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International symposium Ljubljana, 18-19 May 2015

Programme committee
Boidar Jezernik, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts,
Slovenia (chair of the programme committee)
Istvn Povedk, MTA-SZTE Research Group for the Study
of Religious Culture, Hungary
Ivan olovi, Biblioteka XX vek, Serbia
Jurij Fikfak, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia
Tomislav Pletenac, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities
and Social Sciences, Slovenia

Organising committee
Dan Podjed, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of
Sciences and Arts, Slovenia (chair of the organising committee)
Marjana Strmnik, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts,
Slovenia
Sara pelec, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia
Saa Babi, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia

Introduction
Persons - and things - shining
out of a grey reality
Daniel J. Boorstin defined the celebrity as a person who is
known for his well-knownness. In this symposium we try to
pinpoint such famous individuals within Central and Southeastern Europe, and analyse the foundations of their fame.
The symposium focuses on several thematic streams and draws
parallels between them. For example, it looks into how managers, politicians, and economists, from the past and present,
must constantly re-create their public appearance. It spotlights
artists, i.e. musicians, film-makers, and sculptors, who appear
in prominent public events and make their fame also through
staged pseudo-events. It introduces the fame of athletes, whom
are applauded when they stand on a podium with a medal, yet
often ridiculed when they fall from a highly established position. It is also interested in outstanding scholars who managed
to build their central place both inside and outside academia,
through front-stage appearances and back-stage activities,
each being of similar importance. Finally, the symposium raises a question if a celebrity is necessarily a person and brings
attention to non-living things, including vehicles.
The symposium does not focus only on contemporary celebrities; it includes individuals of the past who used various strategies appropriate to their time period and socio-cultural environment to stand out from the crowd. It tries to establish
how their fame and celebrity status have transformed and how
some of them managed to achieve a heroic status in society.

Schedule

Location: Where is the stage?


On Monday, 18 May 2015, the symposium will take place in
the Preeren Hall of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
(Novi trg 4, Ljubljana).
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015, the event will be held in the Geography
Museum Hall of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy
of Sciences and Arts (Gosposka ulica 16, Ljubljana) - near the
Krianke Outdoor Theatre.

Schedule: Who is in the spotlight?


Monday, 18 May 2015

Venue: SAZU Preeren Hall (Novi trg 4, Ljubljana)

9:30-9:45
9:45-10:00
10:00-10:30
10:30-11:00
11:00-11:30
11:30-12:00

12:00-14:00
14:00-14:30
14:30-15:00

Welcome coffee
Introductory speech
KEYNOTE LECTURE: Ivan olovi
Paths of glory: How people from the
margins grab the attention of the nation
Istvn Povedk
Romani celebrities in Hungarian mass media
Dan Podjed
Superstar Yugo: Making a celebrity out
of the worst car in the world
Tomislav Pletenac
When a waiter became a celebrity:
War as a reality show
Lunch break
Svanibor Pettan
The notion of celebrity in art music
Alenka Bartulovi, Miha Kozorog
Sevdah celebrities in contemporary
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Challenging
narrations about sevdalinka

15:00-15:30

15:30-16:00
16:00-16:30
16:30-17:00

Ana Hofman
The false glitter of fame: Folk singers,
celebrity culture and gender in
a post-Yugoslav context
Coffee break
Simona Vidmar
Heroes we love: Socialist realism revised
Tatiana Bajuk Senar
Typology of celebrity economists

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Venue: ZRC SAZU Geography Museum Hall


(Gosposka ulica 16, Ljubljana)

Welcome coffee
Boidar Jezernik
Ivan Zajec (18691952)
10:30-11:00
Peter Simoni
Vladimir Rukavina: A cultural manager
and master of sponsorship
11:00-11:30
Marjana Strmnik
Commander Stane
11:30-12:00
Sara pelec
The image of Alexander I of Yugoslavia
in Slovenian newspapers
12:00-14:30
Lunch break*
14:30-15:00
Saa Babi
Petra Majdi: A Slovenian sports heroine
15:00-15:30
Botjan Videmek, Matja Pograjc
Roks depth
15:30-16:00
Debate and conclusion
9:30-10:00
10:00-10:30

* During the lunch break, a discussion on ethnographic writing


will be held at the fair of academic books Liber.ac. It will take place
in a nearby park, next to the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
(Akereva cesta 2, Ljubljana). The debate will be moderated by Dr
Boidar Jezernik and joined by Dr Ivan olovi (Biblioteka XX vek).

