Minister Asta Vrečko on a working visit to Berlin
On 13 and 14 February 2023, the Minister of Culture, Asta Vrečko, was on a working visit to Berlin. During her visit, she met with the Minister of State for Culture and Media of the Federal Republic of Germany, Claudia Roth, attended a concert by the Slovenian Vocal Group Gallina featuring Aldo Kumar to celebrate the Slovenian cultural holiday, visited the Museum Europäischer Kulturen and the Aedes Architekturforum gallery, and met with Slovenian artists living in Berlin.
The main topic of the bilateral meeting between the Slovenian and German Ministers of Culture, Asta Vrečko and Claudia Roth, was the challenges facing the field of culture, which are a priority for both Ministries. They discussed the various possibilities for cultural cooperation between Germany and Slovenia. The Ministers agreed that there is a lot of potential for strengthening cultural relations between the two countries. There are many Slovenian artists working in Germany. Germany offers many opportunities for Slovenian artists and institutions to showcase their work. In their discussion, the Ministers focused especially on the project Slovenia – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023. The country’s participation at the Fair as the Guest of Honour is an exceptional opportunity for Slovenian books, literature and culture as a whole, as the presentation at the Fair will be accompanied by a rich programme. The project is also an opportunity to promote Slovenia in a comprehensive way.
The Ministers also spoke about the European Capitals of Culture 2025, Nova Gorica and Chemnitz. Minister Vrečko took the opportunity to invite her German counterpart to the opening ceremony celebrating Nova Gorica – Gorizia as the European Capital of Culture 2025, which will take place on 8 February 2025 in Nova Gorica. They also discussed good practices for restarting culture after the COVID-19 epidemic, and sustainable cultural policies in the spirit of the green transition. They also exchanged views and good practices on assistance to Ukrainian artists and culture, and on assistance to Turkey and Syria in the wake of the recent earthquakes.
During her working visit to Berlin, the Minister of Culture attended a concert by the Slovenian Vocal Group Gallina featuring Aldo Kumar on the occasion of the Slovenian cultural holiday. The evening was dedicated, among other things, to Slovenian lyric poetry; under the artistic direction of Ana Erčulj, Gallina also performed musical renditions of Slovenian poems, and premiered Aldo Kumar's work entitled Dagadaga. In her welcoming address, the Minister reminded the audience that there will be many opportunities in Germany this year to get to know and discover Slovenian creativity. While Slovenia will be the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in the autumn, the programme of accompanying events will run throughout the year – the concert was thus a prelude to a year of many opportunities for Slovenia in the German-speaking world.
At the end of her address, the Minister thanked the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Federal Republic of Germany, Ana Polak Petrič, and the Head of the Slovenian Cultural Centre in Berlin, Saša Šavel Burkart, for organising the concert, and emphasised the important role that the Centre will play in the organisation of events and the promotion of Slovenian art and culture in the coming months.
On the last day of her working visit, the Minister met with Slovenian artists living and working in Berlin. On this occasion, she said: “I am glad that Slovenian culture and art are present in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany, where many of our artists work. They work in a challenging artistic environment, in which they achieve first-rate and highly visible results that contribute significantly to the promotion of Slovenian art abroad.” Minister Vrečko also viewed exhibitions at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen and the Aedes Architekturforum gallery. Both institutions, which are Berlin's outstanding reference exhibition spaces, welcome and look forward to further collaborations with Slovenian institutions and the Slovenian Cultural Centre in Berlin (SKICA Berlin).