Diana Quirschfeld, ISSF founder and coordinator
Diana has been active in civil actions since her time at the university. She studied Civil society studies in Prague, and it was back in then in 00's when the passion for civil rights started to grow. In years to follow, she kept being active in civil gatherings and protests and she worked in various NGOs in Czech Republic, Austria and Russia. Since 2014 she lives in The Netherlands, working in International development as a Fundraiser, and fulfills her enthusiasm to activism at Het Actie Fonds Foundation that supports small activist initiatives in Eastern Europe and around the world.
While the connection to activism was still alive, not much of it was connected to her home, Slovakia. But when Slovak Journalist Ján Kuciak was shot in 2018, she together with other Slovaks organized series of memorials and protests in Amsterdam and The Hague. After few months, when people left the streets, she felt the need to continue pointing out the weak spots of democracies in her home region. Therefore, she is now working with the Iron Sky team as a Festival Coordinator and is looking forward to meeting you there.
Mária Mikulcová, ISSF founder and researcher
Mária has been interested in politics and democracy from young age. After she had left Slovakia, she did not fully keep up with the political situation there, but she did not abandon politics entirely as she studied political affairs of the post-Soviet countries in graduate school. During her undergraduate studies, Mária lived in Russia for one year where she had first-hand experience of what effects a lack of independent media and investigative journalism can have on a country and its people. This experience was one of the reasons why the murder of Ján Kuciak, investigative journalist, and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová reignited Mária's interest in politics of Slovakia and the other Visegrad Four countries.
Mária co-founded the Iron Sky Film Festival because she has wanted to create a platform where people can come together to discuss current issues the Slovak and Czech democracies are facing, raise awareness about the forces behind the current political climates, encourage active citizenship and ultimately make both countries a better place for everybody.
Alena Lenková, ISSF founder and researcher
Political corruption is a disease that eats up the body from the inside. In Slovakia this disease has infiltrated into all its organs.
For Alena, the situation in Slovakia was very frustrating, so one day she packed up things and left. She would have never guessed that one day she will become an activist. But the murder of Jan and Martina has changed everything. She wanted to support Slovak anti-government protests and decided to join the activists in the Netherlands. At last, she found people that share the same values! The festival helps in maintaining the Czech and Slovak community engaged and active. The ISSF team also wants to highlight that the values of liberal democracy should not be taken for granted. At ISFF, she is in charge of researching potential speakers and communicating with the guest speakers in the panel discussions.
Ružena Koželuhová, ISSF Marketing
Half Slovak half Czech ''enjoying" the Dutch weather for some time already. How did it all start? It all started with the news which changed a lot in the lives of Slovak people. It all started with the murder of Slovak investigator Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova. She started to ask herself, do we have democracy in Slovakia or do the politicians have different interpretation of democracy? She had strong doubts about their interpretation and therefore we have organized peaceful gatherings in The Hague followed by the Iron Sky Film Festival.
She is involved in different areas of co-organization such as speakers and marketing. Since there are several topics which should be addressed and not ignored, we want to continue with Iron Sky Film Festival. She hopes we created a platform for discussion and exchange of views.
Michal Malenčík, ISSF discussion session chair
Michal moved to the Netherlands because of his work. Despitethe fact that he has never been active in a civil movement or politics, he always closely watched the Slovak and international news. After the murder of the journalist and his fiancée in Slovakia in 2018, he decided to actively participate in the organization of the anti-governmental protests in The Hague.
He joined the Iron Sky team because he wants to draw attention to the failures of democracy and drive the debate towards pragmatic solutions. He is helping the Iron Sky team as a speaker and a moderator, leveraging his analytical skills and interests ranging from international politics to ecology and sustainability.
Zuzana Drexlerová, ISSF social media coordinator
Zuzana has always strained away from the politics. Instead, she has been working in international criminal investigations, grew fond of forensic science and chasing war criminals. Frustrated with the education system in Slovakia and no foresight of a change in where her country was heading to, she left to the Netherlands. The dramatic events of 2018 changed people' sentiments, and changed hers, too. By a stroke of fate, she met one of the organizers of protests in Slovakia who prompted her to do something meaningful for her home country and as a volunteer, she joined Transparency International Slovakia.
Zuzana joined the Iron Sky crew only in the beginning of 2019 and she is in charge of social media, public relations, and marketing. She is excited to be part of the 2019 production team and she will do her best to keep people informed and proud about the next successful edition of the Film Festival.