“Kamerat” or comrade is how miners used to call each other. Yet it calls out not only a fellow worker but much more: from comradeship and solidarity to organizing for common goals – values that are nowadays pushed aside.
KAMERAT is the first and the only labour film festival in Slovenia and among the few around the world.
Friends of culture, film and dignified, decent work have been inspired by the 1934 workers’ strike in Hrastnik, when workers from across sectors jointly demanded and achieved better working conditions. It is no coincidence that the festival takes place on the anniversary of the strike, when the local community celebrates solidarity, comradeship and the importance of organizing for common goals.
The unique feature of the Festival are also its venues in a no longer operational coal mine – film projections take place in the old compressor station as well as in the tunnel, 40 meters underground. These locations add to the Festival’s distinctive value, bringing workers’ films to spaces where generations of workers laboured for decades and that continue to impress themselves on visitors.
The purpose of the Festival is to use film as a mode of social criticism to investigate the position of workers on the crossroads of history and future, changing concepts of work and of workers’ rights in various social, economic and technological contexts. These topics are further explored through accompanying round tables, conversations with international and local workers in art, workshops, exhibitions and educational events. As such the Festival brings together and joins forces with trade unions, movements, activists, artists and other workers in the field of culture.