The House of Tolerance Festival, organised since 2015 by Mini Theatre and the Jewish Cultural Centre Ljubljana, is an annual cultural event that emphasises the urgency of carefully considered ethical social engagement. It stands as an important public platform, which reminds the public of the horrors of the Holocaust. The Holocaust, as the laying foundation of the programme, serves as an ultimate warning about times and societies which lacked tolerance as an imperative of human intelligence and development. With the festival’s programme of film screenings, concerts, art exhibitions, lectures, round tables and educational activities for the young, the festival organisers try to constantly warn society to thrive towards positive social change.
The House of Tolerance Festival was modelled after the Tolerance Festival in Zagreb which began as a festival of Jewish film in 2007. Since 2015, the House of Tolerance Festival in Ljubljana – then still called Festival of Tolerance and organised in regional cooperation with the Zagreb Jewish Film Festival Association – has been highlighting problems in contemporary societies and encouraging debates on tolerance, exclusion and hatred towards marginalised groups.
The first edition of the festival in February 2015 focused on film screenings, but its main guests were film producer and actor Branko Lustig, illustrator and designer Mirko Ilić with his lecture “Symbols of Hatred” and and the exhibition Antimasonic Posters, and the president of the European Roma Association Orhan Galjuš. The book Tracing Jewish Heritage: Guidebook to Slovenia written by Janez Premk and Mihaela Hudelja was also presented at that year’s festival. Special attention was paid to the educational programme for the young.
Further festival editions have continued to feature outstanding international guests, feature-length, documentary and short film screenings, educational mornings, puppet and theatre performances, music concerts and discussions. Arthur Rothstein’s photo collection was exhibited at the Mini Theatre venue, while a poster exhibition by Mirko Ilić on the topic of tolerance involving world famous designers, including Milton Glaser, took place in the nearby Ljubljana square Trg Francoske revolucije.
Venues of the House of Tolerance Festival are the Jewish Cultural Centre and the streets of Ljubljana, especially those in the vicinity of Mini Theatre. All events are free of charge.
In 2017, the House of Tolerance Festival extended its programme also in Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia.