Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Triglav National Park: Heritages, acteurs - strategies, questions, and solutions

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.04.00  Humanities  Ethnology   

Code Science Field
H400  Humanities  Folklore 

Code Science Field
6.05  Humanities  Other humanities 
Natural heritage, cultural heritage, cultural practices, ethnography, social networks, contested discourses, mediation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  20004  PhD Tatiana Bajuk Senčar  Ethnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  176 
2.  04620  PhD Jurij Fikfak  Ethnology  Head  2011 - 2014  375 
3.  20325  PhD Mateja Habinc  Ethnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  510 
4.  09065  PhD Vito Hazler  Ethnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  885 
5.  06666  PhD Jože Hudales  Anthropology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  383 
6.  08426  PhD Božidar Jezernik  Ethnology  Researcher  2011  1,258 
7.  30659  PhD Simona Klaus  Energy engineering  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  49 
8.  30648  PhD Miha Kozorog  Anthropology  Researcher  2012 - 2014  289 
9.  20327  PhD Boštjan Kravanja  Anthropology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  226 
10.  03081  PhD Naško Križnar  Ethnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  607 
11.  21449  PhD Špela Ledinek Lozej  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  408 
12.  17892  PhD Robert Masten  Psychology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  317 
13.  23225  Miha Peče    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  179 
14.  27631  PhD Dan Podjed  Ethnology  Researcher  2012 - 2014  626 
15.  24304  PhD Saša Poljak Istenič  Ethnology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  452 
16.  22414  PhD Jaka Repič  Anthropology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  361 
17.  21097  PhD Peter Simonič  Anthropology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  383 
18.  09443  PhD Ingrid Slavec Gradišnik  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  555 
19.  30662  PhD Barbara Turk Niskač  Anthropology  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  127 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,048 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,730 
This project will shed light on the complex reality of heritage production and preservation within Triglav National Park (TNP), a central site of Slovenia’s national heritage. Its existence and maintenance is regulated by a set of national and international laws and conventions that articulate the park’s particular status and that prescribe the relationship between the park and its residents as well as visitors. The park is a unique cultural and natural landscape that houses a whole range of heritage sites, natural and cultural, material and intangible; it represents both opportunities and challenges for the park inhabitants and visitors. The proposed project will demonstrate the way that a strategic multi-site ethnographic and multi-method study can shed light on the social role that the existing configuration of multiple heritage sites plays in the park. How do heritage sites and heritage practices shape daily life and development issues - providing both opportunities and challenges for the range of actors, groups and institutions involved in the park on a daily basis? The key to researching the role of heritage practices in the TNP hinges on approaching the existing range of heritage sites as cultural constructions, as an expression of the defining feature of the concept of heritage. Heritage status that is bestowed upon certain phenomena is an expression of special shared significance that these phenomena hold for any cultural group. They are thus presumed to constitute an important part of a culture’s identity, ones that justify protection from any perceived threats and that are to be passed on from one generation to the next.  The ascription of heritage status on any single cultural phenomenon is not a given act but itself a social process, product of the efforts and coordination of numerous social actors, groups and institutions (stakeholders). The heritage sites are not thus the simple product of legislation but can be the result of numerous and diverse actions taken by potentially a range of stakeholders. The focus on these very processes of heritage production and the stakeholders is probably the key to discover the particular complexities, opportunities and challenges that heritage represents for TNP. The proposed research thus focuses on the park as well as the heritage formations within it as contested sites at which a range of social actors at various levels lay claim to a varied nature of heritage sites each in own terms. This varied agency as well as varied range of heritage formations sets the stage for opportunities, for collaborations and for conflicts; it also creates sites of tension in the everyday practice of heritage production and preservation. A focus on the multiple processes of heritage production enables one to see the interplay of meanings, identifications and agendas as well as the interaction of social actors. Bringing all existing processes to light is a crucial precondition to accurately locating key issues and problems in heritage practices as well as to elaborating socially effective solutions. One of the basic problems of TNP concerns the existence of divergent interests among key social actors and the varied levels of power they can exert to influence decisions made concerning park management and development. Some actors with power, enabled through legal authority, define the course of events in the park; numerous social actors are without decision-making power. The analysis of conceptual networks done with the Gabek will be based on conversations with those key social actors “with a voice” as well as with those “without a voice”. The analysis will identify existing structured conflicts. Discussions in groups with the psychologist should enable dialogue about the issues crucial to all interested parties; the proposed analysis will provide the necessary information for discovering points of minimal consensus that could operate as a basis for mediation among all relevant interested parties.
Significance for science
