The Koper-based Association for Culture and Education PiNA (KID PiNA) is certainly one of the most active and diversely oriented Slovenian NGOs. Always simultaneously involved in several artistic, educational and civil society projects, PiNA also manages a multimedia centre and a separate cybercafe/event space. It has produced numerous research documents, booklets, documentaries and video manuals on everything from cultural management to human rights alongside an uncountable number of events.
PiNA’s enterprises are mostly focused on the coastal region, yet also extend across the Slovene borders as many of its activities have a transnational dimension.
Established in 1997 by the Open Society Institute, PiNA’s stated objective fore-fronted strengthening the civil society and the development of public access to the modern tools of ICT. Thus, PiNA opened the first cybercafe in Slovenia (in 1998) and in 2004 joined with Ljudmila and Kibla to form the M3C Multimedia Centres Network of Slovenia, a Slovenian network of multimedia centres.
In the years that followed PiNA still maintained its multimedia and technological creed yet also started to venture more and more into other fields &ndsh; those of arts, cross-cultural dialogue, community-participation, sustainable development, the dissemination of info on the European Union and its projects, and so on.
PiNA manages two locations. One is a fully equipped multimedia centre for audio and video production and post-production. The featured Seed Sound Studio enables music recording and mixing. The centre is freely available for NGOs and individuals needing its services for non-profit intentions.
The second location, called eKavarna (“eCafe”), is fitted not only with computers but also with books and booklets on the topics of the European Union, sustainable development, informal education, and so on. It is used to host exhibitions, literary evenings, concerts, lectures, film screenings and the like – these are mostly produced by PiNA though the venue is open for outside productions as well.
PiNA engages in a broad range of activities. Culture-wise, it sets up exhibitions of comic illustrations, posters, multimedia works and photographs; screens films and documentaries, either as a part of its regular programme or featured as a part of particular projects; runs concerts (a series of them was produced in collaboration with the Cona Institute); and organises workshops on music production, film editing, etc.
These events are joined by more specific projects like photography exhibitions of villages burnt during WWII; an international conference on the historical treatment of woman involved in various sorts of resistance; round tables on the issues of discrimination in the theatre; workshops on oral histories (co-produced with the Science and Research Centre of Koper; and so on.
PiNA also organises training and mentoring for other NGOS, conferences, cultural management workshops, webinars, employment and therapeutic consultations, all manner of civil society development projects (urban gardening being one of the recent ones), and analysis (a resounding one was about the situation of youth in the coastal region, published in 2014). A recent notable project is Iskra, a networking hub and a virtual meeting point for NGOs in the Karst and Istra regions of Slovenia, meant for sharing experience, information and collaborative projects. Iskra means “spark” and is also a combination of Istra and Kras (the Slovenian name for the Karst region).
Between 2009 and 2015, PiNA organised the 3-P Festival – the festival of future poetry. PiNA is involved in the In/visible cities – International Urban Multimedia Festival which takes place in the border cities of Nova Gorica and Gorizia (IT) and the surrounding towns. PiNA was (or is) also a part of various other local festivals and events, among them the Festival Izis in Izola (also dealing in multimedia art). In 2009 and 2011, PiNA was a partner of Memefest – International Festival of Radical Communication.
Additionally, PiNA (which runs the Europe Direct Koper initiative) plays a part in the European Film Week, during which it organises film screenings in the Art kino Odeon Izola.
Videos and booklets
Among the many PiNA-produced materials, one can mention educational videos for youth centres on how to run social networks and how to approach multimedia, a series of video shows on the topic of the information society, a table-game on the structure of the EU, a documentary film about activism and NGOs, a documentary titled The Social impact of Art (2012), and manuals on topics that feature green entrepreneurship (2016), cultural management (2014) and urban gardening (2014).
PiNA has collaborated with more than a hundred partners from abroad. It is the regional partner for a number of networks and is featured in programmes like Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens, Creative Europe, European Social Fund, the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, the Grundtvig and Leonardo da Vinci programmes, and the Anna Lindh Foundation.
It sends dozens of people abroad each year for various exchanges, training programmes, volunteering projects and the like.