BELIVE THE IMPOSSIBLE!

'There is no use trying,' said Alice; 'one can't believe impossible things.'
'I dare say you hadn't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

To believe the impossible, to search for freedom and utopian energy in childlike imagination or the world of fairy tales and science fiction - these are some of the strategies employed by the artists presented at this year's festival. On screen, on stage or in the gallery you will recognise daring and rebellious girls like Alice in Wonderland, Pippi Longstocking or the riot girrrl Krawalla. The artists invite you to explore original universes, whether that of the ideal home (Milijana Babić), of Victorian girlishness and blood-drenched sea shanties (Dame Darcy) or of intimate confession and metaphysical encounter (Sub Rosa). Others will present more futuristic and erotic landscapes (Julie Nioche, Avatar Body Collision) or investigate the strength found in fairy tales and folk traditions (Uršula and Janez Ramoveš, Radio Študent). The common denominator in all these works is the desire to escape the constraints of the real, to search for a place of unconstrained creativity, pleasure and anarchic energy - and to explore sources for survival.
A belief in the impossible while confronting reality, the cold and brutal world of liberal capitalism, lies at the core of another group of works presented this year at City of Women. Documenting women's will to live, their strength and dignity as they face such desperate circumstances as unemployment, poverty, exploitation or imprisonment, these works offer a lesson in pride and true utopian energy. Though using very different media, all share a calm and concentrated formal language, revealing the tenacity and beauty of these women, as well as their (fragile) moments of solidarity.
Two exhibitions are dedicated to the women workers of the Slovene textile industry, which is undergoing a slow process of collapse: Marija Mojca Pungerčar's installation Singer (a Chorus of Women Textile Workers from Mirna Peč will perform at the opening) and Meta Krese's photo exhibition When Life Ends at 45. Kristina Leko's interactive Milk Project 2002-2003 is a political action, social documentary and artistic creation all at the same time, portraying some three hundred milkmaids from Zagreb who could lose their profession thanks to the European standardisation process.
Bénédicte Liénard's film ultimately reminds us that only solidarity can show us A Piece of Sky - solidarity between those who inhabit such seemingly opposed social worlds of exploitation and deprivation as the prison and the factory.

How do we combat global restructuring and the impoverishment of women? The forms of effective resistance and coalition-building we need and the kinds of struggles we face are the focus of a panel discussion, organised in collaboration with the Slovene Peace Institute.
Rounding out our journey through impossible worlds, City of Women will present a range of experimental musicians and composers who take their listeners into utterly unknown and improbable acoustical worlds, such as Kamilya Jubran with her fusion of European electrophonics, traditional Arabic sound, video-art and jazz; the dadaist sampling artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us) and Semiconductor, who make films out of sound; the Norwegian noise duo Fe-mail; and Sicily's experimental singer Miriam Palma.
The Queen would be satisfied: City of Women will easily provide more than six opportunities to believe the impossible. And eventually, with enough practice, we might even transform 'believing in' into 'struggling for'. Come and practice with us!
Bettina Knaup, Sabina Potočki
program coordinators