European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljska služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

Za bolj podrobne informacije nas lahko kontaktiraš na: evs@pekarna.org



Thursday, 7 May 2020

April 2020. A month that I will never forget.

I mean it doesn't happen that often that you spend a whole month at home and it's not just that we have to stay at home. All the consequences that the Covid-19 pandemic brings are very unusual for me and properly also for others. A whole month that the world holds its breath. A month in which we do not meet friends, in which we do not go outside to eat an ice cream although the sun is shining, in which the shopping streets and pedestrian zones of the inner cities are empty, in which we cannot celebrate our birthdays as usual, in which we cannot go and train as we like because the gyms and public sport facilities are closed. But even if it looks like the world stopped completely it is not totally like this. Because even if a lot of things happen in front of the computer screens in the living rooms of the world, something happens. Also here even if it is not exactly like it was happening before the pandemic. For example, my German lessons. Even if there were somewhat difficult conditions this month, we tried to make the lessons as good as possible. via zoom and with the arrow on the split screen, instead of the finger on the PowerPoint presentation on the canvas in the office. But the mood is still good because even if everyone is at home alone now, we are making progress without forgetting the fun. So, it happens from time to time that we drift away from the actual topic for 5 or even 10 minutes. But in my opinion, such things are some of the most beautiful things in class, because it's not just about learning, it's also about talking to each other and getting to know each other better and better. You also have to admit that sometimes it is a little more interesting what you experience and how you feel than learning a little more grammar. Of course, it's not like we're just talking and having fun. but sometimes you have to take it a bit easier.

Just like I teach German to the Internet, I now also have the lessons in which I learn Slovene from home. I have to say that I have made some progress and that my Slovenian has already improved. Of course, it was not too difficult since I didn't speak a single word Slovene before I came to Maribor. In the meantime, however, I am able to introduce myself, handle some situations while shopping and in the supermarket in Slovenian, do some small talk and even a bit more. Should also be so, because the course is as good as finished and only the final test is still pending. Of course, I hope that I will do well or at least mediocre in this test. Anyway, I will try to stay positive and do my best. And without a doubt I'll let you know what the outcome of this final test was. But for the moment I have spoken enough about learning languages, because there are also other things that were special for me this month. The RUBRIKA: FILMOPEKA project ended this month. It was definitely one of my favorite projects and I learned a lot. I will remember all the things that I learned and the fun I had and take them with me. I am especially grateful that I had the chance to try something in this project that I always wanted to try but still never had done before. I was able to do my first reviews guided by a real professional, with all the support I needed and in a safe environment. The final task was a review of one of my favorite films. After a few deliberations, I decided to go with Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece "The Godfather. I like the film, which was released in 1972, so much that I could watch it every day, literally. In addition to the brilliant acting by Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert Duvall, but also on the pop-cultural iconized phrases such as: "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse". I enjoyed writing the review for "the godfather". However, the end of RUBRIKA: FILMOPEKA left me with a laughing and a crying eye. I will keep the nice memories of this project, but I am also a little sad that it is over.

Therefore, we had two events as part of the aunt Rosa library. It was the first time for me that we had an event like this as a webinar. That was really new and exciting for me. The first of the two events was about Simone de Beauvoir and her book “The Second Sex”. Simone de Beauvoir was a famous French writer, social theorist, political activist, feminist, and philosopher. Originally published in the French language, in two volumes and is 1949 is “The Second Sex” a lengthy study of the sources of women's inequality. The webinar was very good because we first had a brief presentation about her and the contents of the book followed by a discussion round. The discussion was very insightful for me because I could hear the ideas, opinions and convictions of others and talk to them about my own.

The second event was centered about Donna Haraway’s life and work. Also, at this event on the world book day, our webinar was structured in the same way as the previous one. I also enjoyed this event. One of my last jobs in April was to interview the psychologist Juan. I was able to ask him some questions about the current situation and get his expertise. In addition, I was able to find out how he takes care of himself during times of lockdown and which tricks he would recommend. So even if it looks like the world is standing still, there was a lot to do. In conclusion, I can only say that I have tried to make the best of the time and that I hope that from now on it will go up again.

Lucas

April 2020

Dear readers,

the month of April once again takes place between four walls. However, we have remained active during this month to offer many events digitally.
We worked as a team during the first week of the month around a webinar for Aunt Rosa's library program. This webinar was dedicated to Simone de Beauvoir's work, in particular her book "The Second Sex". We imagined a meeting on the open source video conferencing platform Jitsi. It took place on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 7pm. We first made a short presentation around Simone de Beauvoir's biography. Then we devoted ourselves to several chapters of her book, especially around the conclusion. During this event, we were able to discuss different subjects, such as the perpetual inequality between men and women in society, but also, we were able to be a little critical about her work. We decided at the end of the event to continue the cycle of conferences in this way.

Throughout April, I decided to continue my French courses but this time, once a week and not every fortnight. This is a very enriching job for me because I have to learn how to make people learn my mother tongue and try to keep up a progression. I try to make the courses active and not to adopt a pyramidal approach to learning. I try to integrate several games and a lot of exercises where the students are actors. Lots of rehearsal, of course. I'm quite happy with myself and I see, lesson after lesson, a real progression of the students.

I have also proposed to organise an open discussion event on sexuality. I don't consider myself a teacher or an expert on sexuality, but I think it's important to have places where we can have free exchange or free expression on taboo subjects. It's one of the ways to develop mutual help, understanding and social connection between people. Society has become very individual and I think it is necessary at the present time to rethink it and to develop simple but essential actions to recreate solidarity between people. This open discussion on sexuality took place on Friday 17 April at 5 pm. About ten people were present. The first question was: What do you think of the sexual education you received? If you have had any form of sexual education. We were able to compare the different experiences and discuss different themes in a free way. I was very surprised at the end of the event, at the time of the evaluation, by the number of topics that people wanted to discuss at the next meeting.
On April 23rd we had a meeting organised by Movit with the different EVS currently in Slovenia. It was good to be able to hear from the other volunteers and to be able to exchange about our situation and volunteering in this period of quarantine. At 7pm, we had the second webinar on Donna Haraway and her literary work. Donna Haraway is the author of the Cyborg Manifesto, a text mixing feminism, queer theory, biology and science fiction. It was again a very enriching moment where we were able to talk about different topics. 
I will see you in May for my penultimate blog. I have been in Slovenia for 8 months now.
Enjoy the May sunshine.
Gilles.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Folow the sound of music – virtualni sprehod

Od septembra 2019 gostimo tri mednarodne prostovoljce, ki s svojimi vsebinami pestrijo naše programe in tudi lokalno skupnost. V okviru Festivala sprehodov 2020, v organizaciji Društva Hiše! so pripravili sprehod, ki so ga poimenovali “Follow the sound of music”. Oblikovali so ga kot sprehod, na katerem spehajalke_ci doživljamo različne predele mesta skozi njihove zgodbe in spomine. Dodatni čar sprehoda pa je posebej za to priložnost izbrana glasba prostovoljcev.

