COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Slovenia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.4 Direct professional co-operation

Slovene museums, archives and libraries are members of various international or foreign organisations and participate in their work. International activities of the Slovene museums, archives and libraries take the form of co-operation in various international projects, membership of international associations, organisation of exhibitions, international conferences and seminars, and development of various forms of professional training. For the public sector, the bilateral agreements on international cultural co-operation with most European countries present an important generator of the development of various forms of professional training and collaboration. All these international activities are a regular part of the operation of the public institutions that get public funding within their regular annual budgets. The new models and forms that are increasingly present in the non-institutional sector depend mostly on project funding, domestic as well as international.

The Mini Theatre (puppet / theatre), the Študentska založba Publishing House(one of the most productive Slovene publishing houses),theExodos Institute (a non-profit, independent theatre and dance production centre), and Projekt Atol (a non-profit cultural institution founded in 1990s by the Slovene conceptual and new media artist Marko Peljhan) place great importance on international cooperation, as they produce performances, tour abroad and host foreign artists or performances in Slovenia.

They are / were recipients of funding from the European Commission's Culture Programme, i.e. Mini Theatre (http://www.mini-teater.si) for "Puppet Nomad Academy I, II, III" (in 2009, 2011, 2012), the Študentska založba Publishing House (http://www.studentskazalozba.si) for translation projects in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, as well as for the "Days of Poetry and Wine Festival" (2008, 2010) and "Poetry Re-Generation" project (in 2012, http://www.poezijainvino.org), the Exodos Institute (http://www.exodos.si) for the "Exodos International Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts", biennial since 2011 (in 2010), and Projekt Atol (makrolab.ljudmila.org) for the "IMMEDIATE: Immersive Media Dance Integrating in Telematic Environments" project (in 2007).

The Mini Theatre's activity, including the adaptation of one of its venues, was supported by a grant through the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norway Financial Mechanism in 2008–2009.

The Exodos Institute is a member of the IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts, Festivals in Transition (FIT), European Dance Education Network (DANCE) and the Trans Danse Europe network of production houses. The Projekt Atol Institute is a partner to the following initiatives: Arctic Perspective Initiative (API), world-information.org (WIO), the MIR network (Arts Catalyst, Leonardo / Olats, V2, and Multimedia Complex of Actual Arts), Acoustic Space Lab, and AUVSI.

In 2010 theŠtudentska založba Publishing House produced the "Fabula Festival of Stories" as part of World Book Capital Ljubljana 2010, while Exodos collaborated with a project involving the creation of a "Labyrinth of Art", a living space for walking and contemplation on the outer edge of Ljubljana.

The Flota Institute is a non-profit cultural institution for the organisation and realisation of cultural events, established in 2001 by the dancer and choreographer Matjaž Farič. In 2006, the Institute started organising the "Front@ Contemporary Dance Festival" (http://www.flota.si/fronta.html) in Murska Sobota (http://www.murska-sobota.si), which has 13 000 inhabitants and is situated near the border with Austria, Croatia and Hungary. The event is aimed at audiences in the area between Maribor, Budapest, Zagreb and Graz, who would not normally have access to cutting-edge contemporary dance performances. The festival was supported by the Ministry of Culture (80%), the Municipality of Murska Sobota (4%), sponsors and donors (6%) and its own funds and income (10%).

In order to achieve the stated objectives, the Flota Institute extended its operation to the area of neighbouring countries, connected with local organisations and spread events evenly throughout the year. Thus Front@ Festival became the focal point of international integration in the project "Dance Explorations Beyond Front@" (http://www.flota.si/network/network.html) wherein five organisations from Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Croatia participated in the years 2008-2010. The central part of the festival programme still consists of events resulting in international integration. In 2010, the festival was supported by the Ministry of Culture (50%), the EU Culture Programme in the context of Beyond Front@ (25%), the European Cultural Foundation in the context of Beyond Front@ (8.3%), the Municipality of Murska Sobota (2.8%), sponsors and donors (4%) and its own funds and income (9.8%).

In 2012, the Flota Institute with its partners ushered in a new phase of a two-year international collaboration entitled "Bridging New Territories" (http://www.beyondfronta.eu/). The project’s partners were the Greenwich Dance Agency (UK), Verein für neue Tanzformen and Offenes haus Oberwart (Austria), Pro progressione (Hungary) and the Hrvatski Institut za pokret i ples (Croatia). The project also involved "bridge" partners from Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Portugal and Italy.

In 2012, the Front@ Festival was supported by the Ministry of Culture (28.1%), the EU Culture Programme in the context of Beyond Front@ (9.8%), the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) Maribor 2012 (29.5%), the Municipality of Murska Sobota in the context of ECOC (29.5%), and its own funds and income (2.9%).

