Creative Forum Ljubljana seeking to unite creative capital
The forum, running from 12 to 15 November, is organised by the Foreign Ministry, the Union for the Mediterranean and GIZ, the German Agency for International Cooperation.
It will feature representatives of creative hubs, entrepreneurs, civil society, international institutions and local organisations as well as high representatives of EU institutions and ministries from both regions.
Petra Kežman, the head of the Foreign Ministry sector for public diplomatic and international cooperation in culture, who runs the project, told the STA the forum was about providing a support environment for the creative sector in the region and beyond.
The event also strengthens Slovenia as a creative country, helping attract creatives from abroad and also opening doors to Slovenian creatives on foreign markets, she added, arguing the essence of the forum was connecting the Western Balkans, the Southern Mediterranean and the EU.
This year's slogan, Creative Capital United, also highlights the importance of cooperation, both at regional level and among individual fields and players in culture, economy and education, Kežman said.
She explained the programme was based on the concrete needs of the creative sector at national and regional level, a key one being space for dialogue, both within the sector and with political representatives.
While culture does not seem to be directly linked to foreign politics at first glance, Slovenia sees it as a very important foreign policy instrument and is striving to raise awareness about the importance of culture in this respect among policy makers in the region and beyond, Kežman said.
She noted culture's role with respect to "intercultural dialogue, stabilisation, peace, security and above all securing good living conditions for the most vulnerable groups, for instance the young".
The forum will start on Tuesday with a keynote address by Macedonian architect Jana Konstantinova and a discussion with legendary Slovenian inventor Peter Florjančič.
The second day will be dedicated to creative hubs and entrepreneurs, who will attend workshops and get informed about examples of good practice in Slovenia.
The forum's main event is scheduled for Thursday at Ljubljana's Poligon centre for creative communities in the form of a high-level political conference, while participants will also attend the launch of the BIO26 biennial of design. The final day is reserved for a creative tourism study trip.
The list of participants at the forum includes Algerian Minister of Industry Djamila Tamazirt, Montenegro Culture Minister Aleksandar Bogdanović, the Kosovo Minister of Economic Development Valdrin Lluka, the Palestine Economy Minister Khaled Al-Osaily, and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Nasser Kamel.
Slovenian high-level guests include Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Culture Minister Zoran Poznič.