Gilles, Lucas in Filip vabijo k on-line raziskovanju njihovih najljubših kotičkov mesta Maribor. Pa začnimo …

… my name is Gilles, I come from Limoges, France. I decided to participate in the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) in order to continue my professional career in the field of culture, but also to have the chance to live and work abroad. I got my ESC volunteer-ship in the non-governmental organization Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže in Maribor. I arrived last year on September the 3rd and moved into my new home located in the Jewish square. This is also one of the first places I discovered in Maribor. When you arrive in a new city, you first concentrate on discovering your apartment, then you discover your building, then your neighbourhood, and, finally the rest of the city. Jewish square is right at the back of my building. I liked to spend time watching the Drava sitting on the little wall of this square. Jewish square is an artistic and cultural place, recognizable by the sculpture in the middle of the square, with the different galleries and inter(trans)disciplinary laboratory GT22.

For my neighbourhood in Maribor – the Jewish square, I chose the song “Myth” from the band Beach House. Beach House is a dream-pop band from Baltimore. The song “Myth” is about new starts and consolidation with a past. “Let you know you’re not the only one who can’t keep hanging on to all that’s dead and gone. If you built yourself a myth you’d know just what to give materialize or let the ashes fly.” My experience abroad is also a new beginning for me, a new chapter. I’ll let you discover the song by yourself.

When you leave Jewish square, look toward Intimi Order – GT22 go down the stairs and walk through this less visible part of Maribor. There are three different staircases that allow you to get closer to the river. Choose one, stand in the middle, and play
the Joakim song.

I chose this piece because I think it fits well with the urban dimension of these concrete stairwells. You find yourself between two floors, from there you can see the bridge or the Drava but you stay between the concrete walls. Take this moment to think about yourself, think about the future, or, as it is written on some graffiti in the city: Maribor is the future. Let yourself be carried by your emotions and plunge into yourself. I invite you to go there in the evening or very early in the morning when the sunlight is golden. I like this part of Maribor because it represents the diversity of Maribor, the different architecture, some buildings of Austro-Hungarian architectural influence, mixed with other more brutalist and modern architecture.

I thank you for walking through Maribor virtually with me. I leave the place to Lucas for the next musical text.

… I‘m Lucas Bertram from Germany and I’ve been in Maribor since September, working with Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže. Since I’m here I spend a lot of time in the park with my friends, my girlfriend, or alone. I really appreciate this place and because I can not tell you how much, I borrowed someone else’s words:
“Dear parks, I think you’re pretty great, and I just wanted to let you know. I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you or anything, because I’ve always felt this way. You just have so much going for you, and I can’t get enough! I love that you’re always there for me when I need a place to take a stroll. You don’t care whether it’s a sunny day or overcast; you don’t even mind if your paths have puddles after a rainstorm or a layer of crunchy snow in the winter. You’re still there, open, inviting, and ready for me to come to take a walk. I love that just when I think I’ve discovered all the different parks in the area, you surprise me and there’s a new one waiting just around the corner to explore. There’s something so satisfying and invigorating about tromping around a new park for the first time. Will it have a paved path or gravel? A pond? A fountain? A playground? The options are endless! A view from the Prairie Path I love that you bring people together. Is there anything quite as equalizing as a park? Children scamper onto the swing set while their parents relax on the benches and chat. Young couples picnic on the grass or toss a Frisbee in the field. Neighbours greet each other while they pass by on their evening walks, dogs in tow. I think that’s pretty great. I love that you’re a good listener. When I’m stressed or upset, there’s nothing better than a walk in the park. When it’s quiet and empty, the trees are great listeners, the breeze gives great advice, and the laps around the pond provide all the answers a person needs. I love that we have so many memories together! Do you remember when I was young and I would spend hours climbing the “moon” slide with my friends and pretending it was a rocket ship, or walking the balance beam and perfecting my circus act? Thank you for giving me a place to pretend. Or how about later on, in high school, when my friends and I used you as a safe place to go in the evenings when we had nothing else to do. We spent lots of late nights talking on the swing sets, playing truth or dare, and running around the field with the fireflies. Thank you for keeping us safe.”

Listen to my song here.

A basketball court, a place where ankles break, ligaments tear and knees are squeezed. A place where a dunk is made right above your head. A place where a 3 point shot will be pulled up directly in your face if you forget about your defence for a second. Where your guard keeps you closer than his partner at night and is ready to lock you up on every god-given position. In a nutshell, the Game knows no mercy. But we are not there for mercy, we are there for the challenge, the joy, the excitement when you release a shot. We are there because it is also a place of togetherness, a place where one is there for others, where several people work together as a single one for a common goal. Where you understand each other even if you don’t speak the same language. Because on the court it does not matter who you are or where you come from it only counts basketball.

I chose this place because I spent most of my free time there during my first months in Maribor. I collected a big number of beautiful memories of sweet wins and not so many sweets loses. Listen to my song here.

I thank you for walking through Maribor virtually with me. I leave the place to Filip for the next musical text.

… I’m Filip and I come from Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After finishing high school in Sarajevo, I spent four years studying in Prague, and two years in Budapest. Last summer I arrived at Maribor to complete my postgraduate internship program (ISP CEU) at Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže, and after three charming months in Maribor, I got the opportunity to become an ESC volunteer. I like living in this town and I made a lot of beautiful memories here so it’s not so easy for me to make a selection for this virtual walk. Regarding my special places in Maribor, I would have to mention City park, Pekarna (the Tito statue), the atrium of Vetrinj mansion, a cobbled courtyard in front of the entrance to Intimni oder – GT22, Gallery K18, banks of Drava river, and many other. But here, I would like to present to you two places which I learned about just recently, paradoxically, during the walks in the pandemic period. These places are not necessarily my favourite, but after 10 days of staying indoors, discovering them was quite refreshing. First is the “shore” of the Maribor Island on Drava river (West of the central part of Maribor). And my second choice is the large plain on the North-Western corner of the town with three statues which resemble the Moai from Easter Island or sculptures from Pink Floyd’s album cover “The Division Bell”. The official name for statues is “Three angels” … While in Bosnia we only have pyramids, Maribor has a pyramid and the Easter Island statues. Great!

Lastly, because being outdoors is a large part of my life in Maribor, and because we should take more care of nature and of each other, I am sharing the song “Zemlja” (eng. Earth) by my cousin’s band Blue Shadow Caravan from Denmark / B&H. Listen to the song here.



