STA, 20 June 2021 - Portorož is hosting the 8th European Congress of Mathematics from 20 to 26 June in a hybrid form. One of the world's major events of its kind will see more than 1,700 mathematicians from across the globe take part.
The majority of participants come from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Spain and the UK with mathematicians from Russia, the US and China participating as well.
The larger portion of the congress will take place online, but as the coronavirus situation in Slovenia is normalising, part of the programme will be held in Portorož with more than 100 attendees.
The congress will host world-renowned mathematicians, including the winners of the Fields Medal and Abel Prize, two of the most prestigious awards in mathematics.
The programme will feature a series of small-scale symposiums, plenary and guest lectures, more than 100 articles are being presented and there are lectures open to public as well.
The organizer, the University of Primorska, highlighted Wednesday's lecture by the Abel Prize laureate Laszlo Lovasz and an interview with the president of the European Research Council Jean-Pierre Bouguignon, both of which will be available to the public via online streaming.
"It is the biggest science event of the year in Slovenia, which also brings some new features, for example working in small research groups. We have managed to attract a younger expert audience in addition to a higher percentage of women researchers," said Klavdija Kutnar, the chancellor of the university.
STA, 20 June 2021 - Sunday marks the peak of this year's first heatwave in Slovenia, with several more days with similar temperatures - from 30 and 35 degrees Celsius - to follow before temperatures fall a bit on Thursday, a meteorologist at the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO), told the STA on Sunday.
Ljubljana had the first tropical night this year - meaning the mercury did not fall below 20 degrees during the night, while some more are to come, at least in Ljubljana, he said.
The hot spell is posing considerable heat stress during the day, especially in low-laying areas in central and eastern Slovenia.
Some reprieve can be expected from Thursday to Saturday, when the temperatures will slightly drop, said Strajnar.
The likelihood of storms is currently meagre, with some short-lived storms possible in the mountainous areas and in the north-west of the country, he added.
Due to the great heat stress, ARSO issued an orange warning for entire Slovenia until Wednesday midnight, except for the north-west, for which a milder, yellow warning is in place.
Just like yesterday, the concentrations of ozone in the western Goriška area exceeded the set threshold, and can irritate the mucous membrane and respiratory organs.
People with chronic respiratory or blood circulation conditions are advised to stay indoors, while healthy people are not advised to engage in physical activities.
A similar situation in expected tomorrow, ARSO said.
STA, 20 June 2021 - The LGBTIQ+ community staged the Pride Parade in Ljubljana on Saturday afternoon under the slogan Resist the Oppression as a culmination of a week-long festival, demanding freedom, equality and unconditional respect for human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons. The annual parade was for the first time accompanied by the Balkan Trans Intersex March.
The rights the LGBTIQ+ community has acquired and perceived as unalienable are today again at stake, the Pride Parade Association, the event's organisers, said in a statement.
"Just like every year, we're fighting for our rights. But since we're witnessing a rise in hate and regression in what we've already achieved, it's now even more important to preserve what we've achieved," activist Katja Štefanec from the association told the STA.
The parade urged resistance against authoritative authorities and against the illiberalism of the incumbent government, which perceives as threat everything that is different, the organisers said.
The focus was also on the consequences the coronavirus epidemic and restrictions had for LGBTIQ+ persons, including rising homelessness and deteriorating mental health.
The Balkan Trans Intersex March meanwhile brought together members of the transgender, intersex and non-normative sexuality communities to march in Ljubljana's streets.
Held under the slogan With Love, the march addressed transphobia, interphobia, violence, lack of legal protection, violations of private rights and shortcomings in healthcare for the transgender, intersex and non-normative sexuality communities.
"Due to their sex change, transgender and intersex persons are faced with even more discrimination," the march's representative Edi Klobučar told the STA.
"There is an additional stigma in our country because of pathologisation, that is medicalisation. So the message of this year's parade is the need for access to healthcare, which has been additionally hindered due to the epidemic over the past year."
The march also called on the media to report on this community without additional stigmatisation.
Mayor Zoran Janković, addressing the parade as it arrived in Congress Square, said Ljubljana is a city that has always been and will remain open.
Simona Muršec, the association's president, said the past year had been hard, frustrating and hopeless for the entire LGBTIQ+ community, stressing that "the political measures to fight the epidemic pushed the bulk of our community into more poverty and more precariousness, back into the closet or even into homelessness."
She believes that after the epidemic, the LGBTIQ+ community will have to once again fight for its physical presence in society.
"In a society which does not have freedom, solidarity and dignity for all, there will soon be no freedom for anyone," stressed Matjaž Gruden, the head of the Council of Europe directorate for democratic participation, via video call.
The head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Jerneja Jug Jerše, said the EU was striving to be a union of equality, pointing to its adoption of a strategy on LGBTIQ+ equality last year.