Abstracts

Ivan olovi
Biblioteka XX vek

Paths of glory: How people from the


margins grab the attention of the nation
A time of great political crises and wars can offer people
from the margins an opportunity to surface and attract public attention. Such examples of promotion were numerous in
Yugoslavia during the 1990s, when war raged in the former
country. Many of them still exist, as consequences of the conflict continue to destabilize the region. Marginalized individuals rose to fame and still do so in several ways. One way was
by participating in the war. Many criminals and dogs of war
took this path and became war heroes or, if nothing more,
at least known among the people. Another way open to ambitious individuals was politics, where they could serve political elites and their leaders, who were involved in the war.
Many without scruples used this path to claw their way out
of anonymity, assume political functions, and stand in the
lights of the regimes media. The media themselves presented
the third option by offering a convenient way for mediocre
but ambitious journalists to become the main distributors of
the nationalist and war propaganda of the 90s. A similar path
was the commitment to our thing in culture, which enabled
the ascent of a large number of marginalized artists and intellectuals. During the war it soon became evident that even the
world of sport, especially the world of sports fans or supporters, can be well-suited for the promotion of people from the
lowest social depths, even in times of war and crisis, and it is
this world that has changed the least since then.
Ivan olovi, born in 1938 in Belgrade, is an ethnologist and
a political anthropologist. He is the founder (1971), editor,
and publisher (since 1988) of the series Biblioteka XX vek.

His works include: Divlja knjievnost (1983), Bordel ratnika


(1993), Politika simbola (1997), Etno (2006), Balkan teror
kulture (2008), Za njima smo ili pevajui (2011), Rastanak
sa identitetom (2014). His books have been translated into
English, French, German, Italian, Macedonian, Polish, and
Greek. The honors he has received include the Herder Prize
(2000), the Medal of the Legion of Honor (2001), an honorary doctorate from the University of Warsaw (2010), and the
Konstantin Jireek Medal (2012) E: ivcol@eunet.rs.

Abstracts

Istvn Povedk

MTA-SZTE Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture

Romani celebrities in Hungarian mass media


It is a well-known fact in contemporary cultural research that
the identity, models of behavior, way of thinking, and worldview of the upcoming generations are being determined ever
more strongly by the various mass media, the information
they supply, and the personalities they feature. Celebrities
have functioned powerfully as points of orientation. They
have an increasing role in forming public opinion and in affecting identity (individual and social alike) in contemporary
society. The images of certain political actions, religions, or
ethnic groups in the wider society are greatly dependent on
the way they are represented in mass media. Thus, either
positive or negative stereotypes of the portrayed group can
evolve. Celebrities are more than just persons who are simply known for their well-knownness; they have deeper significance. Through their acts, opinion, and image, they can
function as orientation points for the society, similarly to
historical heroes.
On the basis of Hungarian research data, this paper aims to
analyze how Romani exemplary figures are represented in
mass media and how their representation correlates with the
stereotypical image of Romani in the wider society. What
sort of actions and attitudes might develop from the symbolic content of their image? How does their figure help evoke
the groups ethnic and national identities, and how does their
image help their integration into society?

Istvn Povedk is a research fellow at the MTA-SZTE Research Group for the Study of Religious Culture (Szeged,
Hungary). He studied History, Ethnology, and Religious
Studies at the University of Szeged, Hungary, and holds a
PhD from ELTE University, Budapest, for which he wrote
his dissertation titled Heroes and Celebrities. He is interested
in the contemporary cult of heroes and celebrities, vernacular religiosity, and the mingling of neo-nationalism, Christianity, and neopaganism. He published numerous articles
on these topics, including the books Heroes and Celebrities
in Central- and Eastern Europe and lhsk, hamis istenek?
Hs-s sztrkultusz a posztmodern korban (Pseudo-Heroes,
Fake Gods? The Cult of Heroes and Celebrities in Postmodernity). He is the head of the Ethnology of Religion Working
Group of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) and of the Network for the Research of Modern
Mythology (MoMiM). E: povedakistvan@gmail.com.

