An artist Ljoba Jenče

Ljoba Jenče is a freelance artist and has been one of the leading voices of safeguarding the practices and arts of Slovenian intangible cultural heritage (ICH) since 1988.


Ljoba Jenče is a freelance artist and has been one of the leading voices of safeguarding the practices and arts of Slovenian intangible cultural heritage (ICH) since 1988. She specialises in collecting, singing and teaching the singing of traditional songs, storytelling and handicrafts of ecological survival in the region. As an artist she brings some of the oldest traditional songs to the public, mostly a cappella, at concerts, festivals, in films, on radio and television. As a representative of the Slovenian traditional song, she has performed globally, from the United Nations in New York to the UNESCO in Paris, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, the temples in Kathmandu, the UCEMA in Buenos Aires, Alexandria in Egypt, Fremantle in Australia, and more. She always finds connections with the voices of indigenous cultures and nature.

Ljoba gave the initiative to register the craft of two-log boat building, which is still a living tradition in Cerknica with its intermittent lake in the region of the karstic Ljubljanica river (a river of seven names). She succeeded in including the craft in the national list of ICH with the help of the EEA grants for her project »In the same boat – Young Guardians of Heritage« 2014-16. The result of the project was a model of the transmission of traditions from old to young generations. It was awarded a special mention of the jury of the European cultural heritage association for EUROPA NOSTRA AWARDS in 2017. The project partners were the MUHO Museum in Bergen, Norway, Atle Ove Martinussen, the ICH instructor at UNESCO, the Secondary school of forest and wood engineering in Postojna, the National Museum, the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum, the University of Ljubljana, individual scientists, artists, volunteers and old transmitters of traditional knowledge – a total of 180 persons linked by the non-profit NGO PAJN.

Ljoba runs the Pajn Institute for Sustainable Living– an educational centre for ICH, where Young Guardians of Heritage teach school children and adults about Slovenian tradition in the authentic location at the factory of essential oils (1894).

A new dialogue with creatures, the Universe and ourselves can or even must be created urgently. Our cultural heritage is one of the windows. Our voice is our strength. Ljoba Jenče has created a new dialogue with whales, the largest creatures of the oceans, through a multimedia art project in cooperation with Jasna Hribernik, film director, and Mark Franklin, the Oceania project, Australia. Art has many answers. It inspires us to become better humans.

KOMUNIKACIJA EHOLOKACIJA, (Communication Echolocation, an audio-visual performance) https://youtu.be/bii2zqg14TI

Awards for intangible cultural heritage work:

2010 – the Golden Award Tabor, Municipality of Cerknica, Slovenia

2015 – the Order of Merit, President of the Republic of Slovenia

2017 – a special mention of the jury of Europa Nostra Awards for »Young Guardians of Heritage«, Turku, Finland

www.ljobajence.eu - voice is my universe

https://youtu.be/vI3aul9wtnQ - documenting and learning traditional singing

https://youtu.be/IDDjFFYDPE0 - in cooperation with traditional artists