it en sl
Zaupno o skupnem

About the project

Gathered the secret side of things we share

How it all started
 
In 2010, Nadja Velušček and I have made a documentary about the Soča River and—since it is no longer possible to discuss water without touching upon a series of environmental concerns—we have decided to seek answers among people, who have been addressing the issue in their research and their creative work for quite some time. When presenting our documentary entitled Timeless River, we have also organised a series of conversations named Soča Accosts about humanity's incongruous stance towards nature. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, Andrej Zdravič, Boris Kolar, Marko Peljhan, Anton Komat, Tomo Križnar, Damijan Kracina, Zdravko Duša, Mladen Franko, Janez Marušič, Claudio Meneghetti, Vasja Badalič, Bruno Della Vedova, Danijel Rojšek, Dušan Jesenšek and representatives of local communities have accepted our invitation. The conversations—mostly moderated by Klavdija Figelj—often turned into mind-opening debates, which could have lasted for hours. Environmental issues raise fundamental questions of philosophy almost every time.
 
Thinking about what?
 
The history of mankind is also one of a continued strife to break free from the constraints of nature. The history of philosophy is the story of thoughts about this tragic endeavour. As technology is pushing back boundaries every day, we are faced with ever more dilemmas. Man was never so removed from nature as today and never so endangered as a species. The survival of our civilisation seems to have become a question of intimate decisions taken by each individual. Climate change, dwindling energy resources, global pollution and rapidly occurring changes in landscape are all issues we reflect upon while brushing our teeth with the tap left open, preparing our food or trying to make sense of our existence. At the same time we are deeply aware that—in a consumerist society—even the most sincere care for the common good could end up being entangled in market speculations and that in spite of the range of options available, our decisions are ultimately dictated by one form of survival or another. The number of experts may well be on the rise, but we have grown distrustful of authority. In this global chaos we have become more or less left to our own devices. Although we might have access to an overwhelming amount of information, we fail to articulate it into convincing knowledge. The vast array of communication tools only increases our sense of loneliness.
Our feeling of loneliness, however, may also be our connecting factor. 'Loneliness' should not only be considered in negative terms as 'isolation'. Loneliness brings about the sort of curiosity, which is typical of children, whose sharp-sightedness has not yet been smothered by taking things for granted. Children would ask directly: "What does it mean to you being human?" or "What's the world like from your skin?" Our project was born out of this kind of candid frankness.
 
Why a web project?
 
One of the main differences between seeing a film at a cinema and seeing it on the Internet, lies in the fact that in front of a computer—or a book—we are once again alone. While reading a book, however, we can always stop and think, reflect on our thoughts and re-read the sentence. While following conversations on the Internet, we can also interrupt them and even re-wind them. Nothing gets lost as we are somewhere between being completely immersed in illusion and keeping a safe distance from it. The Internet connects us to the entire globe, while ensuring our loneliness.
The reflections above have led Patricija Maličev and me to the idea of a project discussing humanity's dilemmas through face-to-face chats. The aim was not to help alleviate feelings of loneliness, but to raise awareness about a community of modern-day hermits. We have thus invited a few extraordinary artists, scientists and philosophers to think aloud in a way only good friends can: by evoking thoughts that lie dormant in every one of us without patronising or fawning over us.

Anja Medved