Abstracts

Dan Podjed

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Superstar Yugo: Making a celebrity out


of the worst car in the world
Q: How do you double the value of a Yugo? A: Fill the tank
with gasoline! (If it can still hold liquid.)
This is one out of the dozens of jokes that exist about Yugo,
a car made in Yugoslavia by the company Zastava. The vehicle used to be a popular mean of passenger transport in the
former socialist country. It was exported to other markets,
including the US, where it was introduced in the mid-1980s
as a solid and affordable car. Its overseas success was enabled
by a smart advertising campaign, initiated by the entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin, who managed to turn an unreliable
and unattractive vehicle into an instant celebrity and sales
hit. The dark times for the Yugo started in the late 1980s,
when automobile journals and other media began to use the
car as a source of ridicule and labelled it as the worst car
of the millennium, as attractive as the political system that
exported it. Due to bad press and new competitors entering
the market, the initial success of the Yugo as an export product gradually declined. Nevertheless, Zastava kept producing
the vehicle. Yugos kept being built long after Yugoslavia dissolved; it was not until 2008 that the last of almost 800,000
vehicles rolled off the assembly lines in Kragujevac.
Even though the Yugo is no longer being produced, it remains an international target of ridicule and the subject of
numerous jokes. It has also become a source of inspiration
and pride for many of its owners who try to improve the
vehicle and redesign its appearance. Such shiny celebrity
Yugos can be seen on the streets, at car shows, and even at

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racing competitions. This paper puts a special focus on one


such car, which was tuned up by Slovenian enthusiasts and
entered into the San Marino international racing event Rally
Legends. The Yugo, which managed to overtake the brutal
Lancias during the race, was later put in the media spotlight
and its engineers and mechanics were celebrated as national
heroes.
Dan Podjed is a research fellow at the Research Centre of the
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), an
assistant professor for Cultural and Social Anthropology at
the University of Ljubljana, and a researcher at the telematics solution provider CVS Mobile. Dr Podjed is the principal investigator of the applied research project DriveGreen:
Development of an Eco-driving Application for a Transition
to a Low-carbon Society (20142017). He chairs the Applied
Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), which initiated the annual international symposium Why the world needs anthropologists
(Amsterdam 2013, Padua 2014, Ljubljana 2015). In 2011 his
book on birdwatching, Observing the Observers, was declared
as an exceptional scientific achievement by the Slovenian Research Agency. His current research interests include driving
habits, human-technology interaction, and environmental
protection. E: dan.podjed@zrc-sazu.si.

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Abstracts

Tomislav Pletenac

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

When a waiter became a celebrity:


War as a reality show
One of the main features of celebrity (especially after the
1980s) has been the blurring of the difference between private
and public. Private life has become a new source and, after
the year 2000, perhaps the only source for producing celebrity status (todays celebrities are well known for being wellknown). In the case of the singer Marko Perkovi Thompson,
the differences were blurred in unexpected way. His private
life is constructed around the topics and values that he sings
about, which helps him produce something I like to call the
reality effect. After the war, as time passed, the circumstances
in society did not meet the expectations that people had during the war. The war itself became just a memory occasionally
mentioned in the media. Veterans and the people whose lives
were radically changed during the war get the feeling that the
war never happened or that its true values were betrayed (as
many of them claim). However, to use Baudrillard claim, it
never happened it has always been a media product; what
was real during the war has become impossible to represent
without it resulting in another betrayal. What Thompson
does is a reenactment of the war context. He offers to his
fans a place for an active imagination that is suggestive of the
war. Thompson produced enemies (Antichrists and masons/
Communists and such/ Spreading satanist phrases/ To defeat
us/ Oh, my people!) in order to keep the war context active.
In this way, he brings back the reality of the war and, through
his private appearance, represents himself as an eternal warrior. As war helped him achieve his popularity (he became
a star thanks to a war song), he uses such methods to also
maintain his popularity and media presence.

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Tomislav Pletenac is an associated professor at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty
of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. His interests
lie in postcolonial theory, psychoanalytic theory, popular
culture, and genocide studies. Specific topics of his research
include the history of ethnology in Southeastern Europe, nationalism, vampires in popular culture, and the Srebrenica
genocide. He teaches Theories in Cultural Anthropology,
Ethnography in Popular Culture, Postcolonialism and Gender, and the Cultures of Postsocialism. E: tpletena@ffzg.hr.

