STA, 24 September 2019 - The 25th City of Women (Mesto Žensk), an international festival of contemporary arts, will kick off in Ljubljana on 1 October; however a series of events will take place as a prelude to the festival's opening, starting tonight (Monday, 24 September) with an exhibition Cheers to Women - 25 Years of Film and Video.
The exhibition launch will be held at Alkatraz Gallery in the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre, with the display focusing on creative endeavours of female film makers and video artists in Slovenia.
The feminist festival, running until 13 October, will be held under the slogan #HerStory, a pun referring to female, often forgotten or erased, history as well as female stories.
The events will take place at 18 venues and will include 160 participants, said the festival's programme director Teja Reba at today's press conference, highlighting that this year the festival will spread to Maribor and Zagreb as well.
"We're not talking about a special part of history which would only apply to women, but about a part of general history which is missing since mostly men's events were valued in the past," said Reba.
According to her, the time has come for "some feminist revisionism - a feminist re-interpretation of facts, events and traditions". The festival thus aims "to make visible all that has been overlooked, silenced and repressed".
The programme reminisces about the festival's past achievements, but also looks to the future by promoting up-and-coming female artists and art collectives as well as questions the existing forms of artistic expressions nowadays, said the organisers.
Highlights include a film marathon of Slovenian female film makers and video artists at the Slovenian Cinematheque as well as the opening performance of famous German theatre collective She She Pop, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as well, at the Ljubljana Mladinsko Theatre (SMG).
The legendary duo, a recipient of this year's Theaterpreis Berlin, a prestigious German theatre prize, will put on Drawers, a performance about the German reunification process retold through the eyes of women from West and East Berlin.
Eva D. Bahovec, the festival's honorary president and professor at the Faculty of Arts, said that the University of Ljubljana, marking its centenary this year, and City of Women will hold a regional symposium on Simone de Beauvoir celebrating the 70th anniversary of her influential work The Second Sex.
The artist-in-residence of this year's festival is Alicja Rogalska, a Polish-British artist who has dedicated herself to exploring the issue of erased people, left without citizenship after Slovenia declared independence in 1991.
Her exhibition Kinds of Pressure at the Škuc Gallery will analyse the global labour conditions under capitalism and its dehumanising effect, but a discussion with the artist at the exhibition opening will also touch upon her research on the erased and how to talk about an identity that was taken away.
This year, City of Women was awarded the European Cultural Foundation's annual Princess Margriet Award for Culture. The prize, honouring the festival's achievement in supporting women in culture and its intersectional feminist approach, will be presented in Amsterdam on 2 October.