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MIJA PUNGERŠIČ, Multivizija project coordinator
ROMANA ZAJEC, programme director and co-founder of APIS Institute, videoproducer

Mija joined APIS institute in November 2018, as project coordinator of Multivizija: Multimedia, Theatre and Dance Training for Vulnerable Groups.

Already in the time of her study of architecture, she started to be active in different fields. As a member (later also in headboard) of Slovenian association of disabled students, she participates in various projects (art, theatre, dance, socially engaged projects…) and started to participate in non-formal education programs (Youth, Youth in Action, Erasmus+). Since 2006 she is active as project manager, facilitator, and trainer in the youth field, mostly working with young people with fewer opportunities (especially young people with disability). She is leading training courses about accessibility and developing inclusive projects to increase active participation social inclusion.

She is part of group of disabled women who in 2012 established their own NGO (ODTIZ Institute, which now she is director of), as answer to lack of employability of people with disability and to give opportunity to individuals with and without disability to develop their quality of life through different programs (art and culture, sport, non-formal education…).

Born with a disability, her life is full of daily challenges. Being wheelchair user gave her different point of view on situations we are facing while “growing up” and consequently open different possibilities. This personal circumstance is also her inspiration, motivation and it co-created her professional path where she uses her own experiences to talk about social inclusion.

Since I finished my philosophy studies I’ve been working as a freelance researcher, journalist, video-journalist, documentary filmmaker, scriptwriter and also as a coordinator and organizer of socially engaged events.

Social themes are the primary focus of my work.

Asylum seekers, refugees and understanding different forms of discrimination intrigue my attention and awake curiosity about human beings.

I try to render the phenomena of the shadow side of human nature. But at the same time I would like to believe humans are evolving towards more responsible and emphatic society with respect and awareness of the interconnectedness of life.

What do we need to do in order to humanize the shadow side of human nature? Collective amnesya dictates endless repetition. So what are the steps towards the resolution? Do we need to listen to the past and try to understand it? Do we need to search, listen and record the stories of violence in order to be able to render them? This questions are a driving factor of my work in APIS Institute.

URŠA VALIČ, administrative and communication support of Multivizija project

Urša Valič joined Institute APIS in March 2019 as an external collaborator to support the administration and communication of the project Multivizija.

Prior, she worked in various fields of education, research and culture, especially in the field of cultural heritage and participation. Between 2010 and 2011 she was a member of the Women's Committee at the European Disability Forum in Brussels. Between 2013 and 2015 she was employed at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum on the project Accessibility of Cultural Heritage to Vulnerable Groups financed by the EU from the ESF and the Ministry of Culture. In 2017, she was selected at an international competition for research residency at the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Romania in Bucharest, where she participated in the reconstruction of museum contents intended for urban neighborhood.

After completing her PhD in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology in 2013, she enrolled for photography studdies in Sežana. She has prepared some photographic projects and exhibitited both at home and abroad (Grožnjan/Croatia, Berlin/Germany). The project I live again (Živim na novo) was especially interesting, because she followed through the lenses for few months the inhabitants with special needs in the accommodation units in Sežana. In her work, she questions identities, sex, sexuality, body, boundaries in everyday life etc. She is currently self-employed, working with various public institutions and NGOs. She publishes and lectures both at home and abroad.

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