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What does Slovenia invigorate?
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Studio Poper is both, co-author of the concept and the author of the website of the social campaign Kurenti, where we engaged in reflection upon a government’s measure which provoked a lot of different public opinions along with discomfort, namely the departure of four Slovene solders to Iraq. Since a large part of the public viewed this departure as Slovenia's participation in the conquering war, which is contrary to the fundamental premises the Slovene country was founded on in 1991, we were interested in the viewpoint of this government decision in the light of Slovenia's image at home and abroad: what kind of image do Slovenia's citizens want, what kind of image do they have and what kind of image would they want to build? The most indicative are probably tourist campaigns, which are likewise supported by the Slovene government. In these actions, i.e. in the then official tag line “Slovenia invigorates”, Slovenia was seen as a peaceful, neutral, ecologically aware country with pleasant people and humane politics. We perused these very elements and put them in a new context; what do the tag lines, logotypes and promotion materials mean in light of Slovene participation in the Iraq war? What does the treasury of our ethnological and cultural legacy mean in the context of the spectacle-like portrayal of war as an exciting action war movie?

Thus, a collage of seemingly incompatible elements was created: those of the old world (four “kurents” – pagan masks that chase away winter, bring new life and are therefore the heralds of good), the recent (destructive weapons of contemporary wars) and current (sending our soldiers in Iraq in the very time when other countries are moving out), which should encourage the public to think about our self-understanding, self-definition as well as our role and image in the world.

Social communication – a communication approach, used in these types of campaigns – establishes dialogue or conditions for dialogue, while its purpose is a more democratic distribution of power in society. Therefore, it opens a space for public debate, reasoned exchange of opinions and consequently, reflection on current social reality. The >What does Slovenia invigorate?< campaign does not offer a uniform view of the world nor final answers but asks questions and encourages individual reflection. This way we create the possibility of re-interpretation of self-evident social reality and real interaction, which are the basic characteristics of any democratic society. The >What does Slovenia invigorate?< campaign promotes questions by consciously confronting different value systems on a semiotic level; it does not give answers but re-questions current facts, which are of concern to all Slovenes, originating in images and slogans that are a part of the Slovene self-image. The posters in larger Slovene cities were completed and upgraded by the website, which serves as a platform for interpreting the symbols used on the poster, while exceeding the communication capabilities of the printed/poster medium. Interaction is a communication practice established on an equal-rights basis of everyone involved in the communication process. Isn’t that the very foundation of democracy? The www.pozivlja.si website, with its forum and chat-room, offers a place for an exchange of arguments and dialogue between citizens... It also exceeds the limitations of virtual space by offering printable communication tools anyone use to express their support of the campaign, the intention of which is to advance debate in public communication space.

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