Since 12 June, the Pride Parade Festival has featured a number of events, such as exhibitions, workshops, discussions, and literary events.
The first Pride Parade in Ljubljana was organised in 2001.
STA, 19 June 2021 - More than 75 museums and galleries will open their doors free of charge to visitors as part of the 19th Museum Summer Night (Poletna muzejska noč) bringing almost 300 events at around 160 locations around the country on Saturday evening until midnight. With the epidemiological situation improving, many more events than last year will be held live.
Slovenia's biggest museum campaign is designed to promote museums and galleries as well as Slovenian cultural heritage.
It is organised by the Association of Slovenian Museum, for the last four years in collaboration with the Museum of National Liberation in Maribor as the coordinator.
Despite losing the Culture Ministry's financial support for the first time, the organisers went ahead with their well-established and well-received project, continuing to educate the public and promote various institutions promoting cultural heritage, the association's president Aleksandra Berberih Slana told the press earlier this week.
"And despite the inconsistent information regarding the Covid pandemic, a plethora of museums and galleries have decided to participate and have adapted well to the situation," she added at Thursday's press conference in Maribor.
The project's coordinator Simona Tripkovič said that several new organisations had joined this year either for the first time or after withdrawing from the project.
"This shows the vital importance of the Museum Summer Night for the promotion of Slovenian cultural heritage," said Berberih Slana.
Starting at 6pm, the Museum Summer Night will offer guided tours, exhibition openings, workshops for children or families, and concerts, while visitors will also be able to just explore history and art on their own.
Visitors are advised to check the entry conditions beforehand, as they vary from site to site.
Saturday, 18 July, sees the main event of Pride Month take to the streets in Ljubljana – the annual parade and associated events. This year there’s a focus on Balkan Trans Inter solidarity, but as usual it’s open and welcoming to all, a fun day out to celebrate some of the freedoms Slovenians enjoy, in this the 30th year since the country gained independence.
You can start the day with the LGBTIQ+ Bazaar in Kongresni trg / Park Zvezda, which runs from 10:00 to 15:00 and should see various stalls presenting the work and goods of related organisations.
The parade itself gathers in Metelkova at 17:00, and at 18:00 will set out for an hour’s march around the streets of the city, taking in Masarykova, Dunajska cesta, Slovenska cesta and ending up in Kongresni Trg / Park Zvezda, the same as the afternoon bazaar. There you can expect speeches, music and more until 23:00, when attendees will break out into different groups to enjoy various parties and events around town. While the organisers are following the covid rules with regard to being tested, recovered or vaccinated, these are not required for attendees – but do bring a mask, and if have any paperwork, like a vaccination certificate or recent test, it’s probably a good idea to carry that too.
STA, 18 June 2021 - The 33rd edition of the Imago Sloveniae and Summer in Old Ljubljana festivals starts today in Congress Square with opera excerpts by the SNG Maribor theatre ensemble. The gala concert led by conductor Simon Dvoršak will be held in celebration of last year's 100th anniversary of the SNG Maribor opera and ballet house.
The excerpts, taken from the traditional Italian opera's legacy, will be performed by the SNG Maribor Symphonic Orchestra, opera ensemble and soloists. The opening concert's programme also marks 100 years since the passing of composer Josip Ipavec and will include an excerpt from his Princess Dizzyhead (Princesa Vrtoglavka) operetta.
The Imago Sloveniae festival coincides with the Summer in Old Ljubljana festival, offering around 30 classical music and jazz concerts that will take place at various sites over the next two months. The three-day Nights in Old Ljubljana Town festival that will be held from 26 to 28 August will conclude the festivities.
This year's Imago Sloveniae programme marks other anniversaries as well: 100 years since the birth of tango master Astor Piazzolla will be marked with a concert by Switzerland-based musicians Maja Lisac Barroso and Marcelo Nisinman, and the Italian Chagall Quartet will hold a multi-media concert marking 700 years since the death of Dante Alighieri, said the programme coordinator Jan Kern at a recent press conference.
The programme will also feature three concerts co-organised by the Austrian Culture Forum in Ljubljana, including a performance by the Berlin Brass Band, which will also play in Piran. Jazz lovers will enjoy music by saxophonist Jure Pukl, pianist Milan Stanisavljević and his quartet, jazz vocalist Ana Čop and the ZZ Quartet group led by Croatian guitarist Ratko Zjaca.
Visitors will also get a chance to enjoy performances by the Ljubljana Academy of Music's Camerata Academica Ensemble and the Croatian-Slovenian quartet 4Syrinx. Joining them will be flute player Katarina Šantl Zupan. Slovenian musical prodigies will take centre stage as well.
Most of the concerts will take place at the Ljubljana City Museum. All events are admission-free.
