Invitation to a public event marking the 30th anniversary of the Peace Institute
We kindly invitate you to a public event marking the 30th anniversary of the Peace Institute Who are We? 30 Years of Critical Reflection and Socio-Political Striving for Equality. The event will take place on Wednesday, 29 September 2021, 17.00 — 24.00 at Summer Garden of Gala hala, AKC Metelkova Mesto, Ljubljana.
The 30th anniversary of the Peace Institute coincides with the 30th anniversary of the founding of the State of Slovenia. It is therefore also an opportunity to reflect critically on the social and political changes of the past decades and to raise questions about the future. Who are we? What kind of society are we and what kind of society would we like to be? How do we create a community that is capable of critical thinking and based on the principles of equality? What is the role of organisations like Peace Institute in these struggles?
Over the past decades, Slovenia has been developing economically and at the same time integrating into the global system of redistribution of labour, goods and capital, with more or less regulated market rule within the European Union. A liberal-democratic system of government has been established, with a multi-party parliament and other institutions designed to guarantee the rule of law and justice. However, at the same time, a system of gross structural inequalities was also emerging, with the dismantling of the welfare state, the emergence of poverty of a kind we had not known before, and new forms of discrimination and exclusion. While some got rich easily, for many the dream of a “new Switzerland” ended up as a nightmare. At a time when the country holds the Presidency of the EU Council, we are also facing a regression of democracy, the rise of exclusionary populism and the disintegration of the underlying political culture. The image of Slovenia as a democratic model for the other countries of the former Yugoslavia has slowly but surely eroded over the years.
The 30th anniversary of the Peace Institute also recalls its origins in the political turmoil of the 1980s and the wars on the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Our research has been driven primarily by reflections on the concepts of citizenship, politics, nationalism, racism and exclusion, labour rights, women’s rights, unpaid work, media freedom, culture, etc. At the same time, along with theoretical considerations, we also uncovered concrete examples of exclusions and rights violations (for example, of erased and foreign workers, asylum seekers, migrants, homosexuals (LGBTIQ), various groups of women and children).
When the dominant paradigm is one that considers all non-profit-making activities as “taxpayer’s burden”, the question arises how to continue with critical thinking, research and action for the public good and social equality. It is clear that more than ever we need to reflect not only on ‘what’ we are against, but also on ‘what’ we stand for. It is clear that we need to be defensive and stand up for what has been taken for granted in the past (public health and education, work and decent pay, gender equality, the right to quality leisure time, etc.). On the other hand, we need to address new, global issues that require joint action by large and small players (opposing global militarisation, working to preserve biodiversity and climate justice).
We will discuss these topics at our public event with distinguished speakers of various profiles, followed by a cultural program and party. Free publications of the Peace Institute will also be available. In case of rain, the event will take place in the premises of Gala hala. Due to limited places, please confirm your attendance by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are warmly invited!
17.00 — 17.20
Video about the Peace Institute
Address: Lev Kreft
(philosopher and President of the Board of the Peace Institute)
17.20 — 18.35
Discussion: Liberalization, democratization, movements and the establishment. What went wrong and what went right?
(moderated by Vlasta Jalušič)
Evan Kraft (economist and editor of the first book on independent Slovenia published abroad) and
Tomaž Mastnak (sociolog in publicist)
The discussion will be in English language.
18.35 — 19.00
19.00 — 20.15
Debate: What kind of politics do we need? Diagnoses and prognoses.
(moderated by Iztok Šori)
Majda Hrženjak (sociologist and researcher),
Gorazd Kovačič (sociologist and trade unionist),
Alenka Kreč Bricelj (environmental activist and one of the coordinators of the referendum campaign for clean water),
Suzana Tratnik (sociologist and writer),
Boris Vezjak (philosopher and activist)
20.15 — 21.00
21.00 — 21.30
Hip-hop performance: Samo Boris and Doša
DJ Selector Dinarid
(in between: a surprise)