• When: 27 and 28 February 2014 between 9.00 and 17.00
  • Where: Ljubljana City Museum
  • Location: Trg francoske revolucije, near Križanke
  • Organisation: AKTIV project, COoperate initiative
  • Applicant: ŠKUC Society
  • In cooperation with: Department of Education and Communication, City Museum of Ljubljana
  • Honorary patron: Vlasta Nussdorfer, Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Media sponsor: Journal for the Critique of Science, Imagination, and New Anthropology
  • Concept: Katja Sudec with the support of Claudia Hummel and Jovana Komnenič
  • Lecturers: Carmen Mörsch, Črtomir Frelih, Verena Vidrih Perko, Claudia Hummel, Emily Pringle, Robi Kroflič, Evgen Bavčar, Darja Kobal Grum, Katarina Majerhold
  • Discussion facilitators: Brigita Strnad (UGM), Jovana Komnenič, Katrin Modic, Marija Mojca Pungercar
  • Guests participating in discussion groups: Nataša Bucik, Alja Dražumerič, Judita Krivec Dragan (Ministry of culture), Nada Požar Matijašič (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport), Metoda Kemperl (Faculty of Education Ljubljana), Aksinja Kermauner (Faculty of Education Koper), Slovene Philanthropy and others.
“One of the greatest benefits is greater love of culture, contemporary art, which also entails a growing need to participate in cultural activities.” (Marko Mikulin)

This statement testifies to the power of art to promote creative and innovative thinking, growing beyond its original setting - studio, museum or gallery - to encourage active participation in a wider social context by including various social groups and strengthening creativity and mutual cooperation.

This leads to the following question:
What can artists, museums and galleries do for society and the visitors? How, with and for whom?
This is one of the questions based on the principles of working in the culture sector which the AKTIV international conference will seek to answer, targeting project participants, relevant professionals and the wider public.

The programme of the symposium is based on the core principles of cooperating with the public in galleries and museums in order to provide an insight into art education. We have specifically focused on vulnerable social groups (originally the blind and visually impaired) and the possibility to expand the project to other target groups (ethnically vulnerable, children and youth, the elderly, people with special needs, etc.).

On the first day, 27 February, the programme will focus on the specifics of gallery discourse, which will be examined in greater detail by Carmen Mörsch (Institute for Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts). She will be followed by Črtomir Frelih (Faculty of Education in Ljubljana), who will talk about how to present theoretical concepts from the field of fine arts, with examples of adaptations made for the blind and visually impaired. The first part will conclude with a lecture by Verena Vidrih Perko (Gorenjska Museum Kranj, University of Ljubljana).

The second part focuses on the cooperation between cultural and educational institutions, and continues to examine special programmes for various target groups. Lecturers will include Claudia Hummel (Assistant Professor on Institut Art in Context, UDK Berlin), Emily Pringle (Head of Learning Practice and Research, Tate Britain and Tate Modern), and Robi Kroflič (Professor of general pedagogy and the theory of early education at the Department of Education Sciences of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana).

This will be followed by a short presentation of the realised project COoperate Together in the Field of Culture, which has led to AKTIV project.

The second day, 28 February, will begin with addressing the specifics of working with vulnerable social groups – the disabled, particularly the blind and visually impaired. In the section Inclusion, art and feeling: a philosophically psychological perspective, lecturers will include Dr. Evgen Bavčar (a blind photographer and theoretician), Dr. Darja Kobal Grum (Professor of general psychology at the University of Ljubljana), and Katarina Majerhold (theoretician).

The symposium will conclude with discussion groups led by a Slovenian expert and with the lecturers and the attendants participating. They will discuss specific issues exposed by thematic sections, including issues regarding different minority ethnic groups, as their members have joined AKTIV project, which relies on the working principles established during Cooperate project.

Primarily, the symposium is intended for the professional public and members of the target group, while the wider public is also invited.

Short presentation of the project
AKTIV project with different yet equal participants seeks to promote successful inclusion of vulnerable social groups in the cultural sphere and society in general. The idea for the project stems from the project COoperate Together in the Field of Culture, which was realised in 2011 and 2012. AKTIV’s programme is based on evaluations of the older project, the needs of the participants and the findings based on a questionnaire which was completed by culture professionals.
The project also targets vulnerable social groups - persons with disability, particularly the blind, visually impaired and physically disabled, members of different ethnic groups and culture professionals working in culture institutions, as well as self-employed and post-graduate students, who would like to specialise in working in cultural institutions.

Due to general needs, the first training sessions will focus on project management and improving administrative skills of those included in the project. In continuation, we will deepen our knowledge of working with the blind and visually impaired and make basic adaptations for working with them.
A large part of the project will examine the use of artistic language for developing materials and training methodologies in the field of culture targeting members of vulnerable groups, the blind and visually impaired based on the realities of the world of the blind and visually impaired in order to promote a different perception of cultural goods and the world in general.
Activities will be performed using the following formats – lectures and workshops – and in a more condensed form as a symposium and working groups.