Monday, 6 April 2020

March

The third month of the year and perhaps already the most extraordinary. Surely you can imagine why it is the most extraordinary I mean honestly who has ever experienced such a situation. So, among us pastor daughters, definitely not me. For me, the whole situation is a bit surreal. Actually, I only know conditions like this happening all over the world right now from catastrophic or end-time films. And like probably many others, I've always dismissed them as nonsense and unrealistic. But well here we are. I don't want to overdo it now and even if public life has come to a standstill, this does not mean that nothing is happening here in Pekarna either.
But now from the beginning. At the beginning of the month, coved -19 was already an issue, but everything went as usual. So, like everyone else, I started the month with my normal activities. On Monday the second we had a PDD workshop which was very nice. The workshops with the children are always great fun but this time I enjoyed it even a bit more than usually because we were very active. We really moved a lot what was also cool for the kids because they had the opportunity to let off steam and to let their desire for movement run free. My favorite activity of this Workshop was playing table tennis, because I also like to play table tennis in free time or at home with my family, even if I’m not really what you would call a good table tennis player. In addition, our workshops and most other things do not focus on winning or being particularly good that’s not what it is all about. In my humble opinion, it should always be about everyone doing their best because if everybody is doing as good as they can, and they make an effort that’s what count. Because then you will gradually improve yourself and have fun and it's all about fun in the first place.

The following Tuesday we had a very nice information event at the High school of design in Maribor. At this event, like the PDD workshop, I worked with the other volunteers Fillip and Gilles. At the event, we presented information to the high school students about the European Solidarity Corps. Of course, we started with the basic questions. such as: what is the European solidarity corps? How can I participate Who can participate? Where can I go? For how long? And a lot more. After we talk about the formalities, we sheared out own experiences and feelings. From the search for a sending organization to what we have gained in new habits in the last six months in Maribor. afterwards, of course, the students had the opportunity to ask questions. To reinforce this event, we also had our coordinator Nataša with us, who was kind enough to help us with the language barrier and of course also with questions in the administrative direction. Certainly, one of the highlights of the month was for me the International Women's Day with Angela Davis. The event was organized within the scope of Aunt Rosa Library and was a great mix out off a presentation about her and parts off her book “Women, race and class”, a reading of selected excerpts from the same book and a subsequent round of discussions. The give you a short overview I will show u a few words about her and her book that are not from but that are way better than what I would write: “In her book, Angela Davis, political activist, writer and professor, offers a historical overview of women’s rights movement focusing on members of the working class. In more detail, she presents how racist and class-related stereotypes caused divisions within the movement itself. I really had a lot of fun at this event. I particularly enjoyed the dissuasions round at the end because many different opinions and interesting points of view were announced there.
 In the second half of the month, all of us felt the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately for me this means only staying at home and working from there. Of course there are more pleasant things, but all in all it could of course be much worse. That's why I try to see it positively, even if I miss the contact to my friends, the company and the Gym. But I have to say working from home is not as bad as I thought it would be at the beginning. Because I already had some of my normal activities from home, for example, I have already taken part in Slovenian classes and also taught German. What makes me very confident is that the events that we have planned for the next few weeks through the Webcams of our computers will be great. Of course it is not a comparison to normal but for now we have to make the best of it.
Lucas

Blog of March 2020 - Coronavirus special edition

March 2020 is a month that will stay in the minds, the coronavirus has paralyzed the whole society. Before we talk about all this, I will first describe the beginning of the month.

The first week of March begins with our regular appointment with the children of the special dormitory. The workshop was a quiz around the rooms of the house, especially the kitchen. The next morning we had a presentation of the European Solidarity Corps at the High School of Art and Design. We were able to introduce ourselves and explain our approach to join the European Solidarity Corps. The students asked us questions, both technical and personal, about going abroad and our feelings about Slovenia and Maribor in particular. The advantage is that all three of us are from different countries and with different profiles. In the afternoon, it was my fourth French course. This course was mainly based on oral practice of the language. I adapted my course around vocabulary and pronunciation. I spoke more French and the students were able to discover my favourite places, neighbourhoods and locations in Paris. On Thursday, a Spanish psychologist proposed a workshop called: Let's talk about mental health. This workshop was about sadness. The event introduced us, first of all, to what sadness is and then gave us some advice on how to accept sadness. The conference ended with a very interesting exchange around the subject. During the whole week, together with Urška, Filip and Lucas, we are preparing an event around Angela Davis as part of the reading cycle of the Aunt Rosa Library. I also spent a lot of time in the gallery and was able to answer visitors' questions about my exhibition. At the same time, I also prepared my workshop about the private and public space related to my exhibition.
The following week, we start on Tuesday evening with the event around Angela Davis and more specifically around her book: Woman, race and class. Urška prepared a general presentation of Angela Davis and we then developed more specifically around two chapters. Chapter 13, entitled "The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working-Class Perspective" and chapter 11, entitled "Rape, Racism and the Myth of the Black Rapist". The evening was very enriching, with much debate.
On Thursday, I was supposed to have my workshop at gallery K18 around private and public space but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
From Wednesday March 11th, the Slovenian government decided to cancel all public events and from day to day, the restrictions became more and more important. From that moment on, the whole team had to think about how to continue working in its conditions. I must confess, like everyone else, that I never imagined that one day a problem like this would develop, but life is an accumulation of surprises, good or bad. Starting the following week, we transformed our weekly meetings into videoconferences. Together with Lucas and Filip, we decided to adapt our walk, which we had planned for the Rajzerfiber Walking Festival, in a digital way. It was a collaborative work where we had to do it with digital means. In the end, this crisis is a bit of an experiment in teleworking for me. At the end of the month, I also adapted my French course in a digital way and we are working on a digital reading around Simone de Beauvoir's work, the Second Sex.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, see you in a month for April's blog.
Take care of yourself.
Gilles.

“No one is safe until All are protected!”

Zdravo,
in the previous blog post I wrote about the numerous events we organized in February, namely: art history lectures, workshops at Druga gimnazija, Dom Antona Skale and TOTI DCA; documentary screening, renovation of K18 facade, collaboration with Radio MARŠ, exhibition “Wall(s)” by Gilles Baudry, and, the lecture series focusing on the creation of contemporary USA.

We welcomed March equally busy with workshops at Dom Antona Skale, promotion of ESC at school of design, and presentation at TOTI DCA.
Promotion of ESC at School of Design    
   Presentation at TOTI DCA   
Also, we concluded the lecture series on the creation of contemporary USA with the lecture of Igor Bijuklič titled “Creation of the American Society Through the History of Modern Propaganda”. Again, you are welcome to listen to recordings of the lectures by clicking on the following link: https://soundcloud.com/filip-bojani (all three lectures from the cycle are in Slovene language).

Lecture at Gallery K18
The cycle was the last thing I participated in before the outbreak of coronavirus in Maribor. Now it’s been almost one month since we’re living in semi-isolation, striving to work from home. We have regular online meetings with our colleagues from PMM and with our ESC coordinator, we enrolled in various online courses on https://www.edx.org/ (I highly recommend you to enroll, most, if not all, of the courses are for free), I am also in the midst of my Slovene language course, and for some reason, I find it easier to write, rather than speak in Slovene… With Lucas and Gilles, we re-made our guided tour for the “Festival of Walks” which metamorphosed to the “Festival of Walks from Home”, and now it is an online tour which you are welcome to check out on the Rajzefiber Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rajzefiberbiro/). At the moment, three of us are organizing webinar on Simone de Beauvoir and her book “The Second Sex” which is going to be held online, next Thursday, April 9, at 7 p. m.

