Slovenia was born trough democratisation processes which ware heavily encouraged by artists. Especially in smaller towns civic participation has almost died, and it can also be observed in the field of culture. The project will address this problem: (1)trough culture, which has a rich historical background concerning democratisation in Slovenia, (2)we will organise direct actions in all statistical regions of Slovenia, (3)and create a toolkit e-publication for further dissemination.
We will cover all statistical regions of Slovenia, and will focus on 12 smaller towns.
In Slovenia there are no big differences between regions (there are no administrative region, only statistical) but there is a difference between bigger cities on one side and rural places (smaller towns) on the other side. In bigger cities democracy is developed to some extent but in rural places, democracy and civic participation is stagnating and deteriorating. With the project we are addressing three interrelated challenges:
(1) there is poor democratic participation in rural settlements in Slovenia,
(2) trough culture we can observe that (1) is a problem – lack of public discussion on strategic development of culture,
(3) because of (1) and (2) we are lacking documents (or publicly discussed documents) concerning strategic development of local culture (obliged by law).
Our idea is comprised of three phases and all are targeting strengthening of democracy and civil participation in smaller local communities. With a series of three events organised in every statistical region of Slovenia we will encourage the participation of all groups in the local community to participate in the shaping of cultural policies of that community. On the basis of this we will create a toolkit e-publication on how to run similar processes, with added experience form the first phase of the project. The e-publication will further be distributed to all local communities (to decision makers and local authorities, trough the network of the applicant, and trough the network of the partner) and with this we will further encourage democracy and active citizenship in local communities.
Event one of PH 1 will target a very broad group and will be opened for the whole local community. The following events 2 and 3 will be focused on local culture, but it will be communicated that culture in this sense is just an example to put forth the method how democracy and civil participation can be implemented in the local community. In this sense one strong target group are all groups connected to arts and culture (culture minorities, amateur artist, cultural public, self-employed artists, representatives of cultural public institutions, local decision makers), but because culture serves only as an example in this sense the whole particular local community will be targeted as an individual broader target group. With PH 2 and PH 3 we are targeting all local communities.
In phase one (PH 1) we will do 12 direct intervention in every 12 statistical regions in Slovenia (one smaller semi urban settlement in every region). In every one of them, we will do three events: (1) Introductory event (2) Public discussion (discussion on current status and plans for culture in the local environment). (3) Final event (presentation of strategic directions for development of local culture and discussion on implementation).
PH 1 has a direct impact on local communities and is dispersed trough Slovenia. In second phase (PH 2) we are planning to do an advocacy toolkit e-publication, on how to strengthen civil society participation in non-urban areas. Final phase three (PH 3) will be the distribution of the toolkit e-publication in all municipalities of Slovenia.
Taking in to account the described challenges we expect the following results:
(1) Because of PH 2 and 3 we expect a better understanding and awareness of the importance of civic participation in local communities in the whole of Slovenia.
(2) As a result of PH 1 we expect a thorough understanding of the importance of democratic processes in 12 regionally important towns in all 12 statistical regions of Slovenia.
(3) PH 1 will as a result also have 12 guideline documents for the development of culture sector in 12 towns in 12 statistical regions of Slovenia.
One of the key criticisms of Europe is that it is bureaucratic, withdrawn from its citizens and dysfunctional. With this project, we want to show that each individual can contribute to change in their environment, while encouraging political and other elites to two-way communication and to understand their role as decision-makers, which is to be public servant. Such projects at the local level also respond to the criticism of the questionable effectiveness of the system of the European Union and its countries, while confirming and recognizing the position of an individual who wants to participate in a field from a bottom-up position. The project would provide greater knowledge, competencies and empowerment of members of local communities to become involved in EU level agenda.
As mentioned both the applicant (Društvo Asociacija) and the partner (ZKDS) are horizontal advocacy networks in the field of culture (one is covering professional and the other amateur artist and NGO’s), and the idea is strongly rooted to our core work. One of our main activities is the opening of public space for debates on culture and development of arts in its most core aspect of freedom. With the idea we are strengthening one of our main activities directly related to our field, but we are also addressing the underlaying principles in general.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
44.188,00 eur … staff costs (two persons, each organisation one employment)
4400,00 eur … travel costs (two person three times to 12 different locations)
750,00 eur … e-publication (design, proofreading, graphic elements, …)
900,00 eur … design and creation of project logo and web page
4800,00 eur … office expenses (funding of office for each organisation)
Any information or idea on how to upgrade or improve this project will be very welcome!