Ľubomír Badiar

* 1958

  • "In fact, the whole thing has exploded so much that everybody seemed to be dealing with their own agenda. Peter Bula was a teacher, he just had a grasp of the problems of education. Everybody was just sort of looking and trying to help in that direction. I mean, we were actually in that center, the ones who were there on a daily basis. Every single day we were getting suggestions from people, in that contact: so come help us there, one such deputy is here, just a communist, he has three cars and he's dismissing people. And we would start in the morning or at noon and we would go and solve as judges and arbitrators in disputes in those enterprises, smaller or bigger. I was in Zelenina once, I remember that, because it was, it was, there was already a threat to defenestrate the guy, he was the deputy director, an obvious rich guy, well, he was too much. So there were such revolutionary eruptions. Well, and what you mentioned, that we were prepared, the risk was always there, that somebody would cruelly sort of put an end to the whole thing that first month, that some instruction would come and armed militiamen or, I don't know, police or the StB would come in. So that's probably why a lot of people waited and then they emerged, because already when everything was actually clear, already when that article in the Constitution was actually abolished and gradually those discussions, that new government was already composed not only of communists. So it was already safe then. So it's even hard to describe like that one day, because that hall was always full of people. Of course, some of those people were people who came with completely crazy problems, with expectations that couldn't be fulfilled, I don't know, that he has a dispute with his neighbor over some fence, but like, so like, like, he poured out, like that nation poured out all the pains that always needed to be filtered out, that well, so we recommend you a lawyer, work with us. But the biggest problem was those people in those companies where they were trying to like, like, make that coup happen at the level where they were working, where they were just going to work."

  • "I am an artist, as such a creative person, and for me to study in an education system that has not been reformed since Maria Theresa was an ordeal. I just don't even have much memory equipment, the world of numbers is not my world, the world of words is more my world, or the world of creative actions. So it was an ordeal for me to study in a school where the school system was about: to marry, to teach everyone the same everything, just according to some guidelines, and I still see this in my children to this day, that in a sense they are trying to find themselves because that school didn't help them to do that."

  • "I just kind of understood it, even as a believer, as a Christian, as part of the church, that this is what we're here for. That it's not now for us to create, to invent some rituals or some processions, but that we're just here for everybody to do that little good in the measure that they're fit, in the way that they know how. Even if it's just in a way that they're making soup for somebody who's on the margins, and this phase is probably kind of my final one, because this is something that I enjoy immensely, and I enjoy doing with a couple of people who also understand it, helping people who are on the margins, who are in need, who are in a crisis. Of course, that help runs the gamut from those basic needs to somehow moving those people up a level, getting them a job. And it's a small job, but it's working with specific people, with specific stories. I found my faith there as well, as being able to apply myself, and my kind of civic engagement. I don't yearn for anything more. I think that's probably how the world should work, that there are just some communities that are living and helping each other and trying to make the world a better place."

  • "Everybody had to go to one, there were offers where you had to co-opt people to fill the empty seats left by the communists, so I was also a member of the Municipal National Committee for Culture with Ľuba Blaškovičová for some time. So everybody, there weren't many of us, we were amateur politicians, we involuntarily became politicians, so in that first phase it was necessary to co-opt, so we co-opted. So there was no choice, but then once there was an election, I didn't co-opt just because of what I said, that I felt that I had to help down there, that there were people down there. Peter Neuwirth and I were faithfully doing that liaison service, I had then also such higher organisational tasks already at the level of the Statutory Officer, but somebody had to stay there, they couldn't all go to the Federal Assembly or I don't know, to the National Council, so there were just people who also felt that they had something to bring and had an agenda in their head. But that was not my level of involvement."

