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“What lies behind this project is my particular, unique attachment to Slovenia,” writes Klavdij Sluban, a French photographer of Slovenian origin and curator of If Slovenia Were“It is an exceptional project in as much as it was born out of the desire to share a stretch of a photographic journey with a group of young Slovenian photographers, quite apart from any institutional, educational or other structures.”

Stemming from a desire to keep in touch with the country of his roots, Sluban began the project with an open call, selecting 18 young Slovenian photographers to take part. Each responded freely to the theme, and have been working on their projects for the past three years, developing them in meetings with Sluban on his occasional visits to the country. The resulting projects include series on expatriates who have emigrated elsewhere, photographers’ personal interpretations of Slovenian family life, and introspective series dealing with the artists’ private experiences.

Nest © Klemen Skubic

The projects were initially exhibited at Voies Off in Arles this summer, and are on show now until 21 April 2019 at Rajhenburg Castle in Brestanica, Slovenia. The exhibition is also accompanied by a collection of 19 notebooks presented in single a hardboard box – one for each artist and one for the curator’s introductory essay. If Slovenia Were makes a pluralistic approach possible. It was up to each photographer to confront the potential ambiguity in the title and to adapt this conditional expression to multiple interpretations,” writes Sluban in his introductory essay. 

The photographers involved are Jošt Dolinšek, Jošt Franko, Katja Goljat, Ciril Jazbec, Irena Jurca, Jurij Korenjak, Primož Korošec, Tereza Kozinc, Meta Krese, Robert Marin, Dejan Mijovic, Matej Povše, Boštjan Pucelj, Matjaž Rušt, Klemen Skubic, Nina Sotelšek, Ana Zibelnik, and Manja Zore. The exhibition will be on on show until 21 April 2019 at Rajhenburg Castle in Brestanica, Slovenia 

Andrea Zagar, student of philosophy and descendants of Slovenian parents, during a break from work in the kitchen at the 57th anniversary of the Slovenian House of St. Martin in Buenos Aires. Argentina, 2017, From The New World © Matjaz Rust
Home © Katja Goljat
Stardust © Nina Sotelsek
Barbed Landscape © Bostjan Pucelj
The Fifth Season © Dejan Mijovic
Lost in Globalization © Matej Povse
I Still Believe in Santa Clause © Robert Marin
Ida in 2008, around the time when the disease started to show its first signs. Menges, Slovenia, 2008. © Jost Franko
The Skin We’re In © Manja Zore
If Slovenia Were
If Slovenia Were
Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.