Imagining and Activating Urban Futures: Case-study of Ljubljana:
Nagranie seminarium IEiAK

Zapraszamy do odsłuchania nagrania z seminarium IEiAK na temat procesów wyobrażania i implementowania miejskiego futuryzmu na przykładzie Lublany. 

Useful information
Reccorded at: 
Seminarium IEiAK
Date: 
03-03-2021
Lecturer's name: 
dr Valentina Gulin Zrnić, dr Saša Poljak Istenič

The lecture, presented by dr Valentina Gulin Zrnić and dr Saša Poljak Istenič, has focused on the topic of urban futures that has been recently launched as a bilateral Croatian and Slovenian research project. It is grounded in the reality of the span and frequency of various crises, which generate instability and shatter to pieces "all our certainties, beliefs, categories and expectations" (Ankersmith 2002). These unsettled times pose a challenge for everyday life and for scientific interest for the future, while cities are fruitful sites to discuss prevailing, alternative and emerging narratives, scenarios, and practices regarding urban futures. "Future" as an object of study in ethnological/anthropological terms is considered culturally and contextually contingent. The project thus aims to encompass both the ways how futures of particular cities are imagined as well as activated among various urban actors from mayors and official municipal strategic plans for urban development, through civil associations and their practical engagements and projects aimed towards improving urban life, to individuals and their everyday life in which certain concern for future appears. An initial framework of cultural anthropological research on (urban) futures as a theoretical and methodological issue will be further employed in presenting research in the city of Ljubljana, its imagined futures (in the aspects of public spaces, creativity and civil participation), and ways of their realization. We would like to prompt the discussion on the cultural anthropological capacity to develop a comparative study of urban future-making.

Project summary

Project webpage (March 2021)

Valentina Gulin Zrnić, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research and a titular associate professor at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her research interests are various topics in urban anthropology and anthropology of space, particularly urban subjectivities, politics of space, public art, sustainable city, urban governance, post-socialist cities, etc. Two of her books (in Croatian) have been awarded by professional association and the state science award: Talk of the Neighbourhood: Meanings of City and Urban Localisms in Novi Zagreb (2009) and City as Encounter. Ethnographies of Zagreb Squares (2019). She collaborates with artistic, educational, and civil association projects focused on current social and cultural urban issues.

Saša Poljak Istenič holds a Ph.D. in ethnology and cultural anthropology. She is a research fellow at the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana, Slovenia, an assistant professor at the University of Maribor, Slovenia, and a guest lecturer at the University Klagenfurt, Austria. She is engaged in research and applied projects covering urban life, creativity, sustainability, social inclusion, and heritage, funded by the national research agency and European programs. She is the editor-in-chief of the scientific publication Glasnik SED. She cooperates with cultural and creative sectors in Ljubljana (creative centers, cultural and welfare associations, museums, cultural and social initiatives), municipalities, and rural and urban development associations.

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