This year's festival addresses the subject of transition from past to present and further to future. These transitions are of various types, without uniform meaning and subject, and yet they have something in common. They are related to risks that nothing or something will change; that we will get nowhere or we might get somewhere; that we will be worse off than we are now; that our otherness will further deepen and we will find it even more difficult to establish contact with actual life and the environment we live in and to which – to a certain extent – we are always dependent upon.
We respond to risks in many different ways depending on how safe we feel; on the amount of inner and outer strength available to overcome these risks and survive alive and well, with something more than we had before. We enjoy more freedom, breathe easier, socialise better, enhance our bonds and gain more and similar benefits.

When it comes to women, these transitions tend to be of a greater risk and the past more binding and overburdened. We are bound by rituals, traditions, convictions about what we should and must be, which often function as an invisible and too tightly fastened rope around our waist, breast, arms and legs – and sometimes also around our neck.
Just have a look at such a simple matter as hair – which will be addressed by this year's festival – bearing such symbolic connotations in the majority of cultures and religions. The artists will cover or reveal it, cut it, glue it all over the body and thus tell the story of being forced into a particular life style and mindset. Hair is not only covered by Muslim women, but also Jewish women who put on wigs, as well as Catholic and other Christian women who hide it beneath scarves, hats and veils. The Old Slavic custom was to shave boys’ hair upon their initiation to manhood thus giving them the freedom to leave home, go out in the world and become independent. Girls, on the other hand, were bound to wear long plaited hair which was with age pulled back and up close to the head so they were chained to their homes ever after. Our grandmothers used to wear hair pulled back and up, and when they committed a sin they were punished by the cutting or even shaving of their hair. A man's symbol of liberation was simultaneously a woman's symbol of disgrace. Women in the Slovenian territory – the same as elsewhere in the world – cut their hair as a sign of liberation. Cutting hair short was an emancipatory act that can be read about in local papers as early as at the beginning of the 20th century regarding the debates on immorality and degeneration of women wearing short haircuts. By the way, the great majority of women fight with bodily hair to this day when subjected to different ideologies, now a lot more refined, and related to large amounts of money and global power.

Nonetheless, it's not just hair that chains and binds us; this power is also shared by fabric tailored and sewn in a particular way to cover the entire body or just a part of it, and thereby “tailoring our fate”. This could be a burkha or a simple hijab (veil) which in the Christian tradition signifies exclusion from the world and/or intimacy, or the bridal dress of Roma women which is passed down through generations. A piece of cloth, sewn in a particular way, thus becomes a chain which one cannot be rid of easily. To refuse a dress worn by all women in the family deep into the past might indicate not only breaking the bonds with tradition but also with family and culture. And yet to adopt such customs might be equally liberating when the world in which we live, our otherness becomes the subject of mockery, hatred and prohibition. To put on a burkha in such a world is a political act due to the fact that it differentiates us from a world that we find humiliating, a world telling us we are second-class people, or as a matter of fact, not even people at all. Likewise, unveiling is a political act in communities where covering the body is obligatory, and where girls are not entitled to such basic things as education.
The film about a girl who believes she will be able to enter a school when she has a notebook not only reflects her courage and ingenuity but also her access into the public domain to which everyone should be entitled and to the same extent. But this cannot be accessed by everyone to the same extent, in particular not in the West, though this is the 'land' where illusions of equality are most widespread.

Transitions hold another relevant dimension. They are the state of being neither here nor there (referred to as liminality in anthropology), of being neither this nor that, and thereby opening up the possible and new but also the dangerous and threatening.
Tromostovje (The Three Bridges) will be one of the venues that perfectly symbolises the transition, from the first to the third bridge, with the central (second or Other) representing the state of transition where we are neither male or female, where it is possible to transcend your gender and abandon it, reflect on it and simply decide to be this or that. We may as well make a different decision and remain on the central bridge which is at the same time the widest, thus we can breathe there without withdrawing and taking positions. Despite being neither here nor there, we don't feel endangered nor are we afraid. Though it can also be the other way around; the only safety we accept is to stay firmly in the rooms we know well because they provide answers, forms and beliefs. At that point liminal states could be scary and dangerous.

We don't know until we try; therefore come, see, let go and hope you will enjoy it and have a good time because you may find some things disturbing…

Vesna Leskošek
Honorary President of the Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture – City of Women