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Bringing Attention to Heavy Metal Poisoning in Slovenia

A coalition of environmental NGOs and community groups held a small rally in front of Slovenia’s national parliament building today to bring attention to the dangerous levels of heavy metal poisoning in the country’s cities and towns.

The demonstration was held on the eve of a national conference, ’Responsibility for the Remediation of Environmental Pollution’, organized by Slovenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman and the National Council.

Dušan Plut, president of the Slovenian Movement for Sustainable Development and an organizer of the demonstration, said that one-quarter of Slovenia’s population lives in dangerously contaminated areas. The most polluted areas include the Celje basin, the Zasavje region and the Mežiška Valley in the north central part of the country. The nearby Šaleška Valley and areas around Jesenice in the northwest and Idrija, home to a former mercury mine in the west, are also dangerously contaminated. In some of these areas, Plut said, contamination levels in the soil are at levels ten to 50 times higher than normal.

Some of the demands Plut presented ahead of tomorrow’s conference include priority funding for environmental remediation, the independent oversight of polluters, and a ban on the cultivation of food and construction of housing in the most severely contaminated areas.

Tomorrow’s is the third conference on the theme ‘The Environment and Human Rights’ to be organized by the Human Rights Ombudsman and National Council. The 72nd Article of the Slovenian Constitution states that all citizens have the right to a healthy environment.

Here are half a dozen pics from today’s lunchtime gathering.

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Azram’s Blue Fish

Azram’s Blue Fish – LJ Pic of the Day

Today’s Ljubljana Daily Pic reminded me of a fish. Maybe that’s because I read another story yesterday morning about the high levels of radiation in Pacific blue fin tuna thanks to Fukushima. If it’s not, my sincerest apologies. In any case, it’s a great mural, spotted in the railroad underpass on Kajuhova Street, not far from the nightmarish BTC shopping center sprawl.

Azram is fairly ubiquitous around the Slovenian capital. If you’re not up to searching the streets, you can find more on his/her flickr page here. Or check out this album on my Facebook page, the second in my almost daily ‘About town’ series, which includes a few more of his/her works along with a handful of unrelated mobile phone pics all taken yesterday afternoon.

Gradisce Street, Ljubljana

My Favorite Street in Ljubljana – LJ Pic of the Day

One of them anyway. It’s definitely on the short list.

Today’s pic of the day from the Slovenian capital is this snap of Gradišče, a small dead-end street located just behind the Slovene National Theatre-Drama Ljubljana. It’s in the heart of the city center, but very quiet, with little traffic. It’s the way the architecture comes alive that I find most appealing. There are stories, a breathing history of the city, layered in each of those exposed exteriors, slightly cracked windowsills and patchy facades, witnessed by the three wreath-bearing cherubs, their heads so admiringly shielded from the elements and the birds.

Speaking of drama and favorites – marginally related is today’s WordPress Daily Prompt, asking us to respond to the same ten questions James Lipton always poses to his guests on his show Inside the Actors Studio, most of them sharing variations on the theme of favorite. I’ve got 15 minutes to get my next film screenings today, so no time to dawdle or reflect:

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

What turns you off?
Racism, greed and self-absorption.

What is your favorite curse word?
Pizda. (That’s Slovenian.)

What sound or noise do you love?
A violin, for one.

What sound or noise do you hate?
A sorrowful cry.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
An artist, as in painter.

What profession would you not like to do?
Public toilet cleaner. To them, my utmost respect.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Thanks for trying your best to make the world suck less.

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Fight Your Idols – LJ Pic of the Day

That’s the name of this piece by Slovenian artist Matej Jarc, currently on display as part of the 4th Independent Biennial, or Bienale neodvisnih, whose mission is to promote independent Slovenian illustration. At the second floor Kamera gallery space at the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture through November 21.

I’m delighted that Basquiat managed to make an appearance in the Ljubljana Daily Pic project which is now chugging along at 13 straight. If you’re a Basquiat fan, check out this post from fall 2010 on the exhibit ‘Street and Studio: From Basquiat to Séripop’, at Vienna’s Kunsthalle where works by Basquiat formed the show’s backbone.

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Still Life With Tony Curtis and Whipped Cream – LJ Pic du Jour

Today’s Ljubljana’s daily pic is this still life snapped last night at Kino Komuna, or the Komuna Theater, just before the screening of the German indie film, Lose Your Head. Trust me, Humphrey Bogart and Tony Curtis look very Slovenian here.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge asked for a picture of a habit. Stepping up to the bar to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine prior to a movie has been routine for years. This week, during my Ljubljana International Film Fest screening marathon and blogfest, it’s a somewhat over the top one. You gotta do what you gotta do. Four days down, eight to go!

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Caligula in Ljubljana – LJ Pic of the Day

Today’s pic of the day –the tenth (!) straight in the project’s latest run– is quite likely the goriest poster you’ll find in the Slovenian capital these days: this one announcing the Slovenian National Theater’s upcoming production of Albert Camus’ Caligula.

The ketchup-covered ruler? Noted Slovenian actor Marko Mandić. Poster design by Danijela Grgič.

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Audrey Hepburn in Ljubljana – LJ Pic of the Day


Cool spelling of the names, no?

This ninth straight Ljubljana Pic of the Day is a display at Kinodvor, one of the city’s ‘art house’ theaters, which this year is celebrating its 90th anniversary. It’s also one of the host venues for the Ljubljana International Film Festival, which today was on day two. I attended three screeenings today; reviews tomorrow, as promised. I promise. :)

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