Anyhow, our day-to-day life changed in the past few weeks, for many of us it means that we need to stay at home, and work from home. But that is a privilege. There are many who were already in the perilous situation, and since the spread of the virus, it is even more challenging for them. Think, for example, of the refugees and other migrants, unprotected laborers in factories, medical staff, and precarious workers. The virus is class-blind, but it’s easier to stay safe behind the walls of one’s home, unconcerned with the access to medical supplies or treatment. 
Therefore, I call you to sign the open letter from the Transbalkan Solidarity Group (https://transbalkanskasolidarnost.home.blog/eng/) which demands urgent action of those in charge, and solidarity from all of us, to deal with the refugees and migrants in Balkans, because, as the title of the letter reads: “No one is safe until All are protected!”.

Another appeal I invite you to sign is of more local character: management of the supermarket chain LIDL in Maribor unjustly fired their employee and president of the LIDL syndicate Tjaša Kozole, in this period when the underpaid grocers are deemed “essential” for the “public good”. You can sign the petition here. Most of management and leadership, in general, deals awkwardly in these new circumstances. I know that there are many collectives and organizations which do well and strive to improve wellbeing of many and I would like to assume that some governments are doing similar.

Here in Slovenia that is hardly the case, namely, a series of disgraceful measures new far-right government introduced are outrageous. I would like to call them unheard of, but unfortunately, they are symptomatic for the Yugosphere and Central-Eastern Europe, at least. For example, in Hungary, the country I lived before coming to Slovenia, Orban and his accomplices used “state of emergency” from 2015 to create mass panic under false pretext in order to capitalize on it. Soon after they barricaded their borders. During the two years I stayed in Budapest I witnessed Orban expel my university and international NGO’s from the country, ostracize homelessness, jeopardize workers and their syndicates, take over academy of sciences and ban research which is not to their liking, encouraged oil company to privatize their oldest university, welcomes neo-Nazis to converge in Budapest for the “Day of Honor” while turning the police on people demonstrating the event… and most recently, Hungarian government seeks to ban legal gender recognition for transgender people.

Amid pandemic, when, instead of focusing on ways to better the living circumstances of the people in Hungary, Orban used the crisis as a pretext to grab unlimited and indefinite power by proclaiming a state of emergency, officially becoming new führer of Hungary.

In order to prevent similar turn of the events here in Slovenia, we should demand change now! Unfortunately, we can’t go on streets, but we can talk and write about it, create, or join many new and creative ways to rebel, such as:

Balcony Protest / Protest z balkonov (https://www.facebook.com/events/2582375822013375/?event_time_id=2582375828680041)

Fridays for Future / Petki za prihodnost - Online (https://www.facebook.com/events/587224615397416/?event_time_id=648029622650248)

or join #mislizbalkona.



Filip

Monday, 30 March 2020

Busy February

Zdravo!
During February, at Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže we hosted and organized quite a number of events. It felt good to be busy, running between Pekarna, gallery, and ateliers.
In Gallery K18, we started with the third cycle of lectures on art history taught by Simon Žlahtić on topic: “National Movements and Art of 19th Century”, held every Wednesday.
 Art History Lectures by Simon Žlahtič in Gallery K18
Together with my ESC colleagues, Gilles and Lucas, and our coordinator Nataša, we held two presentations about LGBTQ+ community in Slovenia at Second gymnasium in Maribor, had workshop with kids at “Dom Antona Skale” and held presentation and cook-out at “TOTI DCA” with elderly
Presentation at the II. gimnazija Maribor
Presentation at TOTI DCA
For the Library of the Aunt Rosa we organized the screening of the documentary film "Beyond the Red Lines" and discussed about the struggles for climate justice, on both local and global level. Regarding the outdoor activities, we went through hell to remove the old sticker from K18’s façade, and after four days of scratching, we were victorious, but due the major reconstruction works of the street in front of the gallery, our labour goes unnoticed. 

Works on K18 facade
But inside the gallery, there was plenty to see and hear. We hosted Radio MARŠ where PMM colleagues and guests talked about PMM and K18 program.
We prepared Gilles’ photo exhibition titled “Wall(s) / Zid(ovi)”. Turnout on vernissage was amazing, and I was glad to see some fresh faces at the gallery. 

Vernissage at K18
Furthermore, we organized another cycle of lectures about the creation of contemporary USA in Gallery K18. Blaž Kosovel introduced us to the cycle with lecture “Creation of contemporary corporation and modern USA”. Week after followed second lecture by Primož Turk titled “The birth of management as tool of controlling people”. You are welcome to listen to recordings of lectures (in Slovene language) on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/filip-bojani/blaz-kosovel-nastanek-sodobne-korporacije-in-modernih-zda.

Filip

Friday, 27 March 2020

...in the style of Jamie Oliver in front of everyone

Although February is the shortest of all months, it was no less eventful for me and the other volunteers than the other eleven parts of the year. From the fun-packed PDD workshops to LGBTQ + lectures in high school to a Toti DCA presentation, there were a lot of cool events this month that gave me a lot of joy and I would like to share with you. Of course, in addition to the new events and projects, the ones that were already running ones like the German class and RUBRIKA: FILMOPEKA were again integrated into my weekly routine this month. But one by one we start where the bull has the horns: at the beginning. PDD The workshops with the children are always great fun this month, in addition to sports games and exercise in the dormitory's fitness room, there was also a quiz on the menu, both of those activities were super fun for the children. Unfortunately, this was not quite the case for me, as I did not understand everything in the quiz in Slovenian, therefore I could not help the other volunteers as much as I would have liked to, but nonetheless it was very nice since I had some time to watch the happening and to enjoy the enthusiasm of those who were involved. Another highlight of the month was the LGBT workshops in the II. gymnasium. In which the other two European volunteers Filip and Gilles, together with me, prepared a presentation, the basis for a discussion round and a small glossary on the subject. Armed with what we had prepared we went into two classes to talk about this topic. For this we had two lessons 45 minutes each. But in addition to events for teenagers and children, we had an event for seniors. Gilles Fillip and I also worked closely together on this. We were invited to have an event as part of Toti DCA. We thought that a presentation about mental and physical health could be a nice idea and so we developed a concept for a lecture called "healthy body healthy mind". At the beginning we had thought of a quiz for self-test so that each participant could see how much he knows about healthy eating. We then discussed the need for various foods and the basic principles of nutrient supply and used one example to calculate the need for one person. afterwards there were healthy snacks for everyone, most of which we had prepared in advance. But not all of them, as the absolute highlight of the event, Gilles freshly cooked a vegetarian bread spread, with a lot of protein and unsaturated fatty acids, in the style of Jamie Oliver in front of everyone.
After the refreshment, the evening was concluded by Filip and his part of the presentation. Here he went into the safe use of media and explained how fake news in the internet can spread extremely quickly, even though they are not true. Rubriko Filmopeka got serious this month. I wrote my first two reviews. I was naturally excited and a bit nervous who they would be liked. because they were my first and I had put a lot of effort into it. Fortunately, everyone liked it. :) Of course there are still a few small things to improve. But I will tackle this in my next review. And last but not least, the German lessons. I look forward to every Thursday. I really enjoy passing on my language. Because the participants' thirst for knowledge also spurs me to constantly improve my method of conveying knowledge and my content. So in conclusion I can say that February was a very nice and varied month for me. And I hope that there will be some more months like this.