The major issue in the project was to find a suitable representative way of executing specific explorations in a relatively short period of time to capture the multi-site, directional, and temporal image of life in TNP. Theoretically, the project was based on Bahtin’s heteroglossia, further substantiated by exposing the main stakeholders, those “having the (deciding) vote” and those “having none”. The second starting point was using a quite numerous research team to select various aspects and topics that had proven the most pertinent in the preliminary phase of research. The project has thus mainly raised and discussed the following topics: Pertaining to research into social spaces designated for tourism, the project has raised the question of interinstitutional spaces and their role in tourist development projects. Being the dominant discursive marker of development, tourism is implemented in such processes through various development projects by pushing the existing institutions, which are not necessarily tourist-related, into promotional activities within “tourism”. This results in a widened interinstitutional space, which is occupied sooner or later by the “umbrella” tourist-marketing organisation. In the Trenta Valley, the research was focusing on the relations between natural resources, the socio-economic arrangements, and the symbolic and festive community aspect. In the social-historical context, the three levels have uncovered the “structural changes” that the inhabitants of the valley and its close vicinity experienced in the past two or three hundred years. Discovered was the adaptation aspect of local communities and households in the valley, that can also explain the domesticity-driven attitude towards the TNP (administration) and motivations either reinforcing or weakening the Slovenian nature protection and tourism complex. Project group team members’ research into museums and heritage protection institutions and arrangements are of great importance for an integrated and comprehensive understanding of cultural heritage, while also serving as good basis for various types of heritage protection and preservation, and, more importantly, for an interpretation that is easier to understand and accessible to the public. Only this can make a major contribution to a better perception and a more favourable attitude towards heritage protection in protected areas, such as the TNP, regional and landscape parks, as well as areas of protected cities, towns, and villages. Research into recreation in the national park has raised a number of scientific questions pertaining to social and environmental effects of tourism. They discussed the emergence of new sports practices in line with new technological solutions and social trends and their environmental effects; raised the issues of safeguarding protected areas and negotiating the space, and problematized the relation between culture and nature. It is of major importance for further development of the science to conceptualise the research into the social groups that are most often exempt from media, scientific, expert and political discourses. In our case it was explored how primary school pupils were seeing, experiencing and understanding heritage in their immediate environment, and what importance they were ascribing to the cultural and natural landscape of TNP. Nowadays, research into motifs and factors for the transfer from conventional into organic farming is of interest in various areas within science. Always conditioned either socially, or culturally, historically, etc., the transition can be researched within ethnology with its suitable tools, which has also been shown in the research performed in Čadrg. With regard to research results that have implications for developments in science, conceptual maps and networks were developed. They can be used to discern the basic terms and their semantic fields that are relevant in the dominant public discourse.
Significance for the country
The project is raising awareness of various types of political and economic participation in the past, and of possible principles of organising the Slovenian society in the future. Results can contribute to a more democratic and sustainable governance of TNP, the only national park in Slovenia. Taking the example of one of the fastest growing Slovenian tourist destinations (the Soča Valley), the project has shown that tourist development depends significantly on wider development projects as well as environmental initiatives. It has also evaluated critically the processes of its implementation by establishing “umbrella”, “coordination” or “integration” marketing-tourist organisations. Not necessarily leading to development synergies, they often merely establish a parallel system to subordinate the existing development activities to narrow tourist-economic discourses. Ethnological or anthropological research of the so-called traditional events enables insight into organisers’ ideas about tradition and authenticity, which are nowadays two major elements of contemporary heritage tourism in Slovenia and elsewhere. It also uncovers new and yet unused possibilities that might contribute to a different and yet unexploited range of such tourism in Slovenia. Holidays have been explored in a wider social and historical context, which complements the dominant commodity and heritage based rationale of tourist destinations and mass events. Recreation can be understood either as personal relaxation or tourist niche. The two conceptions are often intertwined, even in a strategic way to negotiate new spaces for tourism and recreation. Also pertaining to nature protection, such negotiations for space have to be executed with caution, and research has shown which negotiators’ discourses and strategies have to be take into account particularly. It has also shown sports tourism to be a major economic activity in some parts of Slovenia (including the TNP), which should also be considered in forming nature protection arrangements. Research achievements of project group members are also significant in the sense of national development, as they introduce new forms of interinstitutional cooperation between education-research institutions, companies (private wood companies) and local communities (Bovec and Bohinj municipalities), particularly with regard to identifying cultural heritage and using natural resources. This also enables introduction of new employment positions and opportunities. It is especially worth to mention the importance of research results for the development of tourism, entrepreneurship, trade and handicraft, as well as social entrepreneurship. In official Slovenian and EU documents, ecological farming is defined as the preferred type of farming. This particularly applies to the Alpine environment with less favourable conditions for farming, where ecological farming would bring a competitive edge. Findings on the transition to organic farming and the actual farming practices in the village of Čadrg are also significant for farming policy makers and Slovenian Alpine region development devisers. Research into various types of negotiation between major stakeholders, be it part of administration plans or mediation, has shown what steps need to be taken in order to establish a wider agreement on the forms of future co-habitation of numerous stakeholders and various interests in Triglav National Park.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Views history