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Abstracts

Svanibor Pettan

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

The notion of celebrity in art music


The notion of celebrity in common perception is nowadays,
for the most part, associated with the realm of popular culture, of which popular music is an essentially important segment. Art music, which refers to the music for the proportionally small elites in various spatial and temporal contexts,
has its own heroes in compositional, performance, or joint
domains. This presentation takes a close look at celebrities
in the sociocultural frameworks of European and Indian art
music, pointing to notions such as inborn talent, connections with national and broader regional and cultural roots,
invention, virtuosity, and personal charisma. A comparative
analysis points not only to the specifics and differences of
being a celebrity within each of these two major art music
traditions subject to change in time but also to the consequences of their encounters. There is an unquestionable potential of intercultural and historical approaches to art music
in interpreting and understanding the meaning of celebrity
here and now.
Svanibor Pettan is a full professor and the chair of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.
After earning his academic degrees in Croatia, Slovenia, and
the USA respectively, he developed an intense array of international activities (research, publication, lecturing, editorial
work, supervision). He currently serves as the president of
the Cultural and Ethnomusicological Society Folk Slovenia
and as the secretary general of the International Council for
Traditional Music. His principal research interests include:
music, politics, and war; multiculturalism; music and minorities; anthropology of music; and applied ethnomusicology.
E: svanibor.pettan@guest.arnes.si.

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Abstracts
Alenka Bartulovi, Miha Kozorog
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Sevdah celebrities in contemporary BosniaHerzegovina: Challenging narrations about


sevdalinka
During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, sevdalinka appeared
as an important and ideologically manipulated musical genre.
It has been used in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as in refugee
and diasporic communities to represent various ideological
positions and visions of identity and future. In a Bosnian context it often became used in nationalistic discourses, where
sevdalinka was celebrated as part of the national, mainly Bosniak heritage. After the war, new appropriations of this traditional music-poetic form emerged in the post-war BosniaHerzegovina. Young performers, e.g. Damir Imamovi, Amira
Medunjanin, and Boo Vreo simultaneously reaffirmed this
musical genre and imposed it with new meanings. Thus, they
are well known for their dedication to the traditional music
form, while on the other hand, they are also known for creatively engaging with it and for modifying how it is performed.
Yet, by gaining a respected status of celebrities in an international world music milieu, they have also been able to deconstruct the dominant narratives about sevdalinka and accompanying conservative ideologies.
Alenka Bartulovi published the monograph Were not One
of You!: Antinationalism in Post-war Sarajevo in 2013. She currently works as a researcher and substitute lecturer in the study
programme Ethnology of the Balkans. Her research interests
include (anti)nationalism, memory, the anthropology of hope,
agricultural anthropology, gender, and generational relations.
E: alenka.bartulovic@ff.uni-lj.si.

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Miha Kozorog published his second monograph, Festival


Places: Concepts, Policies and Hope on the Periphery, in 2013.
His research interests include tourism, place-making, and
popular culture. E: miha.kozorog@ff.uni-lj.si.

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Abstracts
Ana Hofman

Research Centre of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The false glitter of fame: Folk singers,


celebrity culture, and gender in
a post-Yugoslav context
The paper discusses celebrity culture and transformations
in the construction of the figure of a star, analyzing female
performers of newly-composed folk music (NCFM). In Yugoslavia, as controversial public personas, these performers
symbolized both socialist women and capitalist entertainers, working people and stars. Because they were associated
with the lowbrow genre of NCFM, they were often ascribed
immorality, shamelessness, devaluation, and disrespect
not in accordance with the moral economy associated with
the socialist femininity. Therefore, the self-performances,
agency, representations, and choices of NFCM singers were
constantly under public surveillance. They became subjects
that had to publicly legitimize themselves as valuable and
respectful individuals. Drawing on recent writings about celebrity culture and on the concept celebrity capital, the paper
focuses particularly on the discourses on the visual appearance, the politics of body and dressing. The paper presents
NCFM stars as an important vehicle through which Yugoslav
and post-Yugoslav social realities, as well as imaginations
and fantasies, were channeled. They are examined as the embodiment of the social play, which can lead to more nuanced
thinking about the politics of belonging and social stratifications in socialist Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav societies.
Ana Hofman is a research fellow at the Institute for Culture
and Memory Studies of the Slovenian Academy of Science
and Arts in Ljubljana, and a lecturer at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Nova Gorica. Her research specializes
in music and sound in socialism and postsocialism, gender,

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memory politics, applied ethnomusicology, and neoliberalism all in the context of the former Yugoslavia. She has
published a number of articles and book chapters related to
music and politics in socialist Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav
societies. In 2011 she published the book Staging Socialist
Femininity: Gender Politics and Folklore Performances in Serbia. In 2015 she published a book about the afterlife of partisan songs in Slovenia, titled Music, Politics, Affect: Afterlife of
Partisan Songs in Slovenia. E: ahofman@zrc-sazu.si.

