Research




In 2005, the president of the Institute of Slovenian Studies of Victoria, Aleksandra Čeferin, sent a formal letter of invitation to Daša Koprivec, senior consultant for Slovenian emigrant section at Slovene Ethnographic Museum, to visit Victoria in order to undertake the research of handicrafts subculture of Slovenian settlers in Australia.

The exhibition of Slovenian emigrant handicrafts emerged as a possible subject of mutual interest both to SEM and ISSV, as well as personal interests of Daša Koprivec and Aleksandra Čeferin.

The museum’s application to the Office for Slovenes Abroad for funding was subsequently approved, and the visit was planned for May 2006.

The first meeting with handicrafts practitioners was organized by the Institute for Slovenian Studies of Victoria with the assistance of other Slovenian migrant organizations. The initiative presented at Baraga House in Melbourne at the beginning of May 2006 was received with enthusiasm and support. During the next few weeks Daša Koprivec and Aleksandra Čeferin would visit homes in Mel-bourne and Geelong areas, where samples of work would be viewed and photographed.

In the next three weeks the research field trips covered distances of over 1000 km in Melbourne and Geelong, resulting in documentation of over 400 photos. Aleksandra Čeferin subsequently collected sample exhibits for the planned physical exhibition at Slovenian Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana.

At the same time the idea of the internet exhibition emerged in discussions between ISSV and SEM. The issue was an exhibition that could transcend the local nature of the physical exhibition and carry it to Slovenes worldwide.

These discussions were followed subsequently by meetings between SEM and ISSV in Ljubljana, and the concept began to take shape as a collaboration between SEM and ISSV. It was also envisaged that it might be expanded as an ongoing archive of Slovene Migrant Handcrafts in order to fulfill the mission of SEM as a collective memory of Slovene heritage to Slovenian migrant communities worldwide.