The Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture

Combining urban life, multiculturalism, political independence and advanced technology

Photo: Aleš Rosa/Kino Šiška

Kino Šiška used to be a cult cinema in Ljubljana. It was a large, modern theatre, and already then, in addition to showing films, it served as a sort of communal centre of the Šiška district. After remaining empty for several years, the building was renovated five years ago and given a new role, becoming the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. A centre not just keeping up with trends but setting them too!

Apart from the characteristic graffiti, the exterior of the famous building remained unchanged, including the eternal Kino Šiška sign. Kino Šiška's programme encourages innovativeness, creativity and international cooperation. It represents and combines urban life, multiculturalism, a politically unbiased position and advanced technology, while the architectural features of the building make it one of Slovenia’s friendliest venues to those with physical and sensory disability. 

Kino Šiška sets trends in Slovenia

Simon Kardum has been managing Kino Šiška since the beginning. Five years is long enough to make a critical analysis of this first period of operation, so we asked him what was the basic mission of Kino Šiška and how it is being put into practice today. Kardum explained that in its founding charter, Kino Šiška is defined as a multicultural centre carrying out activities related to modern urban culture in the City of Ljubljana municipality and elsewhere in Slovenia, as well as in the wider international environment. The charter also states that the centre's activities include music and performing arts and other forms of cultural creativity. 

The centre presents Slovenian and foreign artists and groups, productions and co-productions to the public. It promotes participation, democracy, plurality, international cooperation and high-quality creativity, presentation and interpretation in modern urban culture. "I believe that with 1,300 events in this first five-year period we have performed our given mission well, fulfilled each of the directives in the charter and even upgraded some of them. We will continue to upgrade them in the next five-year period." 

Simon Kardum is convinced that Kino Šiška is a trendsetter. "If we only take, for example, music projects, such as Indekš, Špil Liga and Ment, the centre gives the Slovenian public access to fresh, talented music groups and trends while offering Slovenian groups the opportunity to learn from foreign partners and nurture their creativity with trends from abroad, and to perform at the greatest festivals in Europe. These trends are about the interconnection of people, exchange of ideas, multiculturalism and cooperation."

The centre always stays true to its fundamental concept. Its vision remains to bring ideas and projects from abroad and present them to the Slovenian public and to encourage and support extraordinary projects in Slovenia and present them to the public abroad.

Text by Polona Prešeren