The End of the Project:

RESCUE – Creative Regeneration of Abandoned Industrial Sites in Europe

31. 10. 2021

On 31 October 2021, we have completed the RESCUE – Creative Regeneration of Abandoned Industrial Sites in Europe project, which we at X-OP have been implementing since November 2019. RESCUE is a small-scale collaborative project co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union. Within the project, partners from Italy, Germany, Slovenia, and Austria researched the histories of abandoned industrial sites in order to jointly conceive how to transform them into sustainable spaces for cultural activities. In the framework of the project, we organized 5 workshops, 3 exhibitions, prepared 4 online and printed publications/catalogs, collaborated with over 30 artists, theoreticians, architects, and cultural producers, presented and produced more than 20 artworks, and held an international conference.

The international online conference focused on the diverse practices of industrial heritage regeneration across Europe. Guests included Chiara Bonfiglioli, lecturer in Women's and Gender Studies, University of Cork; Dr. Dora Chatzi Rodopoulou, architect, Delft University of Technology, a researcher at the Laboratory for Spatial Planning and Urban Development, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens; Božena Končić Badurina, visual artist; Dr. Irfan Hošić, founder and artistic director of KRAK Centre; Miha Lovše, architect; Zahra Mani, composer, and curator, Klanghaus. The conference was moderated by curator and critic Irena Borić. The guests also wrote articles at the conference, which were included in the RESCUE project publication, which we edited in collaboration with all consortium partners.

You can listen to the authors' contributions on the following link:

In May and June 2021 we conducted creative writing workshops for students of Maribor secondary schools, together with our mentors, writer Tom Podstenšek, art historian Simon Žlahtič, and artists Toni Soprano Meneglejte, Barbara Polajnar, and Maja Hodošček. With the participants, who explored Maribor's industrial heritage through creative writing processes, we produced a collection of short stories. The illustrations for the collection were contributed by the young Maribor artist Janja Kosi.

You can browse the collection of short stories on the following link:

In June, as part of the RESCUE project, we participated in the niche art fair Nesvrstani / Unclassified, which took place from 17 to 20 June 2021 at Lauba – House for People and Art in Zagreb, Croatia. We presented works by Slovenian artists who connect art, nature and our habitat: Metka Kavčič, Marko Jakše, Matej Čepin, Enej Gala, Stojan Grauf and Joni Zakonjšek.

We have also prepared a catalog for the occasion:

On Friday and Saturday, 27 and 28 August 2021, at 40 Valvasorjeva Street, on the site of a former textile factory and spinning mill, we organized an artistic program of the international RESCUE project entitled Creative Impulses of Industrial Heritage. The two-day event addressed the creative regeneration of former industrial sites and their current and future use through artistic interventions in the public space of the former textile factory in Studenci in the forms of a fragmented exhibition, film projections, a forum of the theatre of the oppressed, talks with the creators, presentations of the project's publications, a guided tour of Maribor's industrial heritage and audio-visual performances. The present art projects, events, and interventions intertwined elements and forms of visual, audio, literary, and performing arts while connecting to the specificities of the site in question – architecture, urbanism, design, and the social and labor history of industry in Maribor. We were able to see artistic interventions by artists Maja Hodošček, Nika Rupnik, Vesna Bukovec, Toni Soprano Meneglejte and artists lo milo and Janez Klenovšek, as well as the work of Sara Bezovšek and Dorijan Šiško. In cooperation with Industriopolis, we went on a guided tour of the former industrial areas of Studenci, and watched the Theatre of the Oppressed Forum performed by KUD Transformator and ZIZ. We watched film screenings by Neja Tomšič and Bojan Labović, whereas Rene Puhar talked to the filmmakers. We presented a collection of short stories and a photo essay by Janez Klenovšek and Simon Žlahtič. The Friday and Saturday evening was rounded off by the performative sound installation Quarry KISETSU by the artist and researcher OR poiesis and the audio-visual project D2HGPH by the sound artist Neven M. Agalma.

More about the two-day event on the following link:

In September, we hosted RESCUE WEEK in San Stefano di Maggra, La Spezia, Italy. We promoted the RESCUE project with our international partners and participated in a transnational conference and artist residency. In Italy, the artists Toni Soprano Meneglejte, prepared the sound installation Packed History, Barbara Polajnar, who led the workshop Theatre of the Oppressed, Maja Hodošček, who created a video work ( during the residency based on a short story by Robin Marn, and Bojana Križanec, who prepared an exhibition of her small-scale sculptures in the premises of a former ceramics factory.

The final publication of RESCUE was published at the end of the project and can be found on the following link:

More about the RESCUE project:

Producer: X-OP Association for Contemporary Art
Co-organized by: ACE KIBLA, Association KODA MODRO

Project partners:
Comune di Santo Stefano di Magra (IT)
Klanghaus Kultur (AT)
ibug e.V. (DE)
Associazione Culturale Gli Scarti (IT)

The project is funded with support from the European Commission.
Grant Agreement 607507-CREA-1-2019-1-IT-CULT-COOP1.

  • Boštjan Selinšek, Urška Lukovnjak

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