Founded in 1996, KIBLA, Association for Culture and Education (http://www.kibla.org), works in the field of contemporary culture and art, information technologies, interdisciplinarity and education. KIBLA offers free access to internet and cultural goods. At the time of its formation, modern technology was not a widely accessible commodity in Slovenia. KIBLA was a pioneer in connecting the Slovenian cultural sphere globally with new technologies, and consequently enriched the field by bringing fresh possibilities for expression, communication and integration. KIBLA's activities include: two cyber-spaces (KIBLA and KIT), KiBela gallery, KIBLIX open source festival, "Days of Curiosity" educational festival, the experimental Digital community (I.-VIII), "Za:misel" bookstore literature and the mobile "Festival of Love" in local castles, desktop publishing in cooperation with TOX publishing, Folio magazine, improvised music "Skrite note" and "Izzven", DANES microtonal music and the electro-acoustic MED festival, and Romany programmes. A number of international projects like Mediaterra, TRG, txOm, E-Agora, Patent, EMMA, Travel in Europe, Robots and avatars, etc. form an outline of KIBLA's cultural policy over the last decade – in terms of interdisciplinarity, networking and integration. Since its foundation in 2004, KIBLA has been a part of the Multimedia Centre’s network of Slovenia. In 2008 it received an excellency award in the field of multimedia, awarded by the European multimedia forum. Soft Control (2012–2015) is KIBLA's international coordination project – a link between western and eastern-European partners working in the field of arts, sciences and contemporary technologies with institutes from the USA, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Russia, and Canada; and a continuation of an interdisciplinary direction set by two other coordination projects, the X-OP (2008–2011), an exchange of art producers and operators, and Hallerstein (2008–2009), which created a link between the Chinese and European cultural spaces. Participating in former European capitals of culture – Cork 2005 and Sibiu 2007 – set the foundation for preparing the Candidature for ECOC Maribor 2012 (2006–2008), and further collaborations: ECOC Istanbul 2009, Turku 2011, Maribor and Guimarães 2012; KIBLA also supports Belgrade 2020.

The Bunker Institute (http://www.bunker.si) acts in the performing arts scene at transnational level, which has been active internationally since its formation in 1997. One of Bunker’s biggest projects is the annual "International Festival Mladi Levi", celebrating its 15th edition in 2012, and which brings up to 15 foreign groups to Slovenia, ranging from emerging young artists to those already well-established. In 2011 the Festival was supported by the EU Culture Programme.

The Bunker Institute is a member of the following international networks: IETM, wherein eleven members of the network got together and established a new network called Imagine 2020 – Arts and Climate Change (http://www.imagine2020.eu), which deals with the challenging issues of climate change in connection to arts and culture. The network has been supported by the EU Culture Programme two consecutive times, in 2008 as "2020 Network – Thin Ice" and in 2010 as "Imagine 2020 – Arts and Climate Change". The latter has also supported a performance of the Betontanc group, an artistic company that is produced by the Bunker Institute since 1997. The performance was a result of international co-productions / residencies with a Japanese artistic group The Original Tempo. The premiere showing to place in the frame of ECOC Maribor 2012. The Sostenuto network (that has been supported as a project by the European Regional Development Fund in 2009–2012) aims at reinforcing the competitiveness and the capacities of economic and social innovation from the cultural and creative sector in the Med space by accompanying its transformation towards new economic and social models. One of the outcomes of the project in Slovenia is the establishment of the Association Cultural Quarter Tabor, which connects cultural organisations in Ljubljana's city quarter Tabor, where the Bunker Institute is also based. In 2002, the Bunker Institute, together with CUMA (Istanbul), IETM, Expeditio (Kotor) and AltArt (Cluj), established an informal network Balkan Express, which aims to encourage collaboration within the Balkan region. In 2012 the Network focused its mission on developing a platform for discussion and sharing knowledge and experiences, re-thinking the role of arts in today's ever changing society. The network was supported by the ECF.

In 2012 the Bunker Institute (with its "Festival Drugajanje" in Maribor) connected with European partner organisations, i.e. Spielmotor München e.V. / SPIELART Festival (Munich), Baltic Circle International Festival / Q-theatre (Helsinki), New Theatre Institute of Latvia / Festival HOMO NOVUS (Riga), MTÜ Teine Tants, August Dance Festival (Tallinn), LIFT – London International Festival of Theatre (London), Stichting Huis en Festival a/d Werf (Utrecht), which organises their own festivals, forming a project called "GLOBAL CITY – LOCAL CITY (GL-CL)" for the artistic exploration of social, ecological, and political realities, and civic and social potential in individual city quarters and of global city developments of the cities of participating theatre and dance festivals. In 2012 the project was supported by the EU Culture Programme.

Additional resources:

Mobility trends and case studies

Examples of mobility schemes for artists and cultural professionals in Slovenia


Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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