During 1999, while we prepared this exhibition, we tried to observe, from bystanders' point of view, this impressive mass phenomenon. We did not try to evaluate products, authors or certain initiatives. Not only that we did not debate about taste/distaste, trash/nottrash, good/bad manufacturing, we also did not bring up the question about authenticity of certain products that represent elements of traditional culture. Instead, we tried to approach this phenomenon in a wider context of time and meaning, pointing out its historical, cultural and political influences.
Three curators, which were working on this exhibition, approached the project from different points of view. They used different methodologies; finding roots in the traditions of Istrian villages (Robert Bilić), following the continuity of this phenomenon and its production and usage (Nevena Škrbić), and linking accentuated motifs (goat, boškarin, kažun, sopele) with symbolism of social and political elite, newfound heritage (Sandi Blagonić).
Stories about Istrian souvenir
Lidija Nikočević: Tools are our symbols
Robert Bilić: Time of slow changes
Nevena Škrbić: Arisal and transformation of souvenirs in Istria
Sandi Blagonić: Istrian animals and other things