Blaž Kosovel: From Origins to Urban Utopia

Blaž Kosovel has a PhD in Cultural Studies, is a member of the editorial board of the periodical Razpotja, and a guide who will give you a thorough tour of Nova Gorica. Historically, physically, sociologically and in an interesting way, with great attention to detail.


He began his journey of discovery of Nova Gorica with the documentary series The Walks of Goriška (Goriški sprehodi, 2015-2017), and then devised the first urban-historical tour of the town, which you can also find in a practical brochure with a map.


Since its inception in 2010, he has also been a member of the editorial board of Razpotja, a magazine on social issues and culture, a special issue of which was published on the occasion of Nova Gorica’s 70th anniversary. Kosovel’s research now focuses on studying, comparing and analysing other newly built cities, which resulted in the ‘Ab Initio – An Urban Utopia’ project that is part of the European Capital of Culture 2025 programme.


The project aims to explore the history of Nova Gorica and other newly built cities created ab initio, from scratch, and to create a digital archive of the city’s cultural heritage. The aim is to promote cultural heritage and connect it with the local community, as well as to create the first comprehensive, transparent and open platform of the city’s history and the stories of its inhabitants. It is therefore a knowledge network that brings together expert analysis and first-hand historical memories. By showcasing other new towns, it aims to raise interest in new towns and make Nova Gorica known to other such towns. The project will uncover the modernist heritage of the city and place it in a broader European perspective through a comparative analysis of other new towns.


For Europe, “culture is the place that legitimises the formation of nations by shaping a common history,” he notes in his doctoral thesis, in which he explored the differences between the United States and European countries, highlighting the notion of culture as a fundamental concept of distinction. He expanded this text into a monographic opus entitled Why the United States has never had a Department of Culture, from Agri-Culture to Culture Industry, from the City of Rome to American Civilisation, which is a concise overview of the history of the concept of culture in Western history and its importance in the emergence of modern states, as well as an analysis of the constitution of the United States as a society that did not need culture in its formation.


He is also a founding member of the Humanities Association of Goriška (2006), which last year received an award from the City of Nova Gorica “for co-creating and shaping the cultural environment of Nova Gorica over the past sixteen years, for his active work that has resulted in the magazines Razpotja, Mesto knjige, Carinarnica and Mreža 26, as well as for his significant contribution to strengthening and preserving the non-governmental cultural sector both locally and nationally”.


Blaž Kosovel is also the cultural tourism representative of the Goriška section of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.