Slovenia is a small country territorially when compared with Ukraine. However, the concentration of cultural institutions, hubs, galleries and museums is noticeably higher. I was impressed by the creative hubs: how they were created, how they function, how people from different sectors unite, and stimulate the development of interdisciplinary collaborations. Slovenians also perceive that their thought processes don't differ that much from that of Ukrainian. Local residents noted that as recently as 10-15 years ago they could not have imagined this kind of development opportunity for cultural projects as it now exists. They described how they did it and what obstacles they encountered on the way. After hearing these stories, you see that rapid development is possible and that you can do it, too.
In Ljubljana, I liked Poligon
, a private creative centre and the first and largest coworking-space in Slovenia. It is housed in a former tobacco factory, which ceased operations in the early 2000's and occupies more than a thousand square metres. It was created to empower self-employed professionals working in the field of creative economics, social entrepreneurship and culture. Poligon offers internship programmes, which regularly attract foreign students. There is also a bar, library, gallery space, and room for presentations, lectures and other cultural events at the space.
The Independent Academy of Arts, located in a historic building in the town of Vipavas on the bank of the Vipava River, and not far from Nova Gorica, also has a dynamic media department under the guidance of Professor Peter Purg. Today, the Academy offers BA and Master programmes in photography, animation, video and new media. Students are constantly travelling, implementing projects that host successful sector players, who hold workshops and condensed original courses.