Skiing memories in the Slovenian national mnemonic scheme: An anthropological perspective


  • Gregor Starc University of Ljubljana


sport, skiing, collective memory, Slovenia


The socio-political transformations of Slovenia in the 1980s and 1990s were not founded on the verifiable facts but mostly on the popular cultural myths, beliefs and practices that have been established by a new regime of truth about the Slovenian nation. The old hegemonic discourse of Yugoslav brotherhood and unity started to loose its persuasiveness and people started to raise new borders between the Yugoslav nations by referring to the newly invented old traditions and the freshly discovered forgotten memories, and by selective forgetting of events that could challenge the new order of truth. Slovenian skiers and their sporting results played especially visible role in this remembering process. Because of its omnipresence in people’s everyday life skiing became an integral part of this new national mnemonic scheme and served as a material proof of Slovenian national distinctiveness. This paper focuses on a genealogy of collective memory of skiing in Slovenia until 1991 that was legitimised by science, politics and the media; they jointly transformed skiers and skiing into sites of national memory that were disseminated as a part of everyday popular entertainment.