The Echoes Collective at Sotocje, Slovenia July 2016.
L-R young audience member, Mia Zabelka, Janez Leban, Sanja Popov Leban, Barbara Maier, Erika Hornbogner, Karin Schorm, Mila, Zahra Mani, Gustav, Klaus Schönberger, Lojze Wieser.

Mia Zabelka, composer, musician and curator, founded Enterprise Z in 2002.

The cultural organisation, which is dedicated to the realisation of contemporary art performance projects in public space, has pioneered a number of regional, national and border-crossing initiatives that provide a platform for artists and create synergies between audiences, cultural actors and curatorial groups.

Enterprise Z was co-ordinator of the EU co-funded project “Phonart – the Lost Languages of Europe” 2010 – 2012 and curates a number of cultural events in Austria including the biennial Phonofemme Festival, which was launched in Vienna in 2009, the regular “Klangfest” events and artist residencies at Klanghaus Untergreith, Global Kids (workshops for children), amongst many other initiatives.

Zahra Mani & Karin Schorm founded Mani d.o.o. in 2005.

Working in the Istrian peninsula, Mani is dedicated to the dissemination and development of contemporary cultural practice in non-urban environments.

Artists, curators, writers, thinkers, performers and audiences are invited to lay aside preconceived notions of what art is, or how culture works, and enter into an open-minded, communicative and conscious perception of new and traditional cultural practice.

Mani d.o.o. was co-organizer of  the EU co-funded project “Phonart – the Lost Languages of Europe” 2010-2012.

Sanja Popov-Leban and Janez Leban run Zveza Mink Tolmin and the Sajeta Festival, which takes place every year in July at the confluence (Sotocje) of two rivers in the Soca valley in Slovenia.

ZMT is dedicated to boosting the creativity of the young and to provide a place for quality spending of free time, in accordance with their needs  to encouraging original production in the field of science and  to encouraging contacts between young and other artists in other fields; to informing the young about the activities of marginal social groups;  to inform and educate in the sense of tolerance towards difference and the different to encouraging the idea that an individual can get to know the laws of social processes and have an effect on them.

Continuous activities of the association Mink include representing cultural, informative, creative, educational and international cooperation practice in the field of musical concerts, art exhibitions, and film. The general aim and vision of Mink is the empowerment and optimization of cultural and social capital within the context of a region characterized by poor mobility infrastructure due to the geographic location. We counteract this infrastructure by inviting international artists to the region. We try to counteract population decrease & conservative social beliefs by bringing a “stream of difference” into the region focussing on a strong educational purpose for all inhabitants.  All our projects foster alternative ways to develop and promote the region by combining contemporary arts with regional rural heritage.

Erika Hornbogner and founder Lojze Wieser are representing Wieser Verlag in Echoes from invisible landscapes.

Wieser Verlag from Klagenfurt/Celovec (Carinthia, Austria) has been building bridges between the East & the West for the last 30 years with its publishing programme. Lojze Wieser has published approximately 1200 books to date, he was the founder of the “Wieser Enyclopaedia of Eastern Europe” & the exceptional series “Europa erlesen” (“reading Europe”) anthologies, which include almost 10000 texts by 4000 authors.

Wieser Verlag disseminates Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian & Polish literature in German-speaking countries & has been responsible for seminal translations, creating a platform & opening doors for writers who were not yet known in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Lojze Wieser is deeply committed to the European idea, fostering it through art & language, and in his television series “The Taste of Europe” exploring food & regions, in addition to his active involvement in the cultural forum “Geist und Gegenwart” in Austria.

Klaus Schönberger and Ute Holfelder from the cultural analysis division of the University of Klagenfurt, together with Barbara Maier who represents the University in the public sphere are leading the University of Klagenfurt’s participation in Echoes. As cultural anthropologists they research cultural heritage, folklore & European Ethnology, combining ethnography with artistic research.

The University of Klagenfurt is a critical research hub in the Alp-Adriatic region, with over 10700 students from 83 countries. 4 faculties cover Interdisciplinary Studies, Humanities, Technical Sciences and Management & Economics. These are connected by 7 transdisciplinary research clusters, eg sustainability, education & visual culture. The University of Klagenfurt in general & the Humanities faculty in particular encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, promoting multilingualism & intercultural education, particularly with regard to the local Slovenian minority. The institute for culture, literature & musicology (ICLM) combines languages, cultural theory & cultural management.

The university will focus on echoes in the Görtschitztal region of Carinthia in the wake of the catastrophic events leading up to & ensuing from the poisoning of the landscape in 2014 through chemical waste from a cement factory. Artists & researchers will investigate the repercussions not just for the landscape but particularly for the inhabitants of the region in an academic & artistic series of encounters with the local population. The ethnographic aspect will focus on the inhabitants’ self-perception in their native environment, using “selfies” & interviews to explore layers of identity. Artists from the network partners’ groups will be invited to explore the landscape, creating new work based on a view from “outside”, looking into an affected region & its people, carrying their echoes on in artworks. Exhibitions will be presented in partner countries & the results published in the project book. Focus:  audience participation; art mobility; interdisciplinarity; socio-cultural catalyst.