The Women Writers Route (WWR) received the certification of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe last year, becoming the 48th European cultural route to be awarded this prestigious title and the first to be based in Slovenia.
At a ceremony held at the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute for Cultural Routes and Executive Secretary of the Extended Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Urška Klakočar Zupančič officially presented the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe certificate to the WWR President, Dr Andreja Rihter, the WWR Honorary President, Dalibor Domitrović, and the Chair of the WWR Scientific Council, Dr Katja Mihurko. The guests – members of the WWR, political and diplomatic representatives, representatives of cultural routes and other invited guests – were addressed by: Dr Andreja Rihter, President of the Cultural Tourist Association Women Writers Route, Tamara Vonta, Chair of the Committee on Culture of the National Assembly and Head of the Delegation of the Slovenian National Assembly to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Špela Spanžel, Director General of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture, Urška Klakočar Zupančič and Dr Stefano Dominioni.
Dr Andreja Rihter said, among other things, “For the Women Writers Route, the certificate, this seal of quality, as we like to call it, is a reward for our efforts, but even more so, it is an incentive to do more, to do better, to think and act outside the box, which is what our women authors inspire us to do.”
Tamara Vonta pointed out, “At events like today’s, the corridors of Parliament seem to be filled with a special energy, a different kind of vocabulary and warmer colours of the words spoken, which is why we are particularly happy to have such meetings, and why our mission takes on a completely different dimension as well.
Perhaps part of this can be attributed to the fact that culture has been cleansed of all selfish clutter, it is a unifying and uniting force, it is not just a destination, it is first and foremost a journey. It is a road on which we meet the best in ourselves and in others. That is why we are proud that our country is also the seat of one of the 48 routes certified by the European Institute of Cultural Routes. And we are especially proud that this route is also the first one about women, about very special women in a time that has not been especially favourable to special women.”
The programme was enriched by musicians Aleksandra Naumovski Potisk and Martina Burger with lieder on the poetry of 19th-century Slovenian women poets, and the event was moderated by Boštjan Romih.
In the working part of the programme, alongside the award ceremony, meetings were held with the Director of the European Institute, aimed at familiarising and enhancing Slovenia’s participation in the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes programme. Stefano Dominioni met with the State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Matevž Čelik Vidmar, and the Director General, Špela Spanžel, as well as with the MP, Tamara Vonta, who is leading the Slovenian parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Dominioni also met with representatives of the cultural routes crossing Slovenia and Dr Maja Turnšek from the Faculty of Tourism of the University of Maribor, a member of the European Institute of Cultural Routes academic network. They presented their activities and efforts to increase the integration and cooperation between the routes and to exploit synergies between them, as well as to improve the visibility of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme in Slovenia. The formalisation of the cooperation of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes in individual countries and their visibility have been at the centre of discussions at international meetings for some time now on the future and development of this important European programme, which intertwines culture and tourism and imbues them with European values and lifestyle.