Lucas

February by Gilles

The first week of February opened with a meeting with Renato, a teacher from the Maribor High School of Arts and Design. This first meeting was very encouraging because we could imagine having different types of workshops with the students. Tuesday was the third episode of my French course. I concentrated my course on how to explain where I live and what my activities are. As usual, it is always a very enriching moment to learn pedagogical notions. I really find satisfaction in seeing the participants progress more and more at each lesson.

I spent my Wednesday thinking about a photo selection for my exhibition Wall(s). It was a difficult moment because I had to search through about fifty images and try to find a way to resume or create a link between them. It was a rather complicated exercise but in the end it was beneficial.

On Friday, we had a workshop about the LGBTQI+ cause for the international class. We talked about the inclusion of LGBTQI+ people in today's society and gave some cultural backgrounds for teenagers to discover and be more interested in gender issues. We tried to make the workshop take the form of an active discussion so that the young people could express themselves freely and exchange with us. It was a test moment, we have revised our presentation because unfortunately the children stayed quite passive.
On Friday evening I went to Ljubljana with some friends to participate in the MENT festival and it was a wonderful surprise. I discovered many music bands and saw some friends there again. I hope to be able to go to the 2021 edition.

To start the second week of February we did a workshop about physical activity with children with disabilities. We had with us a ping pong competition. On Tuesday, we repeated our workshop on LGBTQI+ issues at the Second Gymnasium in Maribor. This time the group was very active and we could talk about the difficulties of being on the outside of the hetero-normative society. The young people had many questions and we were able to talk easily with them. Some of them even volunteered for the Maribor Pride.

In the evening, we held a workshop for TOTI DCA, an association of elderly people, called: Healthy mind, Healthy food. The workshop intended to give some nutritional advice but also to raise consciousness around the manipulation of images. First of all, we made a test around nutrition issues with participants. The group was split in two and it was a time of many discussions and debating. Then we made a guacamole in front of the participants so that they knew how to make a simple and tasty meal. Finally, the last part was more oriented to the manipulation of information and images. We talked about the dangers of information on the internet, then we argued and showed, through historical and artistic cases, that it was very simple to modify images to deviate their meaning. The audience was very enthusiastic.

I've been looking all week for a way to print my photos. I spoke with Gregor Salobir from the GT22 to find a good printer in Slovenia. I finally called Luminus Studio in Novo Mesto and it was a great choice. On Thursday, we had an event around global warming with the broadcast of a Franco-German documentary.

The third week has been, I think, the busiest since I've been here. It was the week of preparation for my exhibition. I learned a lot from that experience. My photos finally arrived earlier than expected, on Monday. The first difficulty was to find a way to fix them, because the photos were glued on cardboard without any fixation. But we found a solution and this week was very rich. The first thing was to choose a scenography to give the visitor a feeling of reading, then the technical constraints arrived. We had to choose a height for the photos, print and glue the cartels, print the text of the exhibition's intention, manage the lights and make the space clean for the Friday evening vernissage. The vernissage was a very emotional moment for me because it had been a very long time since I had exhibited and I had the great pleasure of seeing many friends, colleagues and partners come to see my work. I received excellent comments and even gifts. I really didn't expect such a warm welcome. The most difficult moment for me was the speech in English. Once again, I would like to thank all the Infopeka team but also my friends, especially Natnada, for their help.


During this busy week, Lucas and I also participated in Rubrika: Filmopeka where we wrote and analyzed our first reviews. Lucas chose to review one of the movie he hated the most: Fast and furious 8 and I chose to review my favorite movie: Mysterious Skin. It was interesting to have Damijan's advice and encouragement. I also took part in the first meeting with Rajzerfiber around the festival of marches. With Filip and Lucas we want to propose a march around music. We chose several places in the city and associated them with pieces of music we like. I'm also going to take a walk around the Maribor walls that inspire my pictures.

I went to the carnival in Ptuj on the weekend. The Kurent chased away the winter spirits. Spring is coming soon. Ptuj is really a beautiful city, I hope to meet there again to discover the inside of the castle. I really liked the medieval atmosphere of the city. The costumes of the Kurent are impressive, I'm very happy to have been able to participate of the carnival.



The last week of February was quieter. We ended with the vegan meal, which is always very interesting. This time we watched a documentary about capitalism. I think veganism and anti-capitalism are intimately linked. It was, as usual, an excellent evening for his critical mind but also for his stomach.

Thanks for taking the patience to read my blog, see you in March for a special blog. A Coronavirus special edition
Gilles

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

January by Filip

Zdravo,
After holiday travels, I returned to Maribor to continue my ESC volunteering in Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže. For most of the time, we have been busy with the organizational meetings, application deadlines and writing grant reports for the projects and programs in 2020/21. The whole process was quite instructive, and I think I learned a lot about the workings and goings of NGO papyrology in EU. The whole experience makes me feel less eager to write my own projects, because most workers in cultural and educational sphere, I assume, would prefer to deal with content rather than papyrology, and I am one of them, but I guess those are just idle thoughts. 



Anyway, we’ve prepared GuestRoomMaribor Open Call for the 2020. GuestRoomMaribor (henceforth GRM) is artist-in-residence program in Maribor which is active since 2011. GRM is a delightful platform for international exchange of artistic and cultural content. GRM offers support and cooperation to local and international audience, as well as to other NGO’s by creating a common space between these actors in order to boost the sharing of experience and knowledge between each other. GRM streams to address contemporary issues by critically engaging with power relations in current regime, to question the role of art in these relations and to puts focus on the local culture and politics of Maribor throughout participatory, site-specific art projects and interventions.



Submission deadline for the GRM open call:  29th of February 2020. I am looking forward to meeting our incoming GRM residents!
Lep pozdrav!
Filip

Monday, 17 February 2020

How to be a French lover?

