The Skupina Zainteresirani (The group of interested) evolved during the last years and as we always aimed to provide a forum for our citizens, we thought about organizing this group properly. However, also if we had several and regular encounters during 2017, we had the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, as we were informed that we would lose our space, the POSTAJA RAUM AU, we have worked at in the last 6 years.
However, we did realize, in accordance to the idea, to regularly invite guests and have a non-formal talk. One event, Janez Markeš – preko pogovora do impulza (through dialogue to an impulse), you can check out here. We did participate in two international conferences, organized by Institut 8. Marec, one of the Spanish movement “Unido podemos” and about “Gender-Theory”. We did also sign a letter to our parliament, not to vote for a very critical law regarding the rights of foreigners in Slovenia.
We talked about many things, especially the position and the status of culture within our local community, in the past so much avant-garde. In discussion not only the upcoming appointment to vote on a strategy paper for our local community, the Lokalni Program Kulture Mestne Občine Slovenj Gradec 2018 – 2021, but also vivid debates about the missing public responsible persona, signing for culture in our city.
For all of you knowing less about the structure of public administration in Slovenia let me explain. In Slovenj Gradec as in many Slovenian city administrations, there is the mayor, the city council and then there are mainly two councils, one covering the economic affairs, and the other one the non-economic affairs. That is the main structure of a Slovenian city community.
The discussion, in the background of the important history of this city, due to its cultural activities named in the late 1980s UN Peace Messenger City, pointed out, that Slovenj Gradec should have a different approach to culture. We should try to name a person responsible for culture, but at least a council, put together from active representatives of the field, covering the main questions within the field of culture. Some thought, that it should become also a kind of example for others to follow, as our small nation should and could live from tourism alone.
The advantages of a, in a best case scenario, person, signing responsible for culture, are countless and still to be illuminated for many people, not only in Slovenj Gradec. However, the skupina Zainteresirani worked out a proper proposal to restructure local administration structures. You can read it here.
The group of interested however paused after we lost our spaces, also when we got together some times in our new spaces, the raum AU. Many other things happened, raum AU worked massively outside Slovenia, but with all the lockdowns and restrictions, we started to become even more active as before …
We will see where our ideas of non-formal political education, which evolved here, will become reality with the project Koroška Demokratična Postaja. We reopen this kind of chapter … a city needs a breeding space for critical thoughts.