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Abstracts

Simona Vidmar
Maribor Art Gallery

Heroes we love: Socialist realism revised


The exhibition Heroes We Love, presented at the Maribor Art
Gallery, enters a controversial field of socialist heroic art in
order to identify and acknowledge those protagonists who
brought the monumental art of the preset political landscape
to its peak. It is interested in the iconography of socialist realism in all its mighty, heroic realizations; in its sentiments,
repartee, and feeling of drama, its large-scale commissions
and more. It wishes to understand how far revolutionary
romanticism went, from what and where it drew, and how
it imploded into itself. Monuments as constructions of time
and space simplify and fabricate a particular history. Walter Benjamin wrote that there has never been a document of
culture, which is not simultaneously one of barbarism. Similarly, the monuments of socialist realism too bear witness to
recent culture and barbarism. It is time to recognize them!
Five selected examples of socialist realism drawn from the region of former Yugoslavia formed the initial central concept
of the exhibition: the Soviet-inspired Monument to the Red
Army Fighters by Croatian sculptor Antun Augustini, the
heroic mural The Fight of Yugoslav Nations for Freedom and
Renewal of the Country by painter Slavko Pengov, the monumental figural character of the Monument to Resistance and
Torment by sculptor Lojze Dolinar, the double relief of the
Tomb of the Liberators of Belgrade by Serbian sculptor Rade
Stankovi, and the unrealized Monument to Marx and Engels by Croatian sculptor Vojin Baki. These five examples
cover all of the major narratives of socialist art: resistance,
suffering, victory, builders, and the cult of personality; and
follow the formal development of the visual language of so-

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cialist realism: from the strict imitation of Soviet examples to


simplifications and investigations into plasticity.
Simona Vidmar gained a MA in Art History in Graz, Austria, and a MA in Arts Management in London, UK. After
curating numerous exhibitions of Slovene and international
visual art, she is now head of the Department for Contemporary Art at Umetnostna galerija Maribor/Maribor Art Gallery in Slovenia. Her interest lies mainly in the field of installation and new media art, design, and architecture. Currently
she is leading an international, EU-funded project Heroes We
Love, which deals with socialist-era heritage in Eastern Europe with an aim to connect the past to the future. She has
also been appointed commissioner of the Pavilion of the Republic of Slovenia at the 56th Venice Biennial International
Art Exhibition. E: simona.vidmar@ugm.si.

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Abstracts

Tatiana Bajuk Senar

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Typology of celebrity economists


The value accorded to the economic sphere is self-evident
and often unquestioned, with economic interests often being
presumed to inform the activities of actors at all levels, from
those of nation-states to those of individuals. Economics as
a valued form of knowledge is purported to be based on the
examination, study, and application of universal economic
laws of behavior all of which grants economists, the practitioners of this knowledge, a special social status.
This presentation focuses on a group of economists who, as
individuals, stand apart from other economists because they
are exceedingly well-known: celebrity economists. Although
the term celebrity economist is relatively recent, the category of social actor is not; in addition, celebrity economists
differ across cultures and societies. The author elaborates a
typology of celebrity economists, focusing on the nature of
their distinction, the roots of their celebrity, their spheres of
operation, and the forms of authority that they exercise as a
result of their celebrity, often outside their realm of expertise.
Tatiana Bajuk Senar, a cultural anthropologist, is a researcher at the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and
Arts. Her initial research focused on the role of economists
in Slovenias transition process. Her other research interests
include the anthropology of tourism and sustainable development, with a focus on heritage and, more recently, on sustainable mobility. She has conducted research on European
integration and the construction of a transnational, Europe-

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an identity, and recently authored a book titled European Integration as Cultural Practice: The First Generation of Slovene
Eurocrats. E: tatiana.bajuk@zrc-sazu.si.

