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“Between the Sky and the Earth” - exhibition opening

On the occasion of the Slovenian national holiday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened the “Between the Sky and the Earth” exhibition mounted by the students of the Faculty of Architecture. At the same time, the Ministry presented Slovenian priorities for international cultural cooperation for 2020: research as art, intercultural dialogue, European cooperation, and cultural and creative industries.

At the opening of the exhibition, Iztok Grmek, Acting Director-General for Economic and Public Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that it coincides with several Slovenian diplomacy priorities: intercultural dialogue, sustainable development, creative economy, and a positive agenda for youth. He added that “it is an innovative reminder that culture and creativity are significant drivers of social development and play an important role in international relations.”

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Shunqing, mentioned the collaboration between young architects of the University of Ljubljana and Tsinghua University as an example of good practice, hoping that in the future, Slovenian and Chinese educational institutions will be engaged in more and more joint projects. The Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Assistant Professor Dr Matej Blenkuš, and the Project Manager, Assistant Professor Dr Alenka Fikfak, gave an overview of the project and its innovative elements, while young Chinese architects shared their impressions via video connection.

Upon the Slovenian national holiday, Petra Kežman, Head of the Department for Public Diplomacy and International Cooperation in Culture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, outlined the priorities of the Ministry in the field of culture in 2020: research as art, intercultural dialogue, European cooperation and cultural and creative industries. She described the project as an excellent example of cross-border creative collaboration of young people, which is fostered by the Ministry through the Creative Forum Ljubljana platform. The exhibition symbolically announces the 5th China-CEEC Cultural and Creative Industries Forum, which Slovenia will host on 15–17 September 2020.

The exhibition is a joint project of urban planning and architecture students of the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Architecture and Tsinghua University, who built a cabin for an open-air theatre in Guoyuan Village in China. They participated in the UIA-CBC International Colleges and Universities Competitive Construction Workshop with this design, achieving second place among more than one hundred teams. The aim of the workshop was to create public spaces for local people to spend time together.

The exhibition can be viewed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until the end of February 2020.

Speech by Acting Director-General Iztok Grmek

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