SEM Director Tanja Roženbergar

more than a year ago

Tanja Roženbergar, PhD, is the director of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, and has been professionally involved in cultural heritage for almost 30 years, working in various related fields. She's also a member of several professional associations, including the UNESCO National Commission, treasurer of COMCOL–ICOM committee, and was ICOM Slovenia chair from 2010 to 2017.

What exactly is an ethnographic museum?
In the last two decades Ethnographic museums in Europe have been in a period of transformation with the new missions in society. For the Slovene ethnographic Museum we literally say that it is museum about people and for people.

That's a very diverse field! How do you actually prepare specific exhibitions?
We prepare the exhibition plan upon different criteria: presentation of material from our collections and confronting them with issues from contemporary society, development of specific museum objects, and analysing phenomena that are global and part of everyday life. But exhibitions are just one aspect of our work, and programmes for different target groups are also of great importance – guided tours, workshops, lectures, presentations.

What upcoming exhibitions are you most excited about?
This year we are more focused on topics from Slovene ethnical frame in the European context, to follow the official European Year of Cultural Heritage. There will be a big exhibition on the rich tradition of Slovenian beekeeping, Where bees are at home, presenting typical bee habitats, apiaries, beehives and painted beehive panels, which are unique in Slovenian heritage.

Can you tell us a bit more about the 'Museum Quarter'?
The MQ is home to SEM, a unit of the National Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and some other institutions. It's really a space with great potential, but unfortunately there are a lot of problems and limits connected with infrastructure, which have impeded the realization of ideas and programmes.

Do you have any favourite individual items from SEM's permanent collection?
It's hard to choose from more than 50,000 museum objects, as SEM keeps 12 collections of material, social and spiritual culture, living culture, folk art, non-European collections and much more. Spiritual culture is very close to my heart and always inspires me, so the Kolomonov Žegen could be my favourite. This special book from 18th century is in our permanent exhibition in the superstition section.


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