We believe that the time has come for a Slovenian MASN-team to prepare a MASN conference. Below is the idea, as far as it has been developed up ’till now.
1.Title: “Boundaries, Borders and Frontiers.”
Why? It’s a very hot issue on different levels and in different places. For one, EU is ceating a so called “Europe Without Borders.” (Or is it?) There are boundaries challenged and contested – sometimes creatively, at other times violently. Then there’s Kosovo. And so on and so on. We believe that anthropology has, can, and must contribute meaningfully to such issues. It is a wide subject, and we are sure that it will be approached from a number of different angles and will be a source of inspiration for all participants.
Secondly, the venue we have chosen for the conference is a village called Sela pri Osilnici, and is located a few meters from the Croatian – Slovenian border (from recently Schengen border!). While there were enthusiastic celebrations on Slovenian borders with Italy and Austria, which have “fallen”, bridges were closed or even pull down on our southern border, to make it more Schengen-like.
2. Timing: 19 – 24 August 2008
This has a reason, as well. There will be the biggest European anthropological event held in Ljubljana from 26 – 30 August 2008 in Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) – EASA 2008, under the title “Experiencing Diversity and Mutuality“. MASN participants will have a chance to get involved. We will be provided with time to present ourselves and our MASN work (exactly what we will present, who, and how is still to be discussed within the network – some already contributed their ideas on MASN Italy, for others we will provide on-line discussion space). We will also have the chance to visit EASA lectures by the anthropology “big guys”! We believe it’s a great opportunity for MASN “community”. For all of you who will be interested in doing all this, it will be a “wild”-creative-inspiring-constructive 10 summer days in Slovenia!
Our plan is to publish your papers, as well. In the end, it all depends on getting the funds. Your Slovenian MASN team is working on that!
We will organize a short field research (2 days) from both sides of the border. Our plan is to divide all participants into small groups, each of which will have one Slovenian (or Croatian, hopefully) MASNer to help with the language, if needed. The idea is that each group would focus on the question of border and boundary from a different angle (of their choice) – for instance, one group could try to see the border through the eye of a photo camera, or another group could make a short film, or the third could just do some creative short interviews etc. We discussed in Italy this week, that if the overall assembled material would be creative and inspiring, we could later on develop an extra project, to somehow present our findings in all the different formats (either through publication, or through a a special event). Besides that, we could also use some of the material to present MASN and its actions on EASA.