The Ekopolis Foundation was a partner of the event HUMAN FORUM 2016
HUMAN FORUM 2016 – international discussion forum held for the third time in Banská Bystrica
In cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of Matej Bel University and the civic association Centre for an organized community, the civil platform Not in our town! organized the HUMAN FORUM event for the third year running.
The aim of the event, which took place on 7 and 8 December 2016 in Banská Bystrica, is to create a platform for representatives of state institutions and local governments, academics, civil society activists, students, teachers, journalists, politicians, church representatives and the general public to come together and attempt to formulate answers to questions related to the situation of human rights in our society, and also to the question as to whether the fear of the rise of extremism and radicalization of society is justified.
The event was held under the auspices of the Ombudsman, Jana Dubovcová, the mayor of Banská Bystrica Ján Nosko, Matej Bel University Rector Vladimír Hiadlovský and the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations Branislav Kováčik. The opening ceremony was followed by a panel discussion entitled “In which direction is democracy developing in the European and Slovak society”. The ambassadors of Norway, the USA and the UK were also present, all of them gave short speeches.
“The first day also saw the awarding of the Human Forum Prize for an extraordinary act in the humanization of society along with a performance by the multi-genre singer and supporter of various cultures, religions and the rights of members of ethnic groups from all over the world Janka Orlická and the orchestra of Ján Berky, Jnr.,” commented Csilla Droppová, coordinator of organizational team of HUMAN FORUM.
The first day of the international discussion forum culminated in Ecumenical worship at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier.
The second day of the event began at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations UMB with a panel discussion on Radicalization versus knowledge and critical thinking. Parallel to this was a theatrical performance of A letter to the black son in the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads and a showing of the documentary film “New Nationalism in the heart of Europe” and a discussion with the author Tomáš Rafa in the Film Club in the Museum of SNP.
“We are honoured that the invitation to HUMAN FORUM was also graciously accepted by the President of the Slovak Republic, Mr Andrej Kiska, who gave a short speech at the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations UMB,” added Csilla Droppová.
The afternoon was dedicated to an educational programme for primary and secondary schools in the areas of tolerance and reducing the growth of extremism and racism among the young; this was led by Rado Sloboda, the programme director of the Socrates Institute.
A discussion between the journalist and writer Martin Milan Šimečka and an ĽSNS voter on social development in Slovakia concluded the evening of the second day of the international discussion forum. There then followed a discussion with Michal Havran and guests on the topic Are mainstream media in crisis? Do people believe more in alternative media and social networks? in the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads.
The two-day event was concluded at 8:00 p.m. with a human rights cultural event in the Záhrada Centre for independent culture called Homage to humanity.
An accompanying event was a photographic exhibition by the famous Slovak photographer and reporter Andrej Bán called “On the road …”. The exhibition will be open from 7 December 2016 to 20 January 2017 in the gallery of the State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica.
Partners of the event were the city Banská Bystrica, Matej Bel University, EEA Grants, Ekopolis Foundation, Global Fund for Community Foundations, Community Foundation Zdravé mesto, Regional Tourism Organization of Central Slovakia, cult-E Európska kultúra civic association, Záhrada – CNK, State Scientific Library, Museum of SNP and the Puppet Theatre at the Crossroads.