Ljubljana turning into City of Women
The City of Women international festival of contemporary arts began in Ljubljana on Tuesday, running this year in a stretched out format until 12 October. It will feature over 80 women artists, lecturers, curators and activists.
Addressing the press at the outset of the festival, artistic director Teja Reba raised the question of whether talking about gender equality is suitable in a time when the world is facing a pandemic, climate change, growing wealth disparity, unbridled nationalism and bodies in the Mediterranean.
"Yes, more then ever before," Reba asserted, urging everybody "not to stay silent" and join the festival's efforts.
The City of Women 2020 is opening with the launch of an exhibition named The Unforgettable. It features posters around the city of 50 Slovenian Women Who Pushed the Boundaries of Our World.
The exhibition is named after a book that was published on the occasion and will also be discussed at a symposium called 8 Mach Every day and scheduled on 1 October. The focus will be on securing equal opportunities for young people during education and later on in life.
The opening day will moreover be marked by the first screening in a segment dedicated to actress Delphine Seyrig. One programme section is named Disobedient Muses and will look at the video production of the eponymous collective that Seyrig was a part of.
Gender Equality - A Means to Succeeding in Achieving the Seventeen UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals is the title of an international conference that is scheduled for Friday, while the ŠKUC Gallery will feature from 8 October a group exhibition presenting the exploration of the historical and social aspects of cosmetics as a material culture.
Also on the programme is an exploration of the relations between oppressors, systems of persecution and precarity led by the Dublin-based artists Bernie O'Reilly and Maud Hendricks in cooperation with six women based in Slovenia. Inspired by Samuel Beckett's Catastrophe, it is scheduled for 30 September at the Old Powerhouse.
This far from exhausts the list of events, although the performance segment is scaled down this year due to coronavirus restrictions. Two premieres are scheduled nonetheless - Picture Perfect by Simona Semenič and the final part of Nataša Živkovič's trilogy Dodgeball.
Meanwhile, cooperating with the 8th March Institute, this year's City of Women will also feature the #METOO IN CULTURE campaign, which aims to highlight sexual harassment in the culture sector.