Here's a new year beginning. After a few days in France, I enjoyed coming back to my room in Maribor. We went back to work quietly. We discovered the new exhibition at Gallery K18. Thursday, we had the German course by Lucas. We started to think about a program around the Library Rosa Luxemburg for the coming months. We are going to have a program about feminism and activism.
The following week I had my first French class at INFOPEKA. It was very interesting to teach. I took a lot of time to work out a plan to teach the basics of French. The difficulty was that I didn't know the level of the people and I wanted to develop something lively. The participants seemed to enjoy this moment with me. I continue the French class that I entitled: How to be a French loveR? every two weeks. We also took our Slovenian test with Lucas and I am pleased to announce that we both have the A2 level of Slovenian. At the end of the week, we had a meeting with our coordinator to plan the actions until the end of the volunteering.

The third week of January, we watched Foxtrot during RUBRIKA: FILMOPELA, it was an interesting moment that ended with a philosophical debriefing about anti-militarism and utopia. I also started to work on the subject of my exhibition and write a text and a plan for the scenography. On Thursday, we went to the Second Gymnasium of Maribor to meet the coordinator of the international class of the establishment. We discussed the possibility of creating an awareness workshop on LGBTQI+ issues in February. Friday ended with the screening of the film MicMac: à tire l'arigot by Jean Pierre Jeunet and it was an excellent moment. The film was very critical and interesting.
The last week was our mid-term training with Lucas. The training took place in Velenje. It was very interesting to discover this city, a mining city where Tito had a great influence and importance. The training was very enriching. First of all, it was very pleasant to see the other ESE and to take stock of our situation. The proposed workshops were great. We visited the mine and it was a beautiful metaphor of the ESE experience.
See you in March for the February blog ;)

Friday, 14 February 2020

January by Lucas

January not only marks the start of a new year but also the halfway point of my trip as an ESC volunteer. This gave me an occasion to pause and look back over the past five months. In fact, it was an entire working week to look back on because the Slovenian national agency MOVIT invited me and other European volunteers to a midterm evaluation in which we analyzed and evaluated every aspect of the time we spent in Slovenia. In addition to a detailed reflection on what has already happened, important aspects of the next half of the ESC were also discussed. For example, which personal goals we still want to fulfill and which projects we want to implement. But also outside of the midterm evaluation, january was rich in events and activities. At RUBRIKA: FILMOPEKA, we are getting closer and closer to our first own film review, as we are constantly expanding our skillset. German classes are going just as well, conveying my knowledge gives me great pleasure. Although I have to add that it is very easy with participants to feel joy about it. Because in addition to zeal and curiosity, they also bring a lot of fun and good humor to the classes. Furthermore, the end of my Slovenian course turned out to be successful because I received a language certificate after passing the final exam. So at the end I can say that January was a good month for me.

baby Lucas :)

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Prostovoljsko delo v Avstriji

Moje ime je Mojca in sem v začetku januarja 2020 pričela v okviru programa European Solidarity Corps (ESC) s prostovoljskim delom na projektu z imenom Intergenerational Living and Learning (Intergenerationall Lernen Erleben) v domu za ostarele v Herzogenburgu (Pflege- und Betreuungszentrum Herzogenburg). To je pilotni projekt, ki trenutno teče v Avstriji v treh različnih domovih za ostarele – v Mödlingu, Gloggnitzu in Herzogenburgu. V kolikor se bo izkazal za uspešnega, bo tovrstnih projektov v Avstriji še več, za kar se kaže izjemen interes. V trendu starajočega se prebivalstva se gradi in ustanavlja nove domove za ostarele, v katerih država poskuša nuditi kar se da visok življenjski standard. Prostovoljni delavci igramo pomembno vlogo pri izboljšanju kvalitete bivanja oskrbovancev in smo pokazatelj nadstandardne ponudbe.
Dom za ostarele v Herzogenburgu je bil zgrajen leta 1898, zadnjič saniran leta 1985 in bil leta 2012 po 3-letni popolni gradbeni prenovi na novo ustanovljen. V domu trenutno živi 108  prebivalcev. Poleg doma se nahaja tudi velik vrt z vinsko trto in sadnim drevjem ter varovanim delom za sprehajanje. V obliki črke T zasnovana zgradba ponuja v treh nadstropjih skupno 54 enoposteljnih in 27 dvoposteljnih sob s svojo kopalnico. V vsakem nadstropju se nahaja osrednji prostor s funkcionalno kuhinjo in sestrskim pultom, kateri spominja bolj na recepcijo v hotelu, kot pa na sestrski pult, za katerem se nahajajo čajna kuhinja, prostor z zdravili in delovna soba za zdravnika in posege. Da je asociacija popolna, se na njem seveda nahaja napis “Willkommen” in celo zvonček za priklic osebja. 
Na koncu vsakega izmed treh hodnikov, ki vodijo iz osrednjega prostora, se nahaja manjša, v celoti opremljena kuhinja z veliko teraso. Poleg centralne kuhinje, ki se nahaja v pritličju in katera pripravlja hrano za prebivalce doma ter oskrbovana stanovanja, ki se nahajajo v sosednji stavbi, se v vsakem nadstropju nahajajo še 4 kuhinje, ki nudijo možnost samostojne priprave hrane. V pritličju najdemo garderobo in prostore osebja, 2 manjši dvorani za seminarje, soba za umetniško ustvarjanje, pralnico, večji družabni prostor s kavarno in nekatere druge storitve (fizioterapija, pedikura, frizerski salon, kapela ter poslovilni prostor).

Moj delovni dan se prične ob 8ih zjutraj z zajtrkom, kjer pomagam pri hranjenju. Čas po zajtrku (med 9.00 in 10.00 uro) služi za pripravo na dopoldanske aktivnosti in organizacijo. Prebivalce doma pospremim do kraja, kjer se odvija aktivnost, pri kateri tudi sama sodelujem, in jih ob koncu vodim nazaj v pravo nadstropje. Velik del oskrbovancev ima namreč velike težave bodisi z gibanjem, bodisi s pomnjenjem in orientacijo. Urnik dopoldanskih aktivnosti je v domu polno zaseden – skupinska telovadba, družabne igre, likovno ustvarjanje, oblikovanje izdelkov iz gline, petje ob glasbeni spremljavi, enkrat tedensko v dopoldanskih urah pride na obisk tudi skupina predšolskih otrok, s katerimi oskrbovanci pojejo.

Ob 11.00 uri se dopoldanske aktivnosti zaključijo in ob 11.30 je čas za kosilo, kjer ponovno pomagam pri razdeljevanju hrane, hranjenju in pospravljanju. Svoje kosilo pojem skupaj z ostalimi sodelavci med 12.30 in 13.00 uro. Med 13.00 in 16.00 uro je čas za popoldanske aktivnosti.


Kljub temu da večina zaposlenih zaključi s službo in zapusti dom, je na voljo kar nekaj aktivnosti – urjenje spomina skozi spominjanje preteklosti, reševanje preprostih miselnih nalog, branje v skupini, peka slaščic, pasji trening (sledenje), sprehodi in pogovori. Poleg tega se dom napolni s sorodniki in drugimi obiskovalci.

