Experiences in Slovenia
Museums and presentation of education, wars and the socialist period as problematic memories - experiences in Slovenia
The paper presents dilemmas in ten different museums (national, regional, specialized museums) in Slovenia regarding the exhibition presentation of the issue of education, World War I and World War II and the socialist period. The origins of the oldest Slovenian museums belong to the time of the Habsburg Monarchy, while the activities of modern museums were marked by the Yugoslav state and especially after 1945 the socialist political system. On the other hand, - due to proximity and greater openness of borders – in addition to the Slavic connections in museums in Slovenia also professional encouragements in contacts with neighbors (Italy, Austria), as well as the wider international experience started to enforce.
We wonder how the museums exhibitions on the history of education presented emphasized and hidden social issues at different times, which were the dominant topics and what remained behind? Does the changing evaluation of education affect the exhibition on the history of education? How did the initially overlooked topics on World War I over the years became important in museums, at least as much as the after 1945 notable and political supported topic of World War II? The paper also shows how the content of ideological exhibitions and topics spread through critical approach and pluralism of different presentations.
Are the causes of the slow integration into exhibition topics in the relative insignificance of certain subjects and the overlooked personalities only in the changing cultural or political orientation? What are museums and curators avoiding, what are they unwilling or unable to speak about at exhibitions? How do museums face multiple traumatic experiences and the problematic time? In the context of a greater social responsibility a number of museums are becoming more interested in the presentation of marginal and overlooked topics, but this is a process. We watch the analysis of museum exhibitions that highlight the social changes after 1990 through the writing of museum journals and other press, exhibition catalogs and collected statements of museum colleagues on these topics. And the question for the future: What unpleasant or overlooked topics should museums face in the future?
Branko Šuštar is historian (PhD at University in Ljubljana, archivist and museologist at Slovenian School Museum, the national museum of education; 1998-2006 Director than museum councillor); more years editor of journal School Chronicle/Šolska kronika. He is working on the history of education, museology and archives science with exhibitions, researches and at the national and international conferences. He was member of board ICOM Slovenia (2013-2016) and Historical Association of Slovenia, since 2014 served as President organised activities oriented to the history of education and international collaboration.
branko.sustar [at] guest.arnes.si / www.ssolski-muzej.si/slo/symposium2013.php / http://www.ssolski-muzej.si/slo/news.php?item=36