kosice, Gorkeho 2 Street ). Life showed that Peter Radkoff’s failure did not break him, but rather the other way around. The disappointment from the previous project resulted in an intensive search for new premises. He found a perfect place in a former tobacco factory, where the “old” Tabacka was founded in 2009. The new Tabacka Kulturfabrik gradually came back to life in a small, self-renovated alternative space with an atypical atmosphere but a rich everyday cultural program. Radkoff’s vision and the great interest of young citizens in Tabacka, were so convincing that members of the Kosice Self-Governing Region (KSK) approved OZ Bona Fide’s long-term lease for the purpose of establishing a cultural center with a creative hub in April 2012. The ten-year lease is valid until 31 July 2022. KSK had made considerable investments in the reconstruction of buildings, and OZ Bona Fide also invested in the modernization and equipment of the premises of the future center. With their help, historical industrial buildings significantly transformed Tabacka Kulturfabrik into a new open zone for culture, creativity and cooperation. Tabacka opened its doors to the public in May 2015.
The combination of the current tradition with integrated dramaturgy focused on all types of contemporary art has created an educational and knowledge-based platform in Kosice.
Vznik občianskeho združenia Bona Fide
IC Culture Train – Nezávislé kultúrne centrum
Kasárne Kulturpark – projekt nezávislého kultúrneho centra
Tabačka Kulturfabrik – jediné neštátne kultúrne centrum svojho druhu pôsobiace na východnom Slovensku