Sama delam 30 ur tedensko. V prvi polovici januarja sem delala vse delovne dni do 14ih in velikokrat ostala dlje kot potrebno. Ker je moj delovni čas fleksibilen željam, sem zato svoj delovnik prilagodila na 4 delovne dni tedensko (8 delovnih ur v ponedeljek, torek in sredo ter 6 delovnih ur v petek). V drugi polovici januarja in z začetkom februarja pričenjam tudi s svojimi samostojnimi aktivnostmi – skupinska telovadba, likovno ustvarjanje iz različnih materialov, trening spomina, namizne igre in branje.




Prehrano imam urejeno v domu za ostarele (zajtrk, kosilo in večerja, katero ob koncu delovnega dne odnesem s seboj domov). Poleg spletnega jezikovnega tečaja OLS, mi dodatno gostujoča organizacija financira še klasičen tečaj na inštitutu za gospodarski razvoj WIFI (Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut NÖ). Kljub temu, da dobro znam nemško, je komunikacija v nemščini v Avstriji kar otežena, toliko bolj s starejšimi. Dialekt, narečje oziroma “Mundart” je zelo močan in z razumevanjem imam velike težave. Sodelavci (katere moram pohvalit, da že zelo dobro izgovarjajo moje ime :D) se morajo včasih kar potrudit, da najdejo pravilne izraze v knjižni nemščini oziroma “Hochdeutsch”. Na svoj račun se znajo šalit, da se bodo v času mojega prostovoljstva tudi oni malo spet učili nemščino. Pri delu z oskrbovanci pa se moram včasih poslužiti drugih metod komunikacije. S strani gostujoče organizacije je poskrbljeno tudi za mojo nastanitev in mesečno karto javnega potniškega prometa, katera velja za mestni in regionalni avtobusni promet in vlak. Za prihod na delo v Herzogenburg z avtobusom ali vlakom potrebujem 15 min, do koder so dobre povezave iz bližnjega mesta St. Pölten, kjer bivam v svojem stanovanju. Avtobusno in glavno železniško postajo imam v neposredni bližini. Z bivanjem na obrobju centra mesta, ki je največje in od leta 1986 glavno mesto zvezne dežele Spodnja Avstrija (Niederösterreich), se tako večina pomembnejše infrastrukture zdi v bližini. Po velikosti in številu prebivalcev bi ga lahko primerjali s Celjem. 

V zaključku prispevka naj omenim še nekatere pokazatelje splošnega stanja mesta oziroma države. Kljub temu, da zdravstvene oskrbe v času svojega bivanja v Avstriji še nisem potrebovala, sem privoščila obisk Univerzitetnemu kliničnemu centru St. Pölten, kateri velja za eno izmed modernejših klinik v Evropi. Zvezna dežela Spodnja Avstrija (Niederösterreich) je v izgradnjo skupne infrastrukture centra vložila več kot 510 milijonov evrov, v želji ostati v koraku z razvojem zdravstvene oskrbe.

Omenjenemu prestižu javnega značaja se ob bok lahko postavijo še avstrijske železnice (Österreichischen Bundesbahnen, ÖBB). Zaradi zelo dobrih povezav, je obisk drugih avstrijskih mest iz St. Pölten-a zelo olajšan. Razen v časovnem oknu od 1ih do 5ih zjutraj je vsako uro na voljo več vlakov (4-6 vlakov), ki vozijo z Dunaja v smer St. Pölten-a. V obratno smer je časovno okno mirovanja prestavljeno med polnoč in 4to uro zjutraj. Veliko ljudi, živečih v  St. Pölten-u in zaposlenih na Dunaju, vsakodnevno uporablja železniški potniški promet, saj pot traja med 30 in 60 min, odvisno od vrste vlaka. Tako na vlakih, kot tudi na železniški postaji je na voljo brezplačen internetni dostop. Poleg tega je z ozirom na starostno skupino pri železnicah možno kupiti ustrezno kartico popustov. Sama imam ÖBB Vorteilscard 66, s katero imam 50% popust na vse vožnje in katero nam prostovoljcem v Avstriji finančno krije nacionalna agencija.


Kulturni program v mestu je skromen, pa vendar prisoten. V januarju sem spoznala kulturni projekt z imenom “Alle tanzen”, organiziran s strani Festspielhaus-a. Izmed vseh prijavljenih plesnih laikov, so na avdiciji izbrali 150 navdušencev. Več o projektu in ustanovi najdete na spletu, tiste najbolj zvedave pa vabim v začetku junija v St. Pölten, da si naš nastop ogledate v živo.

Se še beremo...

Mojca


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Second ESC Blog Entry – December

December in Maribor is month full of Coca-Cola/Christmassy events, where everyone is partying, shopping and gorging themselves. I can say I was not partaking too much, except in the eating part. Beside the festivities, December is the month where most of the projects are supposed to be finalized, therefore plenty of NGO’s and other project-based organizations funded by EU were very busy.
p.c.maribor.info
We did a lot in Pekarna Magdalenske Mreže as well: we commemorated World Aids Day, organized various screenings and workshops, like Filmopeka: “Being 17” and bookbinder’s workshop: “Make your own planner for 2020”; as part of “Pekarna Dobiš Daš” we payed few visits to Dom Antona Skale and made new friends there, we also organized tours, lectures and hosted two artists in our residency program GuestRoomMaribor, and pulled thru two exhibitions in K18 Gallery. First exhibition was visual representation of “Sedmi Glas” - an informal educational program intended to members of different ethnic minorities and other newcomers in Maribor. The idea behind the project was to develop participants’ critical voice through reflection on art and culture. The exhibition was conglomerate of different works created through numerous series of lectures, theoretical and practical workshops, reading circles and similar.
p.c. Pekarna Magdalenske mreže

The exhibition was followed by the final conference of the project “Sedmi glas”. The conference was the roundtable discussion about employment conditions in the cultural field for non-Slovenians, the difficulty in finding employment and the systematic discrimination against migrants, especially women.
p.c. Gregor Salobir 

The second exhibition we organized was a final product of Ana Bassin’ residency (GuestRoomMaribor) titled “Ciklo”. The exhibition criticizes nowadays consumerism viz. capitalism as cause for the environmental disaster we live in.

Lep pozdrav!
Filip

Friday, 10 January 2020

World AIDS Day


World AIDS Day, designated on 1 December every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awarenes sof the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS preventionand control. World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public healthcampaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). And despite all these efforts, the topic is still not fully understood. Questions like: are AIDS and HIV the same thing? Can u die from HIV? And does everybody who has HIV also gets AIDS? are unanswerable for a lot of people.

That's why we decide to answer this and other questions about this fatal disease also on another day the 5th of December. At the event called "International AIDS Evening". In terms of content, it was mainly about two things: on the one hand a lecture and on the other hand the screening of a film. The lecture was given by the DrogArt expert Simon Kovačič.

