We did finally find a name, although, no one involved in the writing of the project proposal is feeling comfortable with the project name: Koroška demokratična postaja.
While putting together the project, we thought about necessary public infrastructures of urban centers and on how up to date we actually are or are not in our post-socialistic society.
We acknowledged the lack of political education, and noticed at the same time, that mainly the more advanced democratic nations of the European Union have systematical approaches to the matter of political education. Most of the work and best practices to learn from, are mostly initiatives of NGO’s, backed by state funds and often also through generous philanthropic donations.
The fact that especially in societies, like the Slovenian one, where the entire generation of stakeholders, more or less, has grown up and was educated in a totalitarian system, makes it that more difficult to overcome the barriers of taking part.
If we want to live in a democratic system, as we love the idea of everyone being able to take influence anywhere, we will need to foster political education, we need to create infrastructures that stimulate participation instead of making things complicated, here we refer to modern societies in general and not only to post-socialistic environments like ours.
The project, we applied for and were granted by the Active Citizens Fund Slovenia is a logical consequence of the assessment of our first 10 years of locally and regionally engaged work. It meets all the needs of Slovenj Gradec, but it even more so is fit to answer many existing dilemmas of contemporary public infrastructures in our country.
It is an offer to start thinking systematically about political education and about the best fitting systematic solutions of supporting and stimulating involvement, therefore we put it forward also as a Slovenian pilot-project on non-formal political education and we structured it in two pillars, an individual one and a collective one.
The project itself is executed by raum AU in firm partnership with the local MOCIS and the Šolski Center Slovenj Gradec – Gimnazija, two institutions concerning about formal education as well as the Mladinski Svet Slovenj Gradec, the local youth parliament of our city. An additional partner, no less interesting within the project team is the Mladinski Center Dravograd, the youth center of a neighboring community, which will support us and try to adapt activities to a second target-community. We started the project in late 2020, preparing for the opening in January 2021. For now, the pilot is timely limited to December 2021.
Here you can watch a talk we published instead of holding a press conference, a proper way to address the media we thought, even more so, as the COVID-19 pandemic, did make encounters very difficult.
In addition, you can read the press release, for obvious reasons in Slovenian language: press release Koroška Demokratična Postaja.