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Abstracts

Boidar Jezernik

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Ivan Zajec (18691952)


Ivan Zajec studied at an academy in Vienna, where he was
one of the best students. He was awarded the Fgers medal
(1894) for his sculpture The Frightened Satyre. In 1896 he
made a sculpture of Adam and Eve in a classical style, and
a sculpture in marble of a female binding her sandals, which
he dedicated to Michelangelo Buonarroti. After finishing his
studies, he worked in the atelier of the Viennese sculptor
Theodore Friedl, and in Munich, where he studied the grandiose masterpieces of Renaissance sculpture in its museums
and glyptotheques. In 1899 he travelled to Italy and opened
his own atelier in Vienna, where he made important statues
with allegorical, mythological, and genre content. During his
stay in Paris (19061909) he paid a visit to London (1906)
and the United States (1907). In 1909 he returned to Ljubljana, then moved from Ljubljana to Trieste (in 1912) and to
Rome (in 1913), where he drew for archaeologists and made
copies in the Vatican museums. During the Great War he
was interned in Sardinia (19151919). After the War he returned to Ljubljana and continued as a sculptor and teacher
until 1940. His best-known work is the monument of France
Preeren in Ljubljana. When it was solemnly inaugurated,
in 1905, the monument was the subject of fierce criticism,
given most loudly by Ivan Cankar, who claimed that Zajec
(meaning rabbit) was the most humble Slovenian sculptor
and that cowardice (or zajevstvo) would survive for long
time after the sculptor was gone. Zajec also took part in the
1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, in the Art Competition. At
almost 55 years of age, he was the oldest Olympian to represent Yugoslavia. In 1950 he received the Preeren Award for
his lifetime achievements.

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Boidar Jezernik is a full professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana. He teaches Ethnology of
the Balkans and has conducted extensive field work in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. He was the head of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty
of Arts, University of Ljubljana, from 1988 to 1992 and from
1998 to 2003, and the dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, from 2003 to 2007. He has been leading the
program research group Slovenian Identities in European and
Global Context since 2004, and heads the research project Heroes and Celebrities in Slovenia and Central Europe. bozidar.
jezernik@ff.uni-lj.si.

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Abstracts

Peter Simoni

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Vladimir Rukavina: A cultural manager


and master of sponsorship
In social sciences and humanities, it is only reasonable to
characterize individuals by their relation to their respective
or distant social environments. Vladimir Rukavina is one of
the most important and steadfast figures of the post-socialist
transition in Maribor. The Festival Lent, which he and his
team have been organizing annually for more than twenty
years now, is the biggest open air festival in Slovenia and one
of the biggest in Europe. On the local level, the festival symbolizes a shift from an industrial society to an informational
or service society. Rukavina, as a CEO, is one of the most
important representatives of the new Slovenian managerial
paradigm and of its integration with the cultural system.
The author presents the public life and work of Rukavina
over a longer period of time, with an emphasis on the ambivalent attitudes that he provoked in the small Central European town. No matter what people may think of him, very
few people in Maribor haven't heard of Rukavina, the master of the great festivity in the times of a diminishing urban
economy and community.
Peter Simoni is an assistant lecturer at the Department of
Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. His fields of expertise include political,
economic, and ecological anthropology, and applied anthropology with cultural management. He has written extensively on protected areas, political rituals, human economies,
cultural management, and contemporary political processes.
E: peter.simonic@ff.uni-lj.si.

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Abstracts

Marjana Strmnik

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Commander Stane
The author aims to present how the image of the people's
hero of Yugoslavia, Franc Rozman Stane, evolved since his
death in 1943. Commander Stane, as he was known among
his fellow partisans, was one of the most prominent figures
of the Second World War in Slovenian territory. He was presented as such for decades, whereas nowadays his legacy is
questioned by some historians and political elites. How did
the representations of the memory of his persona develop
and change during these years? What was the influence of
certain ideologies of the political elites? How was he used as
a tool of legitimacy of those elites? How was his image used
in the past and is still used today in the process of creating
memory?
Marjana Strmnik holds a BA degree in Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. Since 2013/14 she has been a postgraduate student at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts,
researching the Order of People's hero of Yugoslavia. She is
employed as a research assistant at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the same Faculty. Her
research interests include: anthropology of war, anthropology of body, the Balkans, socialism, postsocialism, and culture
of memory. E: marjana.strmcnik@ff.uni-lj.si.