STA, 17 June 2021 - The government has introduced a new restriction for public rallies and events featuring more than 100 participants. In line with the decision adopted on Thursday, participants of such events will need to be vaccinated, tested or reconvalescent [ed. having recovered from COVID] as of next Monday.
The new rule will be in force until 27 June, the Government Communication Office said after today's government session.
Proof of vaccination, negative test result or reconvalescence issued in EU countries, the Schengen zone, Australia, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, the UK and the US will be accepted.
Persons under 18 years old who attend the event with close family members, caretakers, school or any other institution will be exempt from the rule.
The general restrictions for outdoor events remain one person (or more from the same household) per 10 square metres, and at least 1.5-metre distance between participants if they are not from the same household. For indoor events, face masks are obligatory.
Private gatherings of more than 50 people are still not allowed, except for close family members and if safety measures are adhered to.
Meanwhile, the government increased the number of persons allowed to gather for religious purposes to up to 100 with adherence to all safety measures.
STA, 17 June 2021 - The government has decided to lift many existing restrictions in the retail and services sector as of 21 June as the epidemiological situation continues to improve.
The relaxation affects shop, bar and restaurant opening hours, which will no longer be restricted, even as rules on minimum space per customer remain in place.
The only restriction regarding opening hours will be for night clubs, which will be allowed to operate from 5am to midnight after they had been closed throughout the pandemic.
Night club guests will, however, need a covid certificate that shows they have been vaccinated, tested or have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months.
The same rule applies to visitors of casinos, hotel guests, visitors to indoor conventions and conferences, and restaurant patrons who wish to eat indoors.
Mandatory testing for employees in many services activities remains in place as well.
STA, 15 June 2021 - With new coronavirus infections steadily declining, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has relaunched the active tracing of contacts of those who have tested positive, which had been suspended in autumn due to an unmanageable inflow of daily cases.
Between 70 and 100 contact tracers will be available each day, Mario Fafangel, the head of the NIJZ's Centre for Communicable Diseases, told the press on Tuesday.
Those who have been in a high-risk contact with an infected person will be notified via the contact tracing app #OstaniZdrav, by the infected persons themselves, or by the contact tracers at the NIJZ call centre.
"We have three tools and as always, the power of these tools depends on the extent to which people are willing to cooperate," Fafangel said.
He described the system as optimal given the current resources, but said it might be worth considering professional call centres in the event of a new pandemic.
Active contact tracing was abandoned in October, when cases started surging to over 1,000 per day. But as Fafangel pointed out, epidemiologists still called every infected person, the difference is that now the tracing will be expanded to high-risk contacts.
STA, 14 June 2021 - The ongoing WoW festival, organised by the City of Women association and taking place in Ljubljana, focuses on the accomplishments of women and non-heteronormative individuals today as well as throughout history, and serves as conclusion to the two-year Women on Women (WoW) project.
Iva Kovač, City of Women's programme manager, has noted that the programme has been complied together with the partner associations from Croatia, Ireland and North Macedonia.
To celebrate the conclusion of the project, they have introduced the WoW awards, which were presented for the second time this Saturday at the festival's opening ceremony.
Tomorrow, a feature film by Nika Autor that traces the life of a 81-year-old and adds a culinary twist to the story by featuring old Yugoslav recipes and follows the life stories of the Yugoslav guest workers will be screened.
The Wow Group, which was formed as part of the Wow project, will make a guest appearance at the Festival of Migrant Film with last year's production of Catastrophic Blues I that explores issue of precarious work.
It will be followed up with the art installation Catastrophic Blues II at the Wow festival, and additionally, an installation-related workshop will take place.
Also designed as part of the project is the Fearless Women card game that promotes social engagement. Visitors will have a chance to play a hand next Thursday at the Tabor bar.
The festival will close with an exhibition by visual artist Barbara Kapelj that features workspaces of an array of women artists, which will be on display from 21 to 25 June at the Cirkulacija 2 art house.
Learn more at the website
STA, 14 June 2021 - Still Life - Nine Attempts to Preserve Life, a show by the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre directed by Tin Grabnar, will lift the curtain on the 56th Maribor Theatre Festival on Monday. The competition programme starts on Friday.
While many festivals have opted for a hybrid format, the Maribor Theatre Festival, taking place until 27 June, will be held fully in person.
Last year's festival lasted only a day due to the epidemic, just to confer the Borštnik Ring, the country's main award for theatre acting.
The productions from the 2019/20 season selected for competition last year will thus be staged this year.
While ten were originally selected, only eight will compete because two are no longer played at their theatres.
The festival has a strong international dimension and eight foreign productions will be shown as part of the accompanying programme.
Programmes for youth and students will also be available. For the first time, some shows will be played in front of homes for the elderly.
The full programme, in English, is available at https://www.borstnikovo.si/en/programme-fbs/.