APIS Institute

APIS was established in 2012 as a private non-profit institute aimed at the production, education, innovation and collaboration tied to social engagement, memory preservation, and human rights.

The work of the institute promotes social inclusion and empowerment of the most vulnerable and the marginalized, while making sure to develop non-formal educational programs for the people with fewer possibilities. These are, for example, migrants, Roma, and youth hailing from a migrant background.

The projects we develop and implement within this framework encourage and support participation, social inclusion and develop employability skills.

As our tools of empowerment we employ primarily video, photography, music and multi/trans media. We also offer education in video, photography, audio recording, journalism, and oral history.

To insure continuous evolution ever new and accessible technologies are introduced in our creative and socially responsible work. We hope to share the knowledge we have gained, as well as to develop it through holistic approaches towards youth and other vulnerable groups.


ROMANA ZAJEC, Programme director and Co-founder

Since I finished my philosophy studies I’ve been working as a freelance researcher, journalist, video-journalist, documentary filmmaker, scriptwriter and also as a coordinator and organizer of socially engaged events.

Social themes are the primary focus of my work.

Asylum seekers, refugees and understanding different forms of discrimination intrigue my attention and awake curiosity about human beings.

I try to render the phenomena of the shadow side of human nature. But at the same time I would like to believe humans are evolving towards more responsible and emphatic society with respect and awareness of the interconnectedness of life.

What do we need to do in order to humanize the shadow side of human nature? Collective amnesya dictates endless repetition. So what are the steps towards the resolution? Do we need to listen to the past and try to understand it? Do we need to search, listen and record the stories of violence in order to be able to render them? This questions are a driving factor of my work in APIS Institute.



MANCA JUVAN, Photographer, Photography mentor, Curator, international cooperation, Director of APIS Institute

Manca Juvan has been regularly cooperating with APIS Institute since its establishment. As a photographer, she participated in the projects The Last Vitnesses and exhibition Migrations and as a photo mentor for the Equality in Focus project. Under her mentorship, the students of the high school for Art created the Migration and Youth exhibition which became part of the Migrations exhibition. During the photo marathon project, she participated as a member of the jury and curator of the A Day in the Mediterranean exhibition. Manca is a photography graduate and an internationally known photographer. In 2006, 2007 and 2008, she was received Best Photography Award by the Emzin Photography Competition , in 2005 and 2006, she received compliments by the Slovenian Journalists’ Association, and in 2011 she was awarded a scholarship by the Magnum Agency in New York. In 2010, her monograph Afghanistan: Unordinary lives was published by the Sanja Publishing House. In 2016, her monograph on the fascist internment of Slovenians entitled Guardians of the Spoon was awarded several times by the ZRC publishing house. Her work is regularly published in domestic and foreign magazines as well as newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Time.com and National Geographic. She exhibited in various Slovenian galleries, independently in the Ljubljana Modern Gallery, in New York, Brussels, Luxembourg, France, Iran and elsewhere.


Neva Danaja Pirc

NEVA DANAJA PIRC, Project manager and Culture producer

Neva’s work at APIS Institute resides in the field of social inclusion, youth work, socially engaged use of arts as well as fundraising. She sees art as an efficient tool for free expression and positive social change.

She has joined APIS Institute after graduating from MA of International Negotiation in France. She has cooperated in many artistic and development projects which included vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers, refugees and the Roma people. As a volunteer, she has been an Amnesty International activist and during the last four years, an active member of the Slovenian movement for Palestinian rights which is organizing the Cultural Embassy of Palestine in Ljubljana every year. Last but not least, she is also the co-author of a short film about women in Slovenia Kratko malo nekaj o ženskah / A little something about women.
 A little something about women.
A little something about wtook part in group exhibitions in Algeria, Italy, and France.
took part in group exhibitions in Algeria, Italy, and France.

ALI R. TAHA, Audio and Video production

Ali joined APIS Institute in 2018 as a multimedia technician intern. He works in the field of audio engineering, sounds design, audio and video post-production. He is also developing educational programs on audio production, and workshops on mobile filmmaking.

He came to Slovenia to study audio engineering and music production. After he finished his studies at SAE Institute he got interested in videomaking. He started discovering the world of cameras and videoproduction, started making video content, and is now focusing on mobile videomaking.



MIJA PUNGERŠIČ, Project coordinator

Mija joined APIS institute in November 2018, as project coordinator of Multivizija: Multimedia, Theatre and Dance Training for Vulnerable Groups.

Already in the time of her study of architecture, she started to be active in different fields. As a member (later also in headboard) of Slovenian association of disabled students, she participates in various projects (art, theatre, dance, socially engaged projects…) and started to participate in non-formal education programs (Youth, Youth in Action, Erasmus+). Since 2006 she is active as project manager, facilitator, and trainer in the youth field, mostly working with young people with fewer opportunities (especially young people with disability). She is leading training courses about accessibility and developing inclusive projects to increase active participation social inclusion.

She is part of group of disabled women who in 2012 established their own NGO (ODTIZ Institute, which now she is director of), as answer to lack of employability of people with disability and to give opportunity to individuals with and without disability to develop their quality of life through different programs (art and culture, sport, non-formal education…).

Born with a disability, her life is full of daily challenges. Being wheelchair user gave her different point of view on situations we are facing while “growing up” and consequently open different possibilities. This personal circumstance is also her inspiration, motivation and it co-created her professional path where she uses her own experiences to talk about social inclusion.


JAKA JARC, MA, PhD, Erasmus+ projects

An experienced musical composer, performer, session musician, and audio engineer/producer both in classical and popular musical genres. In addition to his active musical activity in Slovenia he was also a member of the Exeter Musical Society during his doctoral studies in mediaeval history at the University of Exeter.

While serving as the general secretary-chief of office of the International foundation – Forum of Slavic Cultures he prepared and headed international Slavic film festivals in Brussels, exhibitions on Slavic folk costumes in Brussels, a concert of Russian Slavic youth orchestra and many other international cultural projects.

He collaborates with APIS Institute in the fields of music and history.


Luka Dakskobler

LUKA DAKSKOBLER, Photography mentor, Erasmus+ projects, collaboration

In the frame of APIS Institute Luka Dakskobler works as a mentor for socially engaged use of photography and leads international photography workshops. He is also establishing collaborations for further development of using photography as a tool for bringing awareness to overlooked themes and as a form of advocacy.

Dakskobler received many eminent international (Nature Images Awards) and Slovene (Slovenia Press Photo) awards for his photography work. He publishes his work on a regular basis in the press (National Geographic Slovenija, National Geographic Junior, Gorenjski Glas…) and collaborates with different global photography agencies. He is using documentary photography as a tool for raising awareness, empowerment and as a form of advocacy. Through his work he has succeeded to prove that photography can change people’s lives.


ANA FRATNIK, Video and Photography

She fell in love with video through music, creating her first short videos for Slovene and foreign music groups (Moveknowledgement, Lucky Youth, Golem, Manouche). During her studies, she visited numerous film and video workshops in Slovenia and abroad, and participated as an organizer, mentor and video-maker within the framework of the APIS Institute. Her path continued in television production, where she worked as an editor, content creator and video-editor (Shijaj, Riba na Oko, Ljubezen na Seniku, Paradise Hotel, Our Generation, God forbid to be a TV !, My mother cooks better !, Fate wine). All the years of work on the field of television brought her great experience and made her realize that the projects whose content has an impact on the wider social context, fulfill her the most. In the frame of project Multivizija, implemented by Zavod APIS, she works as a mentor for video-editing within the audiovisual module.

SAŠA PETEJAN, Director from 2017 to 2019, Co-founder from 2012 to 2019

I am interested in memories – yours and mine. I am interested in your experience. What do you remember? I insist on as much asauthentic remembering. We live in the aftermath of repetitive and ongoing destruction and tragedies shaping us into who we are. Why we don’t remember them? Why we don’t learn from them?Initially as a journalist I was interested in people, environment and contemporary science. I approached writing as a way to stimulate knowing and embodied experience. Now I am collecting individual’s stories and memories.

Journalism and independent interviewing applying oral history methods, first person accounts and their contextualizing are central to my activities.

Features, interviews, articles were published in: New Scientist, Diario, Science & Vie, Il diario della settimana, … and in Slovene media: Sobotna priloga, Slovene edition of National Geographic Magazin, Delo, Dnevnik, Mladina, Nedelo, Gloss, Emzin, Objektiv…


APIS Institute was also supported by the work and dedication of:


Nataša Kotar

NATAŠA KOTAR, Director from 2015 to 2017, Co-founder from 2013 to 2019

I have ten years of experience as a project manager, PR manager and organizer of cultural and business events. Prior working in an NGO sector I have cooperated with many Slovenian and global companies where I gained a valuable insight into possibilities for cross sectoral cooperation.

  • Project, public relations and event manager;
  • Organizer of exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events;
  • Producer of transmedia exhibition Migration;
  • Organizer and co-trainer in non-formal educational activities for youth.


IVANA STANOJEV, Erasmus+ projects

  • Youth worker with 7 years of experience, in organizing and hosting YiA/E+ activities;
  • Background in sociology and conflict studies;
  • Research experience with focus on minorities and human rights in the Balkans;
  • Worked with several international and US based organizations on projects relevant to political dialogue, inclusive governance and political participation of vulnerable group;
  • Strong networks with youth NGOs from the SEE and EU.
teja pahor
TEJA PAHOR, Culture producer, Project manager and Photographer
Teja’s path crossed with APIS institute in 2016 during Photo Marathon event. As a winner of it’s the first edition in Ljubljana, she decided to join next year as co-organizer for the second Ljubljana’s Photo Marathon. Her creative socially engaged approach built a solid cooperation with our institute and worked with us in 2018. She coordinated two different youth exchanges United in Music and Embrace Reality with Media Literacy, organized photography workshops for vulnerable youth and created her own photo projects.
Teja got her master’s degree in business and economic science. In 2014 she won photo marathon competition Pixathlon Alps Adriatic and in 2016 FRAME Photo Marathon in Ljubljana. She already had two independent photo exhibitions. She also exhibited in Photo Marathon 2016 group exhibition One Day in the Mediterranean at Congress Square in Ljubljana, Tartini Square in Piran and also took part in group exhibitions in Algeria, Italy, and France.