The display is conceived as a visual intertwining of the stories of Slovenian collectors and of Slovenian Africans, which provide insight into the background and nature of the ties between Africa and Slovenia, whose origin dates back to the times of the former Yugoslavia.
A key element is the Non-Aligned Movement, formed during the Cold War to connect neutral and former colonised countries. In practice this meant exchange of knowledge, economic cooperation, cooperation in culture etc.
Yugoslavia was one of the founders of the movement and many Slovenian construction and trade companies, as well as politicians, diplomats, economists, journalists and culture workers found employment in other member countries, including countries in Africa.
Some of them created collections of African items, which are kept by Ethnographic Museum and will be on display during the exhibition.
Meanwhile, a number of young people from former colonised countries got scholarships for studies in Slovenia. Some of them stayed here, created families and careers. Their stories and special items will also be presented.
One example is Peter Bossman, who came to Slovenia from Ghana to study medicine. He became a successful doctor and is now serving his second term as the mayor of the Slovenian coastal town of Piran.
Another is Max Zimani from Zimbabwe, who studied computer science and established Skuhna – World Cuisine Slovenian Style, a social enterprise employing immigrants from Africa, Asia and South America.
The Ethnographic Museum organised the exhibition as part of the project SWICH – Sharing a World of Inclusion, Creativity and Heritage, which it said puts ethnographic and world culture museums at the centre of debates about citizenship and belonging in contemporary Europe.