Where is the limit?
This year we celebrate 20 years of the establishment of the international festival EX PONTO, in a country of the same age as our CULTURAL SOCIETY B-51, which calls for at least a brief insight to the beginnings of the project development. In the first years of the newly formed countries, after the break-down of Yugoslavia, a large number of artists and cultural workers came or fled across the border, to Slovenia and came across the once famous “bunker”, B-51. The initial idea of EX PONTO was more of a humanitarian-cultural nature, namely to organize the fugitives from the war, the artists and the cultural workers and also to enable them to further develop and express their creativity, in Ljubljana and Slovenia as well. The references for the name of the project were creativity in exile, abroad, exclusion, escape, characters from the literature who inspired us in choosing the name, namely Ovid who was exiled from Rome to Tomis at the Black Sea, for his daring erotic poetry, Jozef K in Kafka’s “ Process”, as well as the lyrical prose created after the period in prison, written by the Nobel prize winner, Ivo Andric – EX PONTO. In the end, we chose the last option, the name Ex Ponto, since it reflected the project we created, on the suggestion of Josip Osti, a writer with identical fate as the numerous refugees. The project, with the conclusion of the war, has transformed and developed into a great and acknowledged international theatre festival, the EX PONTO festival.
This year's festival framework topic, "Where is the limit?" is almost identical to the one at the sole beginning of the project and it concludes the trilogy of the thematic frames and the co-financing period of the festival, from 2011 to 2013, by the EU Culture Programme (2007-2013).The Festival is prepared for a new era and new aspects of creativity in the best possible way, with a varied and exciting programme, aiming to build more bridges and erasing even more limits, either physical or the ones in our minds, at least question them if not completely erase them.
Like the rest of the international cultural projects, especially to the rare ones supported by the European Commission, we managed to find our place in the socio-cultural "hypermarket" within the local and state borders, with no end or beginning, within the questionable values. In the creative processes , we have nevertheless established certain values ourselves, and searched for new starting points: the International Network NETA and new long- lasting projects, as NETA ART TV project, instigated optimism for maintaining and extending the quality of the festival programme, as well as development of cultural communication at the all- European level.
The EX PONTO Festival, for its 20th anniversary, along with its faithful domestic and foreign audiences concludes a long, varied and interesting period and at the same time, creates a new set of limits to be erased once again. Welcome!