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Thursday, May 23, 2024

19th European Cultural Days + Buzzing Slovenia. Of bees and people – Museum Europäischer Kulturen | 11.06.–09.07.2023 + 13.06.2023-14.04.2024

Editors’ Choice

The 19th European Cultural Days (11.06.-09.07.2023) of the Museum of European Cultures (MEK) and the special exhibition “Buzzing Slovenia. Of Bees and People” (13.06.2023-14.04.2024) will focus this year on Slovenia and the country’s close relationship with its unique nature. The thematic focus is on the Slovenian tradition of beekeeping, which has been an intangible UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2022.

Fig. above: Urban Beekeeper Gorazd Trušnovec inspecting beehives above the rooftops of Ljubljana. Photo: Luka Dakskobler © Slovenski etnografski muzej

Slovenia is considered the cradle of modern beekeeping. The knowledge of life with bees has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries and continues to develop through constant research. Honey products are part of the national culture in the country with the highest density of beekeepers in the world. They stand for living traditions, unique craftsmanship, sustainable use of resources and the harmonious coexistence of humans, animals and nature. On Slovenia’s initiative, 20 May 2018 was declared World Bee Day by the UN.

Buzzing Slovenia. From bees and people

The program of events of the 19th European Cultural Days will be accompanied by the special exhibition “Buzzing Slovenia. Of Bees and People”. From June 13, 2023 to April 14, 2024, the show will highlight the development of Slovenian beekeeping and its peculiarities with numerous objects, photographs and media stations: In eight chapters, the exhibition provides an introduction to the tradition of Slovenian beekeeping, whose knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years while continuing to evolve through constant research. The exhibition is enriched by a large number of loans from the Slovenski etnografski muzej and the Čebelarski muzej Radovljica.

DEEDS.NEWS - Museum Europäischer Kulturen - IvanEsenko
Eine Bienenkönigin mit ihrem Volk © Ivan Esenko/ Museum of Apiculture Radovljica

Photographs by renowned Slovenian photographers give an insight into the country and its scenic diversity. Wooden, colorful bee dwellings show how honey bees can live and how people have reworked and perfected the hives. Regionally unique and an integral part of the landscape are the colorfully painted beehive headboards, with motifs from everyday life, history, fables and religion. Besides the famous honey, the exhibition shows other products influenced by beekeeping and the life of bees. These include, for example, the colorfully glazed Lect hearts, elaborately hand-decorated honey cakes.

DEEDS.NEWS - Museum Europäischer Kulturen - Esenko
Slowenische Krainer Biene sammelt Pollen © Ivan Esenko/ Museum of Apiculture Radovljica

The exhibition is complemented by perspectives from vibrant Slovenian design and works by contemporary Slovenian artists Saša Spačal and Polonca Lovšin. In designing the exhibition, the architectural firm Schroeder Rauch paid attention to the most sustainable use of materials possible in order to emphasize Slovenia’s respectful approach to its nature. An active place of experience is to be created, which tells of the knowledge about the Slovenian bee and its life, and whose natural environment can be recreated. Associations are evoked that bring experiences to life. Thus, the visitors stroll through a scenic exhibition course, which offers a responsible basis for the bee, as an indispensable part of the ecosystem, through the use of sustainable materials.

DEEDS.NEWS - Museum Europäischer Kulturen - Lectar_Herzen

Herstellung von Lectar Honigkuchen in einer Traditionswerkstatt in Radovljica © Slovenski Etnografski Muzej

By using clay bricks for the exhibition displays, the exhibition can be almost completely recycled. The displays form their own geometric formations, which create their own systems through the accumulation of the clay bricks – just as bees build their own structures and their lives are shaped by collecting.

PROGRAMM OVERVIEW for the 19th European Cultural Days: Slowenia

The 19th European Cultural Days will be held in close cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Berlin and the Slovenian Cultural Center Berlin (SKICA Berlin), with the support of the Slovenian Tourist Office.

Sunday, June 11, 3 p.m.

Opening of the 19th European Cultural Days and the accompanying exhibition “Buzzing Slovenia: Of Bees and People”.

