Exhibition presenting village balls as social phenomenon
Ljubljana, 16 October - An exhibition will open at the Museum of Contemporary History Tuesday evening presenting the social phenomenon of veselicas, traditional outdoor village balls hosted by firefighters' associations in rural communities in the summer months.
The collection of photos captured by Delo photojournalist Voranc Vogel is entitled Pivo. Pujs. Golica. Spet bo veselica! (Beer. Pork. Golica. It's Time for Veselica!).
According to the museum, most people have an opinion on veselica. It is often regarded as provincial entertainment, but since more than 700 such parties are organised around the country between early May and late September, it seems to be one of the most popular cultural events in the country.
Speaking for Delo, Vogel said he was interested in cultural phenomena that are part of our every-day lives and may even seem banal at first.
When he started researching veselicas, he discovered that despite being a mass phenomenon, it has not been seriously analysed from the anthropological point of view since 1982, which piqued his interest.
He decided to focus on the parties held on the outskirts of Ljubljana, "where the urban and rural melt in an interesting way."
"The inhabitants of the former villages around Ljubljana, which have now become dormitory suburbs, mostly don't know each other very well, because they are mostly newcomers in the area, so veselica is an opportunity for them to meet their neighbours once a year," Vogel told Delo.
He deems veselica "a kind of social corrective, because volunteer associations finance themselves from the contributions collected there."
It is also a "socially legitimate ritual of excess, which at least for a while beats the imperatives of a healthy lifestyle, exercise and of course productivity."
The exhibition will be open until 28 November.