Accepted Paper:

The aesthetics of skiing in the birth of a nation: the case of Slovenia  

Author:

Gregor Starc (University of Ljubljana)

Paper short abstract:

The proposed paper will present the strategies and cultural outcomes of media campaigns involving skiing aesthetics in Slovenia in the 1980s when the idea of Yugoslav brotherhood and unity lost its appeal to the people in Slovenia and started to be replaced by the idea of independent Slovenian state.

Paper long abstract:

The ideas of national sports are common phenomena among the European as well as other nations. In the case of Slovenia, the aesthetics of skiing became one of the key identification points of the Slovenian people in the times when the idea of independent existence outside Yugoslavia started to be disseminated across the masses. Nationalist skiing aesthetics grew in importance during the 1980s when skiing was turned into one of the most characteristic features of Slovenianness and started to be perceived as naturally inherent to all Slovenians. The imagery of the snowy Alpine world was intertwined with the imagery of skiing, cow bells, courageous mountaineers, and old Slovenian traditions; they all became signifiers of the chain of equivalence of Slovenianness, and the prevalent one in the homogenisation of Slovenian identification. The main dissemination channel for this dissemination was television, supported by press, which together formed an effective national-building tool that made masses of people believe that skiing is an important and impassable difference between Slovenians and other Yugoslavs. The proposed paper will present the strategies and cultural outcomes of media campaigns involving skiing aesthetics in the 1980s Slovenia that introduced new nationalist knowledge about Slovenianness based on old myths.

Panel W007
Staging sport and celebration: the power of play