5th Practice Exchange on Intercultural Capacity-building: Small European Countries Prepare for Globalisation - The Challenge of Diversity and Engagement

30th November/1st December 2011,
Ljubljana, Slovenia
- platform intercultural practice exchange

 Ljubljana dragon bridge   Ljubljana ladjica   Ljubljana city hall and cathedral  

Case Study: Slovenia

Local projects in European perspective – this was the guiding principle for looking at a variety of problems with “hierarchies of cultures” during our 5th Intercultural Practice Exchange in the Town Hall of Ljubljana. A project on media training for young Roma prefaced a nearly all-Roma panel on Roma inclusion in Slovenia compared to elsewhere in Europe. Romani programmes on national television and on radio made by Romani journalists were highlighted as crucial to changing the majority perception of Roma. Yet critics countered that any emphasis on showing “that Roma are normal people” is a tragedy in itself – Roma should claim their right to a lifestyle different from the majority, and all media had a “duty to demonstrate discriminations”.

A project of interreligious dialogue, which was contextualised in the long conflict over the building of a mosque in Ljubljana, was presented ahead of a panel with the Mufti of Ljubljana, the winner of the competition for the mosque, and speakers from Austria and Denmark. Although most Muslims in Slovenia are European, they have been construed to represent outsiders – either associated with the Ottoman occupying force of the past or the modern ‘threat of Al Quaida’. Acts of solidarity by non-Muslims, and politicians with a vision were crucial to loosening the grip of artificial enmities on politics in this case – and will be elsewhere.

Environmental care across cultural divides and intercultural education were also topics in the rich programme. The meeting was spiced up with a public forum for which several eminent politicians – though none of the sort who “frighten voters about foreigners into voting for them” - took time out of their busy election campaign schedule. The major of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković , who addressed the meeting, emerged as the future Slovenian Prime Minister in the country’s general election a few days later!

Programme - Reader - Read the full report. Read the summary version. (English versions)

Report inSlovenian version.

Coverage on Slovenian Television:

PIE logo     Logo KUD Pozitiv      Logo Zavod Exodos   logo Municipality of LjubljanaLogo DIC

Organised in collaboration with Platform member KUD Pozitiv and Exodos Ljubljana, with the kind support of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Ivan Cankar Students' hall of residence.

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