The Slovenia Times

Zoran Poznič candidate for new culture minister


Poznič, who as been heading Delavski Dom Trbovlje (DDT), a progressive cultural centre, for almost a decade, is to succeed Dejan Prešiček, who was forced to resign in late January amid bullying accusations.

Addressing reporters along with SD leader Dejan Židan, Poznič said he had offered himself as a candidate to the party because he wanted to continue Prešiček's work at the ministry.

Like Židan, Poznič said culture was the foundation of Slovenia's nation and the Culture Ministry one of the most crucial departments.

"I can hardly wait for us to get down to work and prove what we can," said Poznič, adding that one of the motives for his bid was that he felt the work set out at the ministry went in the right direction.

Asked how he would mend the broken inter-personal relationships at the ministry, Poznič said it was not his style to raise his voice, a reference to Prešiček, who was exposed as a man of quick temper.

He pledged to work to solve problems through dialogue. "If the ministry isn't a cohesive unit aspiring to the same goal, this must be done in the shortest time possible. I believe we can do this."

Growing up in a mining family, Poznič graduated in sculpture from the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts in 2007, obtaining a master's degree in video and new media two years later.

"As a young man I went through some difficult life experiences, which were necessary to find myself ... to seek out creativity and the power leading to progress," he said in a interview published by DDT.

He was appointed director of DDT, a worker's home-turned cultural centre, in 2008, setting out a new vision of the town under the slogan Trbovlje New Media Town.

The project brings together creative potential of people in the local and broader communities, combining with global trends in new media. Its central feature is the new media culture festival Speculum Artium.

On being appointed DDT director, Poznič said his biggest challenge was changing the locals' mindset, at least in their attitude to culture.

Talking to the regional media outlet ZON last year, he said the DDT had become a "national cultural centre, one of those pointing to directions that culture may develop at the start of the 21st century".

Poznič is yet to be interviewed by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in the coming days, but his office said Šarec "respected" the SD's pick, and that as far as he knew the local community was happy with Poznič's work.

Other coalition parties have mostly said they trusted the SD with its pick, but that they would keep their ears pricked as Poznič is heard in parliament.

Brane Golubovič from the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) said they trusted the SD had made the right pick and that it assessed Poznič was the right person to deal with the situation at the ministry.

"At the hearing we will pose the question that we deem important," Golubovič said, adding that the party expected Poznič to be "human, above all".

Referring to the predecessor in office, Franc Jurša from the Pensioner' Party (DeSUS) warned Poznič that problems were not solved by raising one's voice or pounding one's fist but through dialogue.

The opposition parties did not want to comment on the candidate yet, pending his hearing before the relevant parliamentary committee.

A positive response to the nominee came from the cultural circles with the GLOSA trade union of culture employees acknowledging Poznič's leadership skills.

The association of NGOs and freelances in culture, Asociacija, expressed the hope that the new minister would resume work at the ministry as soon as possible.


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