Dr. Ksenija Šabec – Smuggling in the 20th century through the life stories of Idrija residents

The study will focus on the perceptions of smuggling in different historical, socio-political, economic and cultural contexts in the 20th century through personal narrations and experiences of Idrija residents. The emphasis will be on individual memories – and not collective as they are commonly registered in official historiography and local traditions, on subjective experiences of everyday life – and not experiences of significant social and political figures, and on people’s life stories from particular, i.e. fixed territory which had always been at least to a certain extent a borderland due to various historical, social, political, economic and cultural contexts. Therefore specific human practices occured on such places and smuggling was one of them. The purpose of this study will be detecting the continuity of smuggling (similarities and differences: motives, forms, strategies, destinations, gender dichotomy of actors involved etc.) from the perspective of one person (if possible) within three different historical periods and contexts: 1. between the two World Wars, when Idrija within the Primorska region was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy according to the Treaty of Rapallo, 2. during the second World War, and 3. in the period of the socialist Yugoslavia. Methodologically the study will be based on the qualitative research approach and the narrative method (or method of oral history) in particular. The latter is rather frequently represented in cultural studies, anthropology, ethnology, and sociology. With the use of narrative method we will try to represent selected narrators’ identities (between 6 and 8) on the one hand, and on the basis of acquired autobiographical narrations we will be able to understand the phenomenon of smuggling on the other hand.

eulogo  “With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union”


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