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Abstracts

Sara pelec

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

The image of Alexander I of Yugoslavia in


Slovenian newspapers
The paper presents the image of Alexander I of Yugoslavia
that was conveyed by Slovenian newspapers during the period of his rule, and the ways in which his image changed
over the years, especially after 1929, which was the year when
he introduced a personal dictatorship. The paper focuses on
the predominant discourse in reports on the turning points
of the kingdom and on events that were of great public and
national importance, such as the foundation of the kingdom,
elections, national holidays, Alexanders marriage, the birth
of his children, his relation to Slovenian people, the assassination of Stjepan Radi, the beginning of his dictatorship
and, at the very end, his assassination. On these occasions,
the importance of Alexander's figure had to be retold, explained, and justified, and we can therefore conclude that the
Slovenian press enabled or at least helped him to become a
heroic figure and a star.
Sara pelec holds a BA degree in Russian Language and Literature and in Comparative Slavic Linguistics. Since 2012 she
has been a postgraduate student, researching the life and rule
of Alexander I of Yugoslavia. She is employed as a research
assistant at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. E: sara.
spelec@ff.uni-lj.si

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Abstracts

Saa Babi

Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Petra Majdi: A Slovenian sports heroine


Petra Majdi is the most famous Slovenian cross-country
skier. She was the third to cross the finish line in a classic
sprint race at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, despite
having sustained severe injuries. Even before this event, she
was considered to be a remarkable athlete. This race, however, raised her to the level of a heroine with super abilities.
The media wrote about her and her sports story, and helped
her become one of the most famous personalities in Slovenia. Reporters emphasized her positive characteristics and
put her on a pedestal alongside the biggest personalities in
history, which was evident from newspaper headlines. This
paper analyzes the newspaper articles published about Petra
Majdi at the time of the 2010 Olympics, and shows how the
media can build the personality of a hero on the basis of a
single event through a specific discourse.
Sasa Babi is a folklorist at the Institute of Slovenian Ethnology, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Her research interests include oral folklore,
especially short folklore forms (greetings, curses, proverbs,
riddles, charms, and prayers), as well as discursive analysis
of different contemporary genres from everyday life (written
texts in different contexts). E: sasa.babic@zrc-sazu.si.

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33

Abstracts

Botjan Videmek, Matja Pograjc


Mladinsko Theatre

Rok's Depth
Rok Petrovi is one of a very few Slovenian mythological heroes and the only one of them that was and is, here and now
real. King Matja is asleep and Kekec is an invention of a
writers imagination. There is nobody else to turn to, which
is why Roks story, albeit never really told or explored until
now, was such a powerful identification point for at least two
generations of Slovenians who spent the 1980s, which were
both extreme and momentous in terms of skiing, politics,
and social issues, looking for something to hold on to among
the slippery and sharp rocks forming the overhang of history.
With five victories and the maximum number of points
scored during the cult 1985/86 ski season, Rok, a ski champion, was the first Slovene or, rather, Yugoslav to become
the overall slalom winner and receive the Small Crystal
Globe. In the context of skiing, however, Rok, who was only
nineteen at the time, was more than a serial winner. From
one race to the next, from one training session to the next,
and from one life experience to the next, like a slightly mad
scientist, he kept puzzling out a new skiing technique, playing around with equipment, and experimenting with different approaches to training like no one before.
The show called Roks Depth (Rokova modrina), which is
being developed at the Mladinsko Theatre, is presented by
the scriptwriter Botjan Videmek and the director Matja
Pograjc.

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Botjan Videmek, the scriptwriter of Roks Depth, works as


a veteran front-line reporter for Delo and as a contributor for
numerous magazines. He is the author of three books and an
avid athlete. E: bostjan.videmsek@gmail.com.
Matja Pograjc, the director of Roks Depth, danced in a 1988
Red Pilot performance, Ballet Observatory Zenith. He passed
the entrance exams at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film
and Television in Ljubljana the following year and started the
group Betontanc in 1990. His shows are featured regularly
at festivals in Slovenia and abroad, and his work in theater
has taken him to two hundred and fifty cities in forty-three
countries on five continents, where he has also held several
acting/movement workshops. He has been working for the
Mladinsko Theatre since 1993. E: che_pograjc@yahoo.com.

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