Over the course of the lecture, in addition to the questions already mentioned above, he also explained the differences between AIDS and HIV, the course of the disease, the treatment, the prevention and, of course, the progress made in the fight against AIDS over the last three decades. In keeping with the progress made in the fight against the disease, he has also been informing new medicines with the potential to drastically reduce the number of new infections. Furthermore, much in of material and safersex producte were provided by DrogArt for free. Next to the lecture, the film "120 BPM" (Originaltitel 120 battements par minute) was the focal point of the event.

The movie takes place In the early 1990s, where a group of HIV/AIDS activists associated with the Paris chapter of ACT UP struggle to effect action to fight the AIDS epidemic. When the pharmaceutical company Melton Pharm announces its plans to reveal its HIV trial results at a prominent pharmaceutical conference the following year, ACT UP invades its offices with fake blood and demands it release its trial results immediately. While ACT UP makes some headway with its public protests, its members fiercely debate the group's strategy, with conflicting goals of showmanship and persuasion, with conflicting aesthetics of positivity and misery.

The film gradually shifts from the political storyline of ACT UP's actions to the personal stories of ACT UP members. Foreshadowing later events in the movie, Jeremie, an AIDS positive youth in the group sees his health deteriorate rapidly. A gay, HIV-negative newcomer, Nathan, begins to fall in love with the passionate HIV-positive veteran Sean. Nathan and Sean start a sexual relationship, but Sean is already exhibiting signs of the disease's progression. Nathan cares for Sean as they both discuss their sexual histories. When Sean is released to Nathan's apartment for hospice, Nathan euthanizes him.
After the screening we had a discussion about the movie and lecture held by Simon Kovačič.

Povezava do intervjuja s Simonom Kovačičem iz DrogArta. / Link to the interview with Simon Kovačič from DrogArt.

Lucas nad Gilles

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

December by Lucas

December the last month of the year, everything is in anticipation of the holidays and in many places the pace of work decreases sharply in the pre-christmas time, but not here. :) Because even in December the flow of great events did not decrease. For example, there was the international AIDS evening, which was a complete success. there was first a lecture on the differences between HIV and AIDS and the most important prevention strategies. Of course there was also talk about the treatment of the diseases and how not only medical options but also the public image have changed over the past 30 years. Finally there was a French film (120 bpm) that linked the topic of AIDS and HIV in the nineties on a personal and historical level. But besides the events like Filmopeka and the international AIDS evening there was also a lot of exciting things to experience. Among other things, the Slovenian lessons. there were many new words and grammatical basics to learn. Which, admittedly, is not always easy for me. And there was also a lot to learn in the Rubriko Filmoteka section, because even if you have a well-founded opinion about a film, it is not always easy to put it into words. 


But I have to admit that I personally liked the best of all this month the time we spent with the PDD children. There were no limits to creativity when it came to tinkering and painting. and at sports games everyone could let off steam and move around. it was a blast and the kids ware just the most adorable. In conclusion I can only say it was an exciting month with many different facades.

Lucas

Blog of December

Dear readers,

we started the month of December with a workshop for children with disabilities. We put into practise the different types of activities we learned during last month's training. It was also a pleasure to work with the two Slovenian volunteers and to work with the complicity of Filip and Lucas. The workshops were diverse, we tried to make an adapted program so that the children don't get bored. There was a presentation time, a time of physical activity and a time of discussion where the children could talk about their desire for the next time.


The 3th of December was a really great moment for me, because it’s was my 30th birthday and like each changing decade, it’s always little bit complex. But my coworkers were really awesome and made the surprise to come at midnight in my place for make a little party. It's was really really kind and this event really boost me because I was a little bit confused since my computer broke. During the day, we have a great training with an LGBTQI+ organisation from Ljubljana about Hate Speech. I learned a lot about Hate Speech and it was a great moment to discover my team in another aspect of work. The same evening I went out for a drinks to enjoy my old age. :)


December 5th was the concretization of the event we created for the International AIDS Day. The evening started with the lecture held by Simon Kovačič, from association Drogart. This association proposes different types of action around the sensitization related to drugs and various sexual practices. Simon is more specialized in prevention around sexually transmitted diseases, especially for gays. We talked about different types of topics related to World aids day. It was a very enriching moment as the presentation was punctuated by questions and comments and I think that many people learned, including myself, new things about AIDS and new risky practices. The second part of the evening was the screening of the film 120 beats by minutes, it was a pleasure to see this film again, even if each time it is a bit like an emotional punch. After the screening, there was a time of exchange and I found it very moving that one of the participants spoke openly about his HIV status and the evolution of the disease since the 80s. After this beautiful evening, my French friends surprised me by coming to visit me in Ljubljana for my birthday and I enjoyed the pretty Slovenian capital all weekend. It was a very special moment and I was really happy to introduce the friends I made here to my French friends.



The week of December 9 was a very rewarding week for me. I worked in a team with several participants of the Sedmi Glas program that I had already mentioned the previous months around the retrospective exhibition of the project. We worked all week on the exhibition, including a rather time-consuming part which was to paint a poem on a wall. This project was really important for me because it made me realised that I really flourish in this kind of collaborative project. It was also a pleasure to show some photographs for this exhibition. During this week, we also worked with the Slovenian volunteers on the next workshop with children with disabilities. We imagined a workshop around the decoration of a cardboard Christmas tree. We took two hours to make a Christmas tree out of cardboard and it was an excellent moment of complicity with the volunteers. Friday was the opening of the exhibition Sedmi Glas. It was a great time to see the work accomplished and to finally relax with the participants. We celebrated in a bar with friends and we also had snow as a gift. :) It was an opportunity for me to make a snowperson, which hasn't happened to me in years (thanks climate change.)


The last week before the holidays was also busy. We did our Christmas tree decoration workshop with children with disabilities and it was a very warm moment. On Tuesday the 17th there is a conference about Sedmi Glas with different kind of discussions and lectures. I really enjoy to discover No Border Craft, a women collectif of refugee create some object with wool in Ljubljana. In the evening, we watched the film "Quand on as 17 ans" for FILMOPEKA, it was a pleasure to see many people who came for 120 beats per minute came back for the event. On Wednesday, I took part in the workshop for the creation of his agenda 2020 taking place in the gallery K18. It was a pleasant moment and I'm really happy with the result. I hope one day to be able to do this kind of experience again. It made me want to take sewing lessons again. Thursday night we had a great and rewarding time during the monthly Vegan dinner, my friend Max gave a presentation about anti-speciesism connected with Mary Shelley's work: Frankenstein. As usual, the meal was excellent. Friday was the end of the year party and it was an excellent finale for 2019. I don't know what else to say. I spent a few days in France and now I'm just back in Slovenia and I really missed the Slovenian sky, I really appreciate this bubble in Maribor.



Gilles