Ralf Čeplak Mencin

Curator and Museum Counsellor, Slovene Ethnographic Museum

Born in 1955 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Mencin graduated with a BA on ethnology and psychology in 1981 from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. Twenty six years of work as a curator in different museums (provincial, city, ethnographic) in Slovenia. Eleven years head of Ethnographic Museum (of non- European Cultures) in Goričane baroque castle near Ljubljana. His research work is focused in the field of sinology, tibetology and museology. Two mandates chair of Museum Association of Slovenia (1991 -95), two mandates chair of ICOM (International Council of Museums) Slovenia National Committee (1997- 2003). Member of the board of ICOM/ ICME/International Committee of Ethnographic Museums (1989-1992 and  2007-2010) and ICOM-Europe (2002-2007), member of the ICOM Task Force on National Committees and Regional Organizations (2005-2007). He published 169 articles and two books, was co-author of the Museums Guide in Slovenia (1992) and organised (was author or co-author) 21 museum exhibitions. Five of them represented Chinese culture. The exhibition Encountering China (August 2006 – September 2007) in the Slovene ethnographic museum showed on 800 m² the first time, the nearly 400 years old history of Slovene – Chinese contacts. He finished the book with the same topic Encountering the celestial dragonland, and is looking for a publisher.

For the permanent exhibition in the Slovene ethnographic museum, opened in 2006, he and his colleagues won the state professional Valvasor award. In May 2011 he and two colleagues won the state professional Valvasor award for 20 years of organising Museoforum – a 3-4 times a year gathering of Slovene museum proffesionals listening to invited foreign museum experts together with workshops.

He had numerous lectures in Slovenia and abroad (Germany, France, Austria, Peru, Romania and Hungary). Member of EASA (The European Association of Social Anthropologists), vice-chairman of KULA (Slovene ethnological and anthropological association), Tibet support group of Slovenia, Slovene Museum Society.

In 2008 he joined the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France) initiative Cultural Routes of Roma Cultural heritage. In April 2009 he initiated the first Roma Festival Romano Chon/Romski mesec (music, theatre, puppets, lectures, dance, films, poetry) in Slovenia and organised it together with Roma Academic Club (NGO) from Murska Sobota and Association of creative people in Culture (ZULK/NGO) from Maribor. He was instrumental in getting the Slovene Ethnographic Museum to join ASEMUS in 2006.

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