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Performa has a long tradition of setting up performance art in Maribor. The first edition of the festival, then titled Sen žice (Dreamwire), took place in 1993 under Beno Artnak, followed by four editions called Multicultural Week.
In 2000, Tomaž Brenk took over the management of the festival, held for the first time under the name Performa. Performa was conceived as a daring and bold festival of contemporary performing arts that addressed its audiences through the prism of unconventional, for many even shocking, multimedia and performing approaches and forms. Performa broke new ground in being different and, with its concept, provoked the emergence of similar festivals in Maribor and its immediate surroundings.
After trying out different programme concepts in the years 2004–2009, the festival redirected its focus a bit, yet still considered the primary vision of the festival: to show hybrid, multimedia, and experimental, mostly non-institutional art projects that test genre limits and seek new expressions and communications according to the tendencies present in the modern world.
Performa's programme offers performances, video projections and installations, rearticulations of historical performance art events, premières of video performances, lecture performances, street performances, installations, multimedia, literary and music performances, and discussions with artists and cultural theorists. The often hybrid art forms are frequently presented in non-institutionalised venues and unconventional spaces.
Since 2008, Performa features a video section titled "video:performa", which presents multimedia and video installations and video performances.
Under the auspices of Performa, the collective Stegnar, Horvat & Family has since 2011 been preparing a series of lecture performances aimed at reflecting on the work of performance artists as well as establishing new connections and possible collaborations. The series has thus far hosted artists such as Katarina Stegnar, Mala Kline, Jaša, Primož Bezjak, Nataša Živković, Mare Bulc, Luka Prinčič, etc.