  • "Paradoxically, I remember it very fondly, that it's..., I actually sort of went through that development until today, I'm the head of the charity actually, and there that situation very difficult sort of sets up these thresholds in a person: what is humiliating? And a person when they can handle it and they can withstand it, they can somehow accept that, that so then in situations that are difficult in life, so like that threshold serves as that kind of a benchmark for you"

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    Košice, 09.11.2022

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To live in faith in a good God and to strive to become a distributor of that good

Ľubomír Badiar was born on 12 April 1958 in the countryside of the Tatra foothills in the village of Lučivná in the family of peasants Ján (1931) and Maria (1935), who farmed on their own small farm. The father was a social man. He was involved in the church, he was a churchman, a curate, a member of the Physical Education Union and the fire brigade. Until his retirement he worked in Chemosvit as a labourer. Ľubomír‘s grandparents lived modestly, they experienced poverty during the war and post-war years. Grandfather Ján Fabik often recalled the post-war rationing system. Until the end of his life he was afraid that the hard times might return. His grandfather‘s ancestors had served with Count Sakmári and received a farm from him in return for their loyalty. During the time of forced collectivization, his grandfather was forced to join a unified peasant cooperative and hand over his entire farm. Although he became accustomed to the cooperative after a while, he carried this grievance with him throughout his life. He was a staunch opponent of communism. Ľubomír spent the first fifteen years of his life in his birthplace under the Tatras as the eldest of three siblings. He had a joyful and carefree childhood. He devoted himself to creating, but also to sports and children‘s games outdoors in nature. He started going to primary school in 1964 in his native village, and completed the second grade in Svit. However, the system of teaching at school did not suit him and he did not like going to school. On Sundays he usually went to church, but the liturgy in the cold church was incomprehensible and unintelligible to him. Both school and church visits left him with confused, negative impressions. In 1968, Lubomir was still only 10 years old, but he remembers that people were panic shopping, afraid that war had broken out. Tanks and convoys of cars were passing through the village. Ľubomír started studying at the School of Art Industry in Košice in 1974. It was at the school that he first began to think about freedom. He had teachers who were free to create and were inventive in finding paths. In his senior year, the seniors organized an exhibition of student work with the third-year students, but it lasted only one day. There were also anti-regime works on display and the exhibition became controversial. The State Security Officers (STB) packed up all the works and took them to the attic of the school, and at the same time began to investigate the students who participated in the exhibition. The punishment for the students was negative evaluations, with which it was impossible or very difficult to get into the university. After graduating from high school, Ľubomír applied to the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, where he was not accepted. He asked for a one-year deferment of basic military service and applied to the UMPRUM (University of Arts and Crafts) in Prague. He wanted to become a scenographer, but he was not accepted to this college. He completed his basic military service in Dobřany near Plzeň. After returning from military service he got his first engagement in Košice in the Union of Slovak Visual Artists (ZSVU). In the newly opened gallery, which later became the headquarters of the VPN, he was given the post of art officer in charge of organising exhibitions. It was a very inspiring environment for free-thinking visual artists from eastern Slovakia. For some time, he was involved in the church, where he tried to create a friendly community of people who participate together in various events, share their experiences of bringing up children with each other or provide help to the disadvantaged communities. Zbyněk Prokop, Marcel Strýko, Peter Neuwirth, Peter Bula, Štefan Tomčo, Erik Groch, Peter Kalmus and many others from the ranks of actors and students and representatives of VSŽ (Východoslovenské železiarne), together with Ľubomír, were the founders of the first OF/VPN (Občianske fórum/Verejnost proti násiliu) committee in November 1989. After the revolution, Ľubomír was co-opted as a member of the Municipal National Committee. He participated in the preparation of the first free elections, but did not stand for election himself. A close and natural civic space for Ľubomír was at the local, grassroots level, where, through several years of work and local community building, he gradually worked his way up to charity, which he is still involved in today. He finds this work immensely satisfying and fulfilling. He finds in it his faith, as well as a space for civic engagement. He lives according to his inner compass, which shows him the direction and meaning of life, which is to do good for people who have little or no good in their lives. For him, the ideal of doing good is Christ, who brings good and teaches people to do and live that good. This faith constantly motivates and energizes Lubomir. His credo in life is faith in a good God and striving to become a distributor of that goodness.