No registration required

The Museum of European Cultures is buzzing! We cordially invite you, your families and friends to the opening of the 19th European Cultural Days Slovenia and the accompanying exhibition “Buzzing Slovenia: Of Bees and People”. The European Days of Culture 2023 kicked off with a performance by Slovenian-Bosnian jazz singer Mirna Bogdanović and her quartet. Mirna Bogdanović was awarded the German Jazz Prize in 2021 for her debut album. In addition, there will be typical Slovenian honey specialties and drinks to taste and information about the country and its people from the Slovenian Tourist Office.

Tuesday, June 13, 6 p.m.

Immaterial beekeeping – panel discussion with guests from Slovenia

No registration required

Slovenian beekeeping culture has been included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage since December 2022. This was decided by the intergovernmental committee at its meeting in Morocco’s capital Rabat.
Intangible cultural heritage includes craft traditions, performing arts, linguistic expressions and knowledge of nature. The aim of the UNESCO list is to preserve and develop living traditions. Since 2003, it has supplemented the UNESCO World Heritage List for cultural and natural sites.

Beekeeping in Slovenia has a centuries-old history and traditional forms of expression that must be protected and preserved. With beekeeping, Slovenia now has six entries on the intangible cultural heritage list. But how did Slovenian beekeeping become an intangible cultural heritage? Representatives of the applicant institutions will talk about the long road from application to official recognition. The panel will include Petra Bole, director of the Čebelarski muzej Radovljica (Radovljica Beekeeping Museum) and Barbara Sosič, curator of Agriculture and Transport at the Slovenski Etnografski Muzej, Ljubljana. The event will be moderated by Dr. Helmut Groschwitz from the Advisory and Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Bavaria at the Institute for Folklore of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Thursday, June 15, 6 p.m.

Of bee families and cursed mistletoe

Reading and discussion with the Slovenian authors Nataša Kramberger and Anja Mugerli, moderated by the journalist and editor (taz) Doris Akrap.
No registration required

The Slovenian literary and publishing landscape is diverse and very lively: according to the International Publishers Association (IPA), Slovenia ranks second worldwide in the number of books published per million inhabitants. Slovenia will be the guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023 and will present its latest publications under the motto “Honeycombs of Words”.

About the authors

Nataša Kramberger, born in 1983, is a writer, columnist and organic farmer. In winter she lives in Berlin, in summer in Slovenia, where she runs a small farm with a collective. In her novel “Verfluchte Misteln” (2018, Verbrecher Verlag), the protagonist also unexpectedly gets the chance to take over an old farm in Slovenia. Anja Mugerli, born in 1984, is a Slovenian author and dramaturg. In 2020, her short story collection Čebelja družina (Bee Family) was published by Cankarjeva založba Publishing House and was awarded the European Prize for Literature in 2021.

The reading will take place in German and Slovenian. This event is also held with the support of the Slovenian Book Agency.

Kranji? beehive with painted headboard with the motif “The Birth of Jesus”, Slovenia, second half of the 19th century, © Slovenski etnografski muzej

Sunday, June 18, 2 p.m.

Workshop for families: paint beehive headboard!

No registration required

Together with Slovenian teacher Magdalena Novak, learn more about Slovenia, a small but beautiful country in Central Europe. Living with bees has a long tradition in Slovenia. Inspired by the colorful Slovenian beehives, we will paint our own beehive boards – either according to traditional Slovenian patterns and motifs, or in our own way. We will also learn a Slovenian song about bees and sing it together!

Wednesday, June 21, 8 p.m.

Fête de la Musique mit Headliner Katalena

No registration required

Of course, the Fête de la Musique in the garden of the Museum of European Cultures will also be Slovenia-themed: the Slovenian folk-pop-rock band Katalena will perform unplugged as headliners. The sextet plays an exciting mix of traditional Slovenian music inspired by archives, songbooks and old records, enhanced with solid rock rhythms, funky groove and unique arrangements. Fused with dynamic and invigorating electric instruments that caress the enchanting vocals, they transform on stage into a sound performance that will captivate even the most musically spoiled ears.

Sunday, June 25, 2 p.m.

