Date: 27. March 2020
Time to read: 5 min
Slovenians are real culture enthusiasts. Theatre performances, concerts, literary evenings, museums and galleries, cinemas or simply buskers...they all enrich our lives and we enjoy them immensely. Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus all cultural institutions in Slovenia are closed, but this has not stopped Slovenians from staying in touch with culture as culture is now knocking on their doors.
Musicians were the first in Slovenia to take action as they performed on their balconies, in front of their open windows and in their gardens on 15 March at 18.00.
In their online invitation, the musicians stressed that this is their present to all those Slovenians who are following instructions and staying at home because they care.
Vlado Kreslin played guitar on his balcony, the drums of Dejan Tamše, percussion player and BUMfest’s art director, could be heard loud and clear, some musicians were joined by their children, forming family bands and, in doing so, thrilling their neighbours and online admirers.
Another round of performances followed the next Sunday. Many musicians invited audiences into their living rooms by streaming their masterpieces online.
In the current circumstances, even film fans are not left wanting.
As part of the Slovenian film makers’ campaign "Vsi (filmi) doma" (All (Films) at Home) that, in the spirit of the #stayathome movement, shows a selection of films free of charge, the Slovenian Film Centre allows you to access a selection of feature-length and short animated films.
Films are available for seven days, with new ones being added on Mondays and Thursdays. Some of the top films are "Petelinji zajtrk" directed by Marko Naberšnik, "Instalacija ljubezni" directed by Maja Weiss, "Izlet" directed by Nejc Gazvoda, and, in memory of the recently deceased actor Peter Musevski, "Rezervni deli" directed by Damjan Kozole and which won several awards.
A wide selection of films for children and youth includes the hit sequel "Gremo mi po svoje 2" directed by Miha Hočevar and short animated films are also available for home screening. The Slovenian Film Centre publishes news about the All (Films) at Home campaign through its own channels and those of the Slovenian Film Database, as well as on social media.
Where can we see a play during the epidemic? The majority of theatres provide alternative content on their platforms and on social media.
The Drama theatre in Ljubljana has posted videos of its best plays on YouTube and launched a new platform "Drama od doma" (Drama at home) where nearly every day well-known Slovenian theatre actors read out works of literature.
The Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor also moved to the internet with its Dangerous Liaisons (Choderlos de Laclos) directed by Aleksandar Popovski. The Ljubljana City Theatre opened its online archive of performances called "Gledališče na spletišče". The Glej Theatre also opened its online archive, the Prešeren Theatre in Kranj brings back memories of its past performances, actors of the Celje City Theatre stage dramas and recite poetry on social media, and the ensemble of the Slovene National Theatre in Nova Gorica reads fairy tales to children online.
The Ljubljana Puppet Theatre made their most popular shows available online for children and youth: "Vihar v glavi" (Brainstorm) directed by Primož Ekart, and wonderful puppet shows, such as "Sapramiška" (Sapramouse), "Zvezdica zaspanka" (Little Sleepy Star), "Ostržek" (Pinocchio), "Romeo in Julija" (Romeo and Juliet), etc. Children can also watch performances from the Maribor Puppet Theatre, while Mini teater also opened its archives.
Slovenian museums and galleries made their collections and exhibitions accessible online. The National Gallery of Slovenia included a selection of artworks that were introduced into the updated permanent collection in January 2016 into the online presentation of its permanent artwork collection.
The Jakopič Gallery opened its exhibition "Vision 20/20: Community – Contemporary Indonesian socially engaged photography" online and made it available on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Weekly, the Museum of Modern Art prepares a selection of art pieces from the "Artemic" Series, and posts links to recordings of guided tours of current exhibitions, permanent collections and other video documents from past events. The Slovene Ethnographic Museum offers a visit to its digital collections and online exhibitions on its website. The Maribor Art Gallery also offers digital visits, while the Maribor Regional Museum and the National Liberation Museum Maribor offer a virtual history overview.
The City Art Gallery Ljubljana prepared a Facebook exhibition as a part of the "Art in this time of isolation" project. They acquired 70 artworks that indirectly address the current situation.
Curl up on the sofa with a book
If you have run out of your books at home, there are more e-books available. National and University Library also offers online services. Through the Biblos portal, their members can borrow more than 677 from their 4000 e-books and e-magazines in Slovenian language. The Mladinska Knjiga Publishing House also did not forget about its readers and offers 50 free e-books in its online bookshop.
The Slovenian Book Agency started an online campaign, which will last for two weeks, and seeks to raise awareness and invite people to visit online bookshops which offer safe and free book delivery.
What about poetry? The celebration of the Poetry Day has been postponed until 23 May.
Slovenians carry our love of culture in ourselves and, if we so wish, we can brighten up our day with a theatre show, or a great Slovenian film; we can admire artworks in galleries, watch a puppet show with our children or make ourselves comfortable on our sofa and browse e-books.