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Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture

Šiška was once a suburb of Ljubljana, a village that is today a developed part of the capital. It is surrounded by greenery and has its own local markets, where the few remaining local farmers still sell their produce. It is a part of Ljubljana that also has its own centre of urban culture, a pleasant gathering place for all ages – Kino Šiška.

Kino Šiška used to be one of the cult cinemas in Ljubljana. It was built in 1961 and is a fine example of modernist architecture.

The building is the work of Slovenian architect Božidar Gvardjančič. Even then, with its large and modern hall, in addition to film screenings, it served as a kind of social home for the locals.

Films were shown in the hall until the end of the 1980s, but then a decline in cinema attendance led to its closure, and only a few events and lectures took place in it. The cinema was brought back in 1994, but even this attempt did not work despite the interesting performances that took place in the hall. After being empty for several years, the building was renovated and given a new role, becoming the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. A centre not just keeping up with trends but setting trends!

  • DeathGrips KinoSiska 14.8.2017 10 PhotoAlesRosa. mala

    Kino Šiška is a trendsetter. Photo: Aleš Rosa

Striking architecture

Apart from the typical graffiti, the building has retained its cult exterior, including its eternal ‘Kino Šiška’ sign. In its programme, Kino Šiška encourages innovativeness, creativity and international collaboration. Its programme represents and combines urban life, multiculturalism, a politically unbiased attitude and advanced technology, whereas its architectural solutions make it one of Slovenia’s friendliest venues to the physically impaired and sensory-deprived.

Since the very beginning of this new era for the centre, Kino Šiška has been following its founding mission – to be a multicultural centre for contemporary urban culture in the City of Ljubljana municipality and elsewhere in Slovenia, as well as in the wider international environment.

The centre's activities include music and performing arts and other forms of cultural creativity. The centre presents Slovenian and foreign artists and groups, productions and co-productions to the public. It promotes participation, democracy, plurality, international cooperation and high-quality creativity, presentation and interpretation in modern urban culture.

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Kino Šiška sets trends in Slovenia

Of course Kino Šiška is a trendsetter, believes head of the centre Simon Kardum. "If we take, for example, only music projects, such as Indekš, Špil Liga and Ment, the centre gives the Slovenian public access to fresh, talented music groups and trends while offering Slovenian bands the opportunity to learn from foreign partners and nurture their creativity with trends from abroad, and to perform at the greatest festivals in Europe. These trends are about the interconnection of people, exchange of ideas, multiculturalism and cooperation."

The centre always stays true to its fundamental concept. Its vision remains "to bring ideas and projects from abroad and present them to the Slovenian public and to encourage and support extraordinary projects in Slovenia and present them to the public abroad".

Even during the COVID-19 crisis, Kino Šiška continues operating – DobraVaga, Kavarna Kino Šiška, Kamera and managing event venues (Katedrala and Komuna) with certain adjustments in order to ensure the best possible continuation of its activities, mission and public services. Of course, they also follow the guidelines and recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in order to ensure the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

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Author: Polona Prešeren

Date: 27. July 2020

Time to read: 3 min