Lecture and honey tasting with bee king Franc Šivic

No registration required

Franc Šivic was fascinated by bees even as a child and decided to become a beekeeper at an early age. They have always brought him luck – and made him a sought-after researcher and photographer of pollinators. Not for nothing is he also called the “bee king” – one of the most famous portraits of him shows him as a younger man with a luxuriant beard of bees, which he proudly presents. The very experienced beekeeper presents his work and his craft, gives insight into the magic of bee photography and lets you taste the sweet honey of the bees.

Tuesday, June 27, 6 p.m.

This is how Slovenia tastes!
Tasting Slovenian delicacies with “Kodila” from the Prekmurje region
Cost: 20€ per person
Online registration required
Already in the third generation, the family business “Kodila” from Prekmurje in eastern Slovenia produces regional delicacies. Discover the diversity of Slovenia through typical dishes. They reflect the local nature and local ingredients that Slovenians and Slovenian*s have been using in their dishes for centuries. Look forward to a variety of delicacies, including the famous Slovenian ham and, as a dessert, Prekmurska gibanica.

Saturday, July 1, 2 p.m.

Beekeeping in Berlin and Ljubljana –
Visit to the apiary of the Dahlem domain with Gorazd Trušnovec and Horst Prentzel
Free of charge, registration required

Urban beekeeping now exists all over the world – including, of course, in the two capital cities of Berlin and Ljubljana. In the Slovenian capital, there are over 350 beekeepers with more than 5,000 hives. Urban beekeeping is popular because many people have a desire for self-sufficiency, a healthy lifestyle and contact with nature.
Together with the president of the Slovenian Urban Beekeeping Society Gorazd Trušnovec we visit the Dahlem domain and let the experienced beekeeper Horst Prentzel show us the beekeeping there. We will talk about differences and similarities between the beekeeping traditions and the sites.
The event will be held in German and English. Meeting point is the fountain in the Domäne Dahlem.

Sunday, July 2, 2 p.m.

Of bees, people – and grasshoppers
Tandem tour with Gorazd Trušnovec and Saša Špacal
No registration required
Included in the museum entrance fee

How can insects and humans live together? This is what Slovenian beekeeping has been dealing with for centuries. Through constant research, beekeepers are always learning new things about pollinators. The president of the Urban Beekeeping Society Gorazd Trušnovec and Saša Spačal, a contemporary Slovenian media artist, will guide us through the exhibition “Buzzing Slovenia”. As a beekeeper in Ljubljana, Trušnovec deals with ever new challenges around bees and biodiversity. Not only bee mortality, but also the growing number of bee colonies can be worrisome. Spačal’s installation “Transversal ls A Loop” (2020), on view in the exhibition, asks the ethical question of the extent to which insects can be seen as commodities.
The event will be held in English.

Thursday, 6. July, 6 p.m.

Wine tasting with sommelier Ožebej Peterle

Cost: 20€ per person
Online registration required
With three wine-growing regions and nine production areas, Slovenia offers a great variety of high-quality wines. Due to the different locations, climatic conditions and cellar methods, each region has its own selection of varieties. Taste your way through the three Slovenian wine regions and their special diversity with sommelier Ožebej Peterle. Learn more about the 52 Slovenian grape varieties and the country’s special relationship with wine.

The band ŠIROM will perform at the finissage of the 19th European Days of Culture on 09 July 2023 © Uroš Abram

Sonntag, 9.7., 18.00 Uhr

We celebrate the finissage of the Culture Days with the Berlin premiere of the Slovenian band ŠIROM! The Slovenian trio of Iztok Koren, Ana Kravan- ja and Samo Kutin draws its creativity from the unique Slovenian nature, at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Balkans and the Adriatic Sea, from a country that was previously swallowed up by Yugoslavia and for centuries before that by the Roman, Byzantine and Austro-Hungarian Empires. More than a dozen instruments can be found in the repertoire of the trio and at least as many musical forms. This results in an original, stylistically diverse form of expression that moves between a wide range of folk sounds and contemporary acoustic rock meditations. The result is a grounded, yet mystical minimalism. Širom’s music is contemplative, but can also get harder.


Museum Europäischer Kulturen
Arnimallee 25
14195 Berlin-Dahlem


Buzzing Slovenia:

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 until Sunday, April 14, 2023

European Cultural Days:

Sunday, June 11 until Sunday, July 9, 2023

Opening hours:

Tue – Fri 10 am – 5 pm
Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm

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