CICIBAN: the first 70 years

26 February – 26 March 2016
KiBela, space for art

Oton Župančič used to call his little son – CICIBAN. The book he wrote for him became one of the most popular children’s books on Slovenian soil. It is therefore no wonder that the name was adopted to become the title of a children’s magazine, which was created in Ljubljana about a month after the liberation, far back in June 1945.
At first, CICIBAN was intended for elementary school children of all ages, but soon became more focused on the younger ones. In the first years of its existence some schools even used it as a textbook. Already in the first year of publication, CICIBAN had as many as 80 thousand subscribers, with the circulation rising up to the magic number of 100 thousand in the early 1980’s. Today, in this new and different age, CICIBAN has a print run of 14 thousand copies.  
The CICIBAN exhibition is a time machine that meticulously records the most important events, as they were experienced by the local communities. While browsing through the magazine, one is able to pick up on the ideologies of a particular time and the ways in which these were passed on to our youngest. The war years, flights to the moon, the Olympic Games in Sarajevo, AIDS, the development of computer science, ecology and Slovenia’s independence are just some of the milestones that occurred on CICIBAN’s pages. To this day, it brings to its readers news of politics, health, natural and social sciences, traffic, science and technology, art, sports and cooking, and good manners and ethics. In the entire time of its existence, it has never avoided even the heaviest and most unpleasant topics.  
CICIBAN is a guide that shapes children’s thinking in the field of language and literature. Skimming through the pages reveals how the arts have changed in the 20th century period. While fostering the children’s sense of esthetics, it also fills their growing years with knowledge about the countless facets of the world that surrounds us.   
The exhibition CICIBAN: the first 70 years highlights the common experience shared by children of past and present generations. It was created with the support of generous readers, who helped to collect the materials by rummaging through dusty basements or book shelves in search of older copies. The exhibition calls the attention to the CICIBAN phenomenon through the use of proper stories, images and sounds from the magazine itself. It was originally set up for the opening of the renovated Vodnik Homestead Gallery in Ljubljana.    

Curators: Petja Grafenauer, PhD and Pavle Učakar
Exhibition design: Vasja Cenčič
Illustration at the exhibition: Suzi Bricelj

KiBela / KIBLA Maribor
KiBela, space for art, is open on weekdays between 9 a. m. and 10 p. m., and
on Saturdays between 4 p. m. and 10 p. m.

Interview #1

Interview #2

Exhibition opening, photo: Boštjan Lah

Art Works, photo: Boštjan Lah



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