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.



SAŠA PETEJAN, director and co-founder

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…



Nataša Kotar

NATAŠA KOTAR, co-founder

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.


Neva Danaja Pirc

NEVA DANAJA PIRC, project manager

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.



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.



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

Although graduated in cultural studies I always found my place in the field of visual arts. Video and photography are my main tools of expression through which I tell stories about the world around us.

Video and photography are my main tools of expression. My primary inspiration are people, their environment and nature.