ŠKUC is one of the leading non-governmental organisations promoting non-profit cultural and artistic activity in Slovenia. It holds the status of a associoation working in the public interest in the cultural field. Its beginnings date back to Ljubljana's radical student movement of 1968, while it was formally established on 31 January 1972. In the late 1970s and in the 1980s ŠKUC was one of the key supporters and promoters of alternative culture. Today, ŠKUC's main goals are to support young and promising artists by including them in the cultural sphere and to organise creative spare-time activities for young people.
In the past few years the activities of ŠKUC have expanded to areas such as providing information and counselling for young people, education, a library, archives, social affairs, prevention, sociology, humanism as well as research activities. It has also acquired the status of a association working in the public interest in the area of health care.
In rough terms, ŠKUC is involved in the following activities:
In the late 1970s, the founding of the Škuc Gallery came as a response to the mainstream exhibition policy of established national galleries and art institutions in Slovenia. The Škuc Gallery has been located at 21 Stari trg in Ljubljana since 1978. In the 1980s the Gallery became the centre of alternative (sub)culture in Slovenia. Since the outset the Gallery has also been engaged in presenting contemporary visual art from the international scene. The Gallery's activities include initial solo exhibitions of young Slovenian artists, as well as those of top internationally established artists, exhibitions of visiting young curators and artists, co-operation with established European institutions, galleries and fairs, the publishing of books on the arts, organising lectures and workshops. The Škuc Gallery has become an important exhibition, entertainment, publishing, research and documentation centre of contemporary visual arts. Information about current exhibitions and other activities can be obtained at www.galerija.skuc-drustvo.si.
"I believe there are not many cultural organisations in the world whose contribution to the development of rock'n'roll has been so significant as that of ŠKUC in Slovenia. It has always been in the lead: it published the first rock record by Tomaž Pengov, the first punk record by Pankrti, the first post-modern happening by Laibach etc. It was ŠKUC that organised the majority of concerts of international artists and a number of concerts by local musicians, it was the first to publish fanzines etc." Gregor Tomc
The sections involved in organising music events were ROPOT, BUBA, ART ROCK, and AFK. In the 1980s, ŠKUC organised the famous Rock in Opposition festival (1980-1984), the Ankaran/Coastal Scene festival (1987-1994) and arguably the most important rock event in Slovenia called Novi Rock (1981-2003). Featured music genres range from rock and punk to jazz, ethno and classical music. Today, it is ŠKUC BUBA - which has been working continuously as a music section since 1987 - that organises a wide range of different concerts and musical events. BUBA is the organiser of a vast array of music events based mostly on rock expression, which does not necessarily mean it is strictly limited as regards its music taste since it actively keeps pace with the world's music trends by experimenting with electronic, ethno and jazz music genres. BUBA promotes those performers who represent the best of current music genres, while at the same time setting new criteria for new upcoming artists. More information can be found at www.ljudmila.org/buba.
In organising concerts ŠKUC co-operates with ROPOT, which has been an independent entity since 2000.
Club ŠKUC stages small concerts for all kinds of music genres, as well as classical music cycles at the ŠKUC premises at 21 Stari trg, Ljubljana.
Since November 2001, ŠKUC has been enriched with a new music section/electronic music publisher called ŠKUC Ventilator, which brings together renowned Slovenian musicians, authors and producers. This new section gave rise to the already famous "Chilli Space Evenings" based on the creation of a relaxed music (down-tempo electronic) and visual atmosphere. Each year, the section releases a CD containing the latest electronic music performed by young authors. For more information, please visit www.skuc.org/koncerti/ventilator.html.
In 2002, the Gaudeamus chamber orchestra was established. The orchestra consists of students from the Ljubljana Academy of Music, postgraduate students of foreign music academies, along with young academic musicians, all winners of numerous national and international awards. Within the framework of the orchestra there is an instrumental ensemble whose main purpose is to promote debuts by students of composition. More information can be obtained at www.skuc.org/gaudeamus.
Since 1974, the ŠKUC film section has helped enrich the local film culture in Slovenia by showing alternative, avant-garde and experimental films and videos. In 1978-1994, over 210 different film projects were organised at the ŠKUC premises at 21 Stari trg 21 and at 4 Kersnikova Street, as well as other venues around Ljubljana. From 1978 to 1985, ŠKUC was the producer of several experimental and alternative films.
The then film section expanded in 1986 to become independent professional organisation called E-motion film.
Slovenia's first full-length animation film entitled Socialising the Bull is a co-production of ŠKUC and E-motion film. More information about the rich film production of E-motion film can be obtained at www.emotionfilm.si.
In 2002, the film section was revived through the production of a feature-length film, and since 2004 the ŠKUC FILM section has mainly focused on the production of documentary and socially engaging films.
Publishing activity was launched in 1972 with the release of collections of poetical works by young artists. It continued by setting up Studia humanitatis, a series of translations of fundamental humanist texts and publishing a number of magazines and publications such as Gayzine, Lesbozine, Roza Vix, M'zin (a magazine for culture), Revolver (a magazine for culture and politics with a homoerotic thrust), Kekec (a gay tabloid), Pandora (a newsletter with a lesbian taste) and Rock Vibe (a magazine for rock and alternative music).
Today, ŠKUC regularly publishes books within the Vizibilija and Lambda series. The Vizibilija series publishes books with explicit lesbian topics, as well as literature works and essay, scientific and theoretical texts in the fields of lesbian and feminist studies - literary and film theories, body discourses and policies, gender and sexuality theories, sexual policies developed through historical periods, queer theories etc.
So far the Lambda series has seen more than 50 books being published (both literature and humanist) with gay and lesbian topics. More information about these books can be found at www.skuc.org/new/index.php?show=knjige
The ŠKUC LL section publishes LESBO, a political, social and cultural magazine that is the successor of the Lesbozine fanzine (1988, 1989) and the Pandora newsletter (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996). This non-profit magazine has been published since 1997.
In 2005, the Magnus section started publishing a new gay periodical called 1XY, which is available free of charge.
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Since the middle of the 1980s ŠKUC has embraced marginalised groups in Slovenia's society and made efforts to improve their socialisation, as well as to make people aware of their alternative lifestyles and cultures. The Slovenian homosexual (gay and lesbian) movement began in 1984 and 1987 respectively as a pioneer in this field in the whole of Eastern Europe. Today, sections actively working in this area are ŠKUC LL (a lesbian section), and REM (Section for Equal Opportunities) bringing together MAGNUS (a gay section), Žmreža (a successor of the feminine programme of the former Open Society Institute - it focuses on educating women in fields in which they are less well established or where they would simply like to work), as well as numerous gay and lesbian interest groups. In the field of civil rights there is organised a festival of gay and lesbian film, the Pride Parade, educational activities on homosexuality and AIDS, they have set up GALfon, a telephone line to offer advice and information about various issues, including AIDS (the number 01 432 40 89 is open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day), they organise international camps, exhibitions, the Lezbomanija radio show broadcast by Radio Student, they publish magazines and books etc. More information about activities can be obtained at www.ljudmila.org/siqrd and www.ljudmila.org/lesbo.
They also run the Monokel and Tiffany clubs, as well as the Lesbian (GLBT) Library and Archives. The Lesbian (GLBT) Library and Archives have been open since 2001, and offer free membership. Specialising mainly in gender-related and sexuality topics, the library is considered to be the most comprehensive special collection of literature on homosexuality in Slovenia. It includes literary works, the GLBT theory, periodicals, and audiovisual collections, documents on human rights, media and documentary archives. The library's catalogue is available at www.ljudmila.org/lesbo.
ETHNOS is a section dealing with ethnology and cultural anthropology and is involved in the application of these disciplines in urban culture and social life. More information can be found at www.ethnos.skuc.org . Each year ŠKUC organise international camp for young volunteers.
INFORMATION AND COUNSELLING
INFO CENTRE ŠKUC, an information centre for young people, was established in 1998 and is at the same time a co-ordinator of the Ljubljana Network of Information Centres called L'MIT. It is an informal network of six non-profit organisations collecting and disseminating information free of charge to interested young people as well as to all youth organisations located in Ljubljana. Further, it regularly organises several activities for young people: Ljubljana for the Young - free tickets for swimming pools; Open the Doors … and Broaden Your minds - free educational and creative workshops; an Internet competition and postcards entitled "What Makes Me Happy" etc.
The INFO ŠKUC also sells tickets for concerts